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13 Best Marketing Blogs to Follow (For Marketers of All Levels)

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13 Best Marketing Blogs to Follow (For Marketers of All Levels)

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  • Monthly traffic 40

  • Linking websites 48

  • Tweets 99

Data from Content Explorer

Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

Several years back, we asked some of the smartest marketers in the industry what their most-read marketing blogs were. We then shared their responses here and ran a poll so readers could vote for their favorites too.

As of 2022, we’ve collected 1,372 votes—so we thought it apt to bring you the industry’s top 10 marketing blogs, plus three bonus (personal) favorites of ours to round things off.

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Founder: Dmitry Gerasimenko
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 1,176
Domain Rating (DR): 90
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 304,791

What better way to start the list than with a not-so-subtle plug of our own blog? We topped the poll with 793 votes, and the fact that you’re reading this means the Ahrefs team must be doing something right.

If you’re new here, our blog is split into four categories: SEO, marketing, data and studies, and product updates. Have a look-see, then settle in for the ride—you’re bound to learn something new, no matter your level of expertise.

Recommended reading: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

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Founders: Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 195
Domain Rating (DR): 93
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 7,726,291

HubSpot is a powerful SaaS platform and the champion of inbound marketing. We mean it literally: Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah coined the term “inbound” and even published a book on the topic.

Over on the HubSpot blog, you’ll find in-depth articles, free templates, and marketing reports that are backed by surveys and expert opinions.

We also highly recommend subscribing to The Hustle, a popular newsletter that HubSpot acquired in early 2021. Its coverage of business and tech news is at once snappy and concise—an ideal point of reference for anyone who wants to get better at writing.

Recommended reading: This Strategy Helped the HubSpot Blog Break a Year-Long Traffic Plateau

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Founder: Seth Godin
Blog type: Single-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 4,291
Domain Rating (DR): 84
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 67,096

Seth Godin is one of the most forward-thinking marketers around. He’s authored 19 best-selling books, which have been translated into 35 languages. He is also most famed for his novel ideas and concepts.

One of them is the purple cow, which means building a product or service that’s so remarkable people will literally remark on it. (Yep, very meta.)

You’d do well following his daily blog posts too, which often feature pithy or memorable anecdotes on being a better marketer.

Recommended reading: How to Be Remarkable

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Founder: Glen Allsopp
Blog type: Single-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 227,987/98,501
Domain Rating (DR): 61/70
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 1,600/25,676

Glen Allsopp runs two blogs: Gaps and also Detailed. And while they’re quite different in their areas of focus, we thought it best to combine them to avoid repetition.

Gaps.com covers mostly business-focused content and case studies on profitable niches. It’s better suited to founders and entrepreneurs or anyone interested in learning about fresh online business opportunities and revenue models.

General marketers may prefer Detailed.com, which includes technical SEO advice, keyword research tactics, plus interesting experiments for further learning.

Recommended reading: Affiliate SEO in 2020: A Detailed, 1,000 Keyword Analysis

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Founder: Joanna Wiebe
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 21,277
Domain Rating (DR): 77
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 4,700

Joanna Wiebe is the brain behind CopyHackers, and she’s optimized copy for scores of customers since 2005. These experiences are shared on her blog, where she doles out copywriting techniques and client management tips in great detail.

She’s also worked with SaaS majors, such as Wistia to refine its onboarding emails, and spoken at large-scale conferences, including CXL Live on how to write copy that converts.

Recommended reading: How Do You Turn Great Homepage Copy Into Killer Homepage Copy?

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Founders: Benji Hyam, Devesh Khanal
Blog type: Single-author (w/ rare guest posts)
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 119,954
Domain Rating (DR): 68
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 775

Grow & Convert was born of an experiment by founders Benji Hyam and Devesh Khanal. In 2015, they set a goal of reaching 40,000 unique visitors within six months. While it didn’t come to fruition, their transparency in documenting their process won them regard in the content marketing space.

Today, Grow & Convert is a full-fledged content marketing agency. Fun fact: Ahrefs’ own SQ once penned a popular post about Reddit marketing on the blog. It was the first guest post accepted after 1.5 years and was even voted #2 in GrowthHackers’ 2017 newsletter.

Recommended reading: How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work? A Case Study

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Founders: Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee, David Barrett
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 1,106
Domain Rating (DR): 90
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 33,986

We love Intercom. The customer messaging platform powers some of Ahrefs’ key features, including live chat, in-app messaging, and Help Center.

We highly recommend its blog too: You’ll find topics spanning sales and marketing, customer support, product, design, and engineering. The best bit is all of its posts are written by Intercom employees, so you’ll be able to glean some real-life lessons on everything from customer acquisition to live chat best practices.

Recommended reading: People Leave Managers, Not Companies

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Founder: Peep Laja
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 4,266
Domain Rating (DR): 85
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 61,451

In the words of founder Peep Laja, ConversionXL aims to democratize elite know-how. And it’s met that goal—if the blog’s content is anything to go by. There are tips and research studies on conversion rate optimization (CRO), plus categories covering digital analytics, business building, copywriting, and yet more.

Recommended reading: How People Read Short Articles

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Founder: Walter Chen
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 48,032
Domain Rating (DR): 74
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 3,573

Animalz is a content marketing agency founded in 2015 by Walter Chen, the former CEO of iDoneThis. This blog isn’t just aesthetically pleasing—each post is also loaded with thought-provoking perspectives to keep content marketers returning.

The blog posts are reminiscent of Seth’s daily musings, albeit lengthier and with a heavier focus on actionable tips.

Recommended reading: The Problem With Writing Is Thinking

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Founders: Leo Widrich, Joel Gascoigne
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 1,072
Domain Rating (DR): 90
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 46,634

Given Buffer is a social media management platform, its blog posts center mostly around the topic, as well as advice on online brand management. We like the spectrum of topics covered for businesses of all sizes—such as this listicle on small-business marketing or this one on sustainable approaches to building a business.

Its transparent work practices are also documented and can offer founders better insight into how to run a business.

Recommended reading: How Ahrefs and Buffer Drive 1 Million+ Sessions per Month With Evergreen Content and Social Media

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Founder: Aleyda Solis 
Blog type: Single-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 49,238
Domain Rating (DR): 73
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 4,314

You’d be hard-pressed to find a blog like Aleyda Solis’ elsewhere.

The SEO consultant, speaker, and author has over 17,000 subs on her popular newsletter, #SEOFOMO. Yet she somehow makes the time to maintain a blog, even if infrequently.

Most of her posts require some understanding of SEO, as they tend to venture into technical territory. Still, Aleyda is generous in sharing firsthand tips and cheat sheets, such as this template on keywords mapping for different types of sites. 

Recommended reading: 15 Newsletter Growth Tips: How I Grew #SEOFOMO From +1K to 17K Subscribers Within Two Years

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Founder: Nat Eliason 
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 552,419
Domain Rating (DR): 52
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 1,003

Growth Machine is a content marketing agency, and its gem of a blog contains many frank truths and bold opinions you may not necessarily agree with. These include doing things that don’t scale when building a community and having a CEO who worked on making herself obsolete in most of 2021.

And that’s why Growth Machine is worth returning to again and again: to hear things you may not like, which in turn encourages more flexible ways of thinking. Aside, there are also case studies and how-to content guides for content marketers of all levels.

Recommended reading: How a Recruiting Website Tripled Organic Traffic in Six Months

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Founder: Ross Hudgens
Blog type: Multi-author
Ahrefs Rank (AR): 47,373
Domain Rating (DR): 74
Estimated monthly organic search traffic: 16,954

Founder and thought leader Ross Hudgens channeled his SEO expertise into building Siege Media, a content marketing agency whose blog covers all manner of copywriting and SEO tips.

While the content isn’t particularly well-categorized, the real-life case studies make for an interesting read (or listen). These include link building strategies that scale and tips on how to secure a $1 million SEO budget (podcast).

Recommended reading: How to Increase Website Traffic by 250,000+ Monthly Visits

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Final thoughts

We’re advocates for constant learning, so keep in mind this list isn’t exhaustive.

As easy as it is to return to your favorite marketing blogs, expanding your knowledge is key. Read (or listen!) with an open mind, ask questions in online communities, and experiment with marketing tactics and strategies to find your own path.

Did I miss out on your favorites? Let me know on Twitter.




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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

More resources: 


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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An “Awesome Idea”

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An "Awesome Idea"

Google’s John Mueller discussed heading elements with a member of the SEO community where he affirmed the usefulness of using hierarchical structure when using heading elements.

Background Context to What Mueller Said

Heading elements <H1> – <H6> are supposed to be used to indicate what a section of a webpage is about.

Furthermore the heading elements have a ranking order, with the <H1> being the highest rank of importance and the <H6> being the lowest level of importance.

The heading element purpose is to label what a section of content is about.

HTML specifications allow the use of multiple <H1> elements. So, technically, using more than one <H1> is perfectly valid.

Section 4.3.11 of the official HTML specifications states:

“h1–h6 elements have a heading level, which is given by the number in the element’s name.

If a document has one or more headings, at least a single heading within the outline should have a heading level of 1.”

Nevertheless, using more than on <H1> is not considered a best practice.

The Mozilla developer reference page about the use of headings recommends:

“The <h1> to <h6> HTML elements represent six levels of section headings. <h1> is the highest section level and <h6> is the lowest.

…Avoid using multiple <h1> elements on one page

While using multiple <h1> elements on one page is allowed by the HTML standard (as long as they are not nested), this is not considered a best practice. A page should generally have a single <h1> element that describes the content of the page (similar to the document’s <title> element).”

John Mueller has previously said that it doesn’t matter if a webpage uses one <H1> or five <H1> headings.

The point of his statement is that the level of the heading isn’t as important as how they are used, with the best practice being the use of  headings for indicating what a section of content is about.

What Mueller Said on Twitter

A member of the SEO community was joking around and gently ribbed Mueller about using more than one H1.

He tweeted:

The SEO followed up by sharing how he preferred using the best practices for heading elements by using only one <H1>, to denote what the page is about and then using the rest of the headings in order of rank, give a webpage a hierarchical structure.

A Hierarchical structure communicates sections of a webpage and any subsections within each section.

He tweeted:

“I’m too traditional with header elements. (HTML 4 for Life! lol)

I’d still recommend using just one H1 element on a page.

I patiently go back to pages to implement header hierarchy for fun.”

John Mueller tweeted his approval in response:

“I think that’s an awesome idea & a great practice.

Header hierarchy is not just useful to Google, it’s also important for accessibility.

(Google still has to deal with whatever weird things people throw up on the web, but being thoughtful in your work always makes sense.)”

Hierarchical Page Structure

In the early days of SEO, <H1> used to be counted as an important ranking factor, one that was more important than an <H2>.

So, back then, one always put their most important keywords in the <H1> in order to signal to Google that the page was relevant for that keyword.

H1 used to have more ranking power so it was essential to use the <H1> to help rankings.

Google’s algorithm was using keywords as a way to “guess” what a webpage was about.

Keywords in the anchor text, keywords in the title tag and keywords in the <H1> helped Google guess what a page was relevant for.

But nowadays, Google doesn’t have to guess.

It is able to understand what sections of a webpage are about, and consequently, what the entire webpage is about.

Despite those advances, many SEOs still believe that using an <H1> is some kind of magic ranking factor.

Headings are no longer about shouting what keyword you want to rank for.

The role of heading elements are now about telling search engines what a section of content is about.

Each section of a content is generally about something specific.

Heading tags make it easier for search engines to know what a page is about.

And that helps them rank the page for the topic.

And according to the official HTML specifications, that’s technically the proper way to use heading elements.

Lastly, Mueller mentioned a quality of the heading element as a way to better communicate for accessibility reasons, like for people who use screen readers.

The official HTML specifications say:

“Descriptive headings are especially helpful for users who have disabilities that make reading slow and for people with limited short-term memory.

These people benefit when section titles make it possible to predict what each section contains.”

So thank you John Mueller for calling attention to the benefits of using headings with a hierarchical structure, for calling attention to how hierarchical structure is useful for Google and for accessibility.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero



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