Should the First Text Box Have a Title?

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  1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 13 months ago

    In the old days, the first text section we wrote would generally be a title-less introduction, certainly in my case, anyway. That was the way that I understood was the way to do it.

    However, in recent times, I've seen that an editor can often add a title to  the first text section, even if it's just a general introduction.

    Should all articles have a titled first text section? I'm thinking that I need to do that with more articles, maybe all of them...

    1. eugbug profile image97
      eugbugposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I remember reading somewhere that you leave out the title of an introductory paragraph/paragraphs. I don't use one on Medium. It's understood to be an introduction and the title "Introduction" is never used although "Conclusion" can be used at the end of say an academic paper.

      I wonder do they mean HTML H3 titles when they mention Level 2 headings in the "Headings in the introduction" section of this? The H1 tag in a page is for the main title and H2 is used for Hubpages capsule titles. H3 tags are for sub headings in a text capsule: … t/headings

    2. chef-de-jour profile image95
      chef-de-jourposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      If I understand you correctly you mean in the first text capsule - then yes, I add a title. I think the reader needs one. I've no idea if it's the right thing to do from a technical/SEO angle but it seems to work. I've 400 odd articles with a title in the first capsule. Editors seem to approve, or at least they don't remove it!

    3. Miebakagh57 profile image77
      Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Methink you want to write a school composition. That comes with just one title...

  2. Shesabutterfly profile image95
    Shesabutterflyposted 13 months ago

    I was under the impression it was not needed. Some of my articles have them and some don't. Reason being, I don't feel an introduction needs a title. If I'm diving right into content I tend to create a title.

    Editors are going through Delishably again and one of the main edits is adding titles to all my first paragraphs even if they don't make sense.

    For example, "How to cook venison" is the title they added to my first paragraph that doesn't even mention how to cook it. Methods of cooking are not even discussed in the second text capsule. In fact the second title says let's talk about preparation before the recipes. The title they added doesn't flow with the content of the article at all.

    Another example, "Homemade candied ginger garnish". That is not even the main component of the recipe, nonetheless the first paragraph. Those are words the editor added to my article title and then just used them again for the first paragraph title.

    A bit annoying as now I have to go in and try and find something constructive to replace it with.

    If this is a new thing, I'd prefer to be asked to add one. At least that way it would flow with the paragraph it's meant to describe.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
      PaulGoodman67posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Hmm, from what you say it sounds like there are cases where editors are adding in related keyword phrases, but perhaps not taking the time to find a title that relates better to the content.

      I've not generally had that issue, but I can see how it might happen.

      1. Shesabutterfly profile image95
        Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Some of the new ones do make sense, those two examples are bit of an outlier. However, that could be because the examples above are general broad and more of a preface of what is to come. There would be no good title to explain that. Similar to what bravewarrior said, I don't think prefaces/prologues need titles for this reason.

        I can see where it might make sense in some cases, but I don't think it should be an all or nothing type of scenario.

        It honestly felt like they couldn't think of anything but needed something so took some keywords from the title and called it good enough. Despite the fact it doesn't flow and throws the article off. If an edit doesn't add quality content it shouldn't be done. I can't imagine SEO cares more about having a title (even if it's poor) vs no title (with good content/flow).

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
          PaulGoodman67posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Titles/headings are very important in SEO, as keywords in a title/heading carry far more weight than when they're in general text.

          This is most true in the main heading, but also holds true (to a lesser extent) for subheadings.

          It's important not to see SEO too much in human terms and perceptions. Algorithms aren't good at detecting certain things. One example being the idea of *relevance*, which is a form of value judgement and difficult for a machine to measure or fully grasp.

          I believe that the algorithm tends to measure relevance more in terms of related keywords, not how a human might see it.

          The ideal, of course, is to find headings that work for SEO purposes but are not incongruous to the reader.

          All that said, I still want to know whether it's worthwhile to add headers in the first text capsule before I embark on what would be a major and comprehensive editing project.

  3. Justine Guiao profile image93
    Justine Guiaoposted 13 months ago

    I do not use titles for my introductory paragraphs for the following reasons,
    1. The introduction is usually general, if a title must be put, it might be almost similar to the main title.
    2. In relation to no. 1, if that's the case it may seem redundant.
    3. Personally, it is not really pleasing to see a title after a title. I usually prefer to put at least a few sentence paragraph in between.

    These are just my personal reasons, aside from other technical reasons in using headings and subheadings.

    1. bravewarrior profile image88
      bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I agree with you, Justine. The introductory paragraph is a preface or prologue to the article or story. I don't think it should have a title for the same reasons you state.

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 13 months ago

    I think if the editors are adding titles, it's maybe a good idea. Generally speaking, I take editorial suggestions seriously, and if they consistently do something in their edits, I will try to do something similar in other articles.

    There's a writing style thing, for sure, but there's also the SEO aspect, which is just as important.

    I'm hoping that HP will jump in on this. If they don't, I guess I will email editors.

    The HP recommendations tend to evolve over time in reaction to changes in the Google algorithm.

    I'd like clarification on what the current thinking is. I want maximum SEO, but don't want to risk being seen as keyword stuffing.

  5. eugbug profile image97
    eugbugposted 13 months ago

    Editors differ and writers die I guess (metaphorically speaking smile)

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
      PaulGoodman67posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I doubt that it's a nuanced or laissez-faire thing. I'm pretty sure they have a definitive policy on headings.

      Like I say, I will email if there's no official response here. I don't want to spend two days editing all my articles without knowing what's what. smile


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