Boldening text for SEO purposes is something you’ll hear a lot in the SEO industry, there’s constant chatter regarding whether or not it carries weight and if Google will give your page a /slight/ ranking boost just because the keyword is included in some <strong> tags. Everyone has mixed opinions on the subject, some webmasters believe it works, some SEO’s think that it’s literally useless.
I think it depends on the scenario and it’s almost impossible to test, if it does carry weight then I could imagine it’s very minimal and I could believe that Google are possibly using both <b> and <strong> tags to determine whether or not a page is over-optimising itself, therefore it may push it down in the SERP’s. I could be wrong, that’s my personal opinion.
What Has Google Said About Boldening Text for SEO?
Here’s a quick video (throwback!) of Matt Cutts talking about both the <strong> and <b> tags back in 2013, we all know that from a user experience perspective, they both do the same thing – render the text bold. However from an SEO POV, Matt stated that the tags have no difference, Google doesn’t treat them differently when it comes to scoring the site, ranking it and other search engine factors. He doesn’t provide a definite answer on the topic, but he did talk about the same subject back in 2003 and said that ‘Things might have changed since 2006, but I really kind of doubt it’.
So what should you do in terms of boldening your keywords for SEO? I’ll leave that one in your court, it hasn’t yet been proven that you will see a ranking boost from it, however, if it makes sense from a user experience POV to bold that piece of text – if it seems natural, go ahead and do it.
It’s a difficult one as there are still many more answers to be unraveled re boldening text for SEO and Google treats every website differently, if you have a not-so-authoritative site with lots of bold text, Google may not rank you as highly as if you were to put that bold text on a site that is authoritative. It’s all about experimentation and replicating what works and what doesn’t for your site, what are your thoughts on boldening text for SEO? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.