Graphical headers and SEO

Discussion in 'HTML' started by JWL, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. JWL

    JWL Guest

    Hello,

    I'd like my website to have graphical header text but I'm concerned
    about the impact this will have on search engine success, as none of the
    pages will have <h1> headers. Is it sensible to do something like this:

    <h1 class="hidden">blah blah</h1>
    <img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah" />

    'hidden' being:

    ..hidden {
    position: absolute; /* taken from sitepoint.com */
    left: -9000px;
    top: 0;
    }

    What would you do if you absolutely had to have graphical headers?

    Thanks for your time
     
    JWL, Sep 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. JWL

    Els Guest

    JWL wrote:

    > Hello,


    Hi,

    > I'd like my website to have graphical header text but I'm concerned
    > about the impact this will have on search engine success, as none of the
    > pages will have <h1> headers. Is it sensible to do something like this:
    >
    > <h1 class="hidden">blah blah</h1>
    > <img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah" />
    >
    > 'hidden' being:
    >
    > .hidden {
    > position: absolute; /* taken from sitepoint.com */
    > left: -9000px;
    > top: 0;
    > }


    It is an option, but some day Google will be able to see that the H1
    is hidden from actual visitors, and penalize the page for it. (or at
    least that is what I expect for the future)

    > What would you do if you absolutely had to have graphical headers?


    I use the title in alt text to the image:
    <h1><img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah"></h1>

    I'm not entirely sure if Google reads that alt text as an H1 then, but
    any image-less visitors will. I combine that with Google's own rule
    "make pages for your visitors, not for search engines", and hope for
    the best :)

    (no idea about other search engines though)

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/

    Now playing: Dave Edmunds - Queen Of Hearts
     
    Els, Sep 19, 2006
    #2
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  3. JWL

    Andy Dingley Guest

    JWL wrote:

    > What would you do if you absolutely had to have graphical headers?


    Alt text on the <img>

    h1 img { font-size: something-reasonable; color: likewise; } to make
    alt text in this case readable, if it's ever used. Default size on alt
    text is often minuscule.


    SEO optimisation is no longer my problem, if the client has already
    decided that "pretty" over-rules "content"
     
    Andy Dingley, Sep 19, 2006
    #3
  4. JWL

    carolyn Guest

    JWL wrote:

    > Hello,
    >
    > I'd like my website to have graphical header text but I'm concerned
    > about the impact this will have on search engine success, as none of the
    > pages will have <h1> headers. Is it sensible to do something like this:
    >
    > <h1 class="hidden">blah blah</h1>
    > <img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah" />
    >
    > 'hidden' being:
    >
    > .hidden {
    > position: absolute; /* taken from sitepoint.com */
    > left: -9000px;
    > top: 0;
    > }
    >
    > What would you do if you absolutely had to have graphical headers?
    >
    > Thanks for your time


    If I absolutely had to have graphical headers, I still would not. Graphical
    headers cannot be crawled by search engines. They can not be translated by
    translation services. They are not loaded by either text only browsers, or
    browsers set to not load graphics. They do not allow the font size to
    adjust so it looks good on both my 1280x1024 maximized browser window and
    my 320x160 hand held.

    I would and do create graphic backgrounds for a header, and then overlay
    text on top of it. Typically locating the graphic to one end and aligning
    the text to the other end, to try to minimize the amount of text being
    obscured by the underlying graphic.

    I hope that helps,

    Carolyn

    --
    Carolyn Marenger
     
    carolyn, Sep 19, 2006
    #4
  5. JWL

    carolyn Guest

    Els wrote:

    > JWL wrote:
    >
    >> Hello,

    >
    > Hi,
    >
    >> I'd like my website to have graphical header text but I'm concerned
    >> about the impact this will have on search engine success, as none of the
    >> pages will have <h1> headers. Is it sensible to do something like this:
    >>
    >> <h1 class="hidden">blah blah</h1>
    >> <img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah" />
    >>
    >> 'hidden' being:
    >>
    >> .hidden {
    >> position: absolute; /* taken from sitepoint.com */
    >> left: -9000px;
    >> top: 0;
    >> }

    >
    > It is an option, but some day Google will be able to see that the H1
    > is hidden from actual visitors, and penalize the page for it. (or at
    > least that is what I expect for the future)


    I have heard that they already do that. I don't know if it is fiction or
    fact however. I do know that if they don't do it already, they will be
    doing it soon.

    >> What would you do if you absolutely had to have graphical headers?

    >
    > I use the title in alt text to the image:
    > <h1><img src="blah.gif" alt="blah blah"></h1>
    >
    > I'm not entirely sure if Google reads that alt text as an H1 then, but
    > any image-less visitors will. I combine that with Google's own rule
    > "make pages for your visitors, not for search engines", and hope for
    > the best :)
    >
    > (no idea about other search engines though)
    >


    --
    Carolyn Marenger
     
    carolyn, Sep 19, 2006
    #5
  6. JWL

    Spartanicus Guest

    Spartanicus, Sep 19, 2006
    #6
  7. What you might try is using an external style sheet to control the display
    of your <h1>s in the header.

    As far as I know, but I haven't really tested extensively, Google and the
    like do not read external style sheets when doing their thing. (You'd have
    to check out the server logs closely over a period of time to be sure)

    If you set the header image as the background for a header <div>, and set
    the display attributes of the <h1>s, etc to "display: hidden;" or perhaps,
    "visibility: none;" You should be able to get by.

    There's more to it than this, but for most situations, I believe it will
    work without blowing your search indexing...I would like to hear more from
    anyone with some experience in this method.

    --
    Gregory Nickoloff,
    Lead Developer,
    Kinetica Media
     
    Gregory Nickoloff, Sep 21, 2006
    #7
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