Conventional wisdom in SEO was that header tag hierarchy was critical. Have a page with no H1? Multiple H1s? A jump from an H2 to an H4? All bad for ranking.
These days, that’s no longer the case.
Rand Fishkin of Moz recently included this in a Whiteboard Friday on things that don’t affect Google rankings.
Years ago developers setting text as an H2 or H4 based on the font size/weight alone was frowned upon. “That’s not how you roll font size! Don’t you realize the impact that has with search engines?!” SEOs would decry.
But as Rand points out here, while it’s still ideal for best coding practices to follow that convention, Google doesn’t penalize sites for changing this up.
This is particularly important for blog sites where the main page shows the latest posts. Now you don’t have to worry as much whether each of those posts’ titles is shown as H1s or H2s, for instance.