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Will heading classes over semantic heading tags negatively impact SEO?

Bootstrap Heading classes: <p class="h1">Heading 1</p>

Semantic HTML Tags: <h1>Heading 1</h1>

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2 Answers 2

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Yes it could. Ideally your HTML semantics are congruent with the importance and meaning of your content.

But here’s a little secret. You’re not supposed to write:

<p class="h1">Heading 1</p>

You’re supposed to write:

<h1 class="h1">Heading 1</h1>

That way you can handle semantics and design quite independently.

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No

Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags

- John Mueller, Google

Have a read of this article.

The reality is that Google is smart enough nowadays to understand your page/content without relying on hints like the contents of the <h1> tag.

The overarching theme of Hummingbird back in 2013 was "things not strings". The introduction of natural language processing enhanced Google's understanding of web content.

The moral of the story here is that it really doesn't matter if your page's heading is an <h1>, an <h6> or <p style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: 700;">.

If your content is good, it will rank on Google. Nitty gritty aspects of your page such as the semantics of your HTML are not going to prevent Google from showing it to users.

Now, if as a developer, you take pride in your code and want to have perfectly semantic HTML, all the power to you.

But whatever you choose, Google will not care.

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