Via James Jackson (It’s the biggest search engine, and one of the biggest internet companies in general, in existence…):
It’s the biggest search engine, and one of the biggest internet companies in general, in existence. It’s revered as one of the most innovative and powerful means to information. Heck, it’s even become a verb.Google. No, no, this isn’t a big plug for Google.com. This is, however, a post to hopefully reveal just how powerful those <H1> tags really are, and how Google rates them up there with sliced bread.It’s no secret that Google uses a lot of measures to ensure the integrity of the pages that are linked by them. At the very least, the pages that are seemingly the most pertinent to your search query are listed at the top of your results. How does it do this? Well, according to Google’s Technology Overview:
”Google’s search engine also analyzes page content. However, instead of simply scanning for page-based text (which can be manipulated by site publishers through meta-tags), Google’s technology analyzes the full content of a page and factors in fonts, subdivisions and the precise location of each word. Google also analyzes the content of neighboring web pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to a user’s query.” (link)
Morale of the story… use H1 tags (and style them, don’t use the god-awful default look).