Do bold tags help SEO?
 by Stephen Mahaney

Do bold tags help SEO?

  • I bold or strong know that using <h?> (headline) tags are useful for SEO because they help Google identify important content on a page, but I'm wondering if bold (<b> or <strong>) are given any special consideration from Google SEO-wise. Do you know if there is any information on this that would be helpful?

Answer:

John Mueller addressed this topic in a recent Office Hours Hangout saying that:

John Mueller Avatar

...to some extent that does have a little bit of extra value there in that it's a clear sign that actually you think this page or this paragraph is about this topic here. And usually that aligns with what we think the page is about anyway

Translated: yes, bold and even italic tags can help Google identify what you think is important on a page and therefore help you a little bit, SEO-wise, provided the tags are used sparingly.

As such, John goes on to point out that creating a page that is entirely in bold would act as though none of the page is bold since nothing special woud stand out.

The same can be said regarding italic.

Furthermore, while the format <strong> is recommended over <b> in modern HTML, Google sees them as equal, SEO-wise. The same is true for the <em> and <i> HTML versions of italic.

Here's the video of John addressing this issue, starting at the 40:22

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