What Effects do Bold and Italic texts have concerning SEO?

November 28, 2015

For the past few years, it has been believed that bold and italic texts on web pages can affect SEO. Well, to be honest, they did have an effect. However, with the new algorithms, their weight has been reduced a lot — to the point that it does not even budge a web page’s rank in the search engine results page. Everybody knows that when it comes to search engine optimization, solid facts are not easily obtained. Because of that, never believe anybody who says that they are expert SEOs and they are always 100% right — even if they lower their claim to 70%. If you need facts for the effects of bold and italic to your site’s SEO, then check out Moz’ yearly (or biannual to be precise) search ranking factors survey. The page can be accessed through this link: https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors/survey

In all the factors concerning SEO and search engine algorithms, bold and italic elements that contain keywords have the smallest effect of all the factors listed. Unlike unknown search engine optimizers, Moz is highly reliable and regarded as an authority in the industry. It is highly recommended that you follow them, especially their Whiteboard Fridays. You will learn a lot from them. So, the question is answered. Is that everything you need to know? No. A much better question that you might have asked is that, do bold and italic texts matter in the Web? The answer to that is yes. Even if bold and italic texts do not magically make your site or pages rank on the first page of Google search engine page results, you still need to use them. And of course, you need to use them properly. How? Before you go about doing it, you must understand or remember that there are different methods on how you can make your text bold and italic in HTML.

The traditional method is enclosing text inside the bold <b> and italic <i> element tags. Another method is to use CSS. To do that, you must alter the font-weight style property (font-weight: bold) and font-style style property (font-style: italic) of the elements holding the text. The newer method is to use the <strong> tag (instead of <b>) and the <em> tag (instead of <i>), which means emphasis by the way. Despite having the same visual effects, they do have differences. And it is crucial that you know them.

Take note that using CSS and the <b> and <i> element tags will only provide visual changes to text. On the other hand, using the <strong> and <em> tags have contextual use. Putting texts inside strong will make voice readers read that text stronger or louder. Putting texts inside emphasis will make voice readers read that text with emphasis or on a different tone. Even if they do not offer impacting SEO benefits, using <strong> and <em> can make your web pages more accessible, especially to the blind or visually impaired. On the other hand, it does not mean that you should not use <b>, <i>, and CSS to style your text. Do use them freely to make your texts more readable.

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