Testing Google indexability with HTML heading anchors

At the time of this writing it appears to be (hypothesis) that google is not placing much emphasis on URLs past the 3rd level HTML headings. Googlebot crawls through anchors, however it doesn't necessarily mean that they will be indexed and appear on SERPs. This article will focus on a specific test by comparing h3 anchors with h4 anchors and their indexibility.

If the HTML document is kept well-formed, googlebot can parse through the page without a problem and get to other destinations, especially in the case of anchors. If we eliminate this issue, and given other neutral measures, one would assume such pages to be indexed in google SERPs.

Hopefully this test can solely reveal the behaviour of these HTML elements - the structure of the document - in google indexes. Let us see what happens in the next little while (h3 and h4 level headings containing anchors):

Fishes are enjoying themselves

Google SERP for Fishes are enjoying themselves

Nature of self

Google SERP for Nature of self

Google dudes: as much as I like your work, please fix up some of these bugs/inconsistencies in your search engine. Are you doing this on purpose? Last time, I noticed google's SERPs was interpreting an article of mine in the wrong language. Thankfully that was fixed.

If you've experienced similar indexing issues with google SERPs with respect to HTML on page, please bring them forward. I also would be interested to know how all the other anchors are treated when its a child of other applicable elements.

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Ara Pehlivanian replied on

If this is true then the age old reasoning that you should put your site's title in the <h1> robs you of a level of indexing. If that's the case, you should leave your title in the <title> tag and put page specific info in the <h1> tag.

Sarven Capadisli’s photoSarven Capadisli replied on

My hypothesis was disproven. Both h3 and h4 anchored URLs are indexed and appear in Google SERPs.

A simple explanation; my original observations were tricked by google datacenters.

Considering the fact that googlebot crawls pratically through anything live, I suppose this should not have been a surprise.

(note to self: suspend further abnormal tests)

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