During a Q&A session, John was asked about bolding important parts of content in a paragraph and whether this can boost your SEO.
John answered that yes, this can boost your SEO. But, it’s a very small factor.
He said that if you bold everything, then it’s as if nothing is bolded, because you don’t have any differentiating factors within your text.
Google looks at different things like context to understand what the content is about on a webpage.
They also look at certain things in order to understand exactly what’s being emphasized here.
Usually, when something is bolded it also aligns with what Google believes the page is about.
It’s not going to help your SEO if you create an entirely bolded page.
Using bold or strong tags are also a smaller, less important ranking factor. So, it’s not going to help your site immediately if you bold something. But, it can help if you pay attention to things like context and whether or not it actually should be bolded there on the page.
This gives a bit more meaning to the content as a whole, which Google can use to extrapolate important information like the context of the page content.
This happens at approximately the 40:22 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Someone was arguing that bolding important parts in a paragraph can boost your SEO. Does it?
Yeah, I think this is something that comes up every now and then. I double-checked before this session, actually. And Matt Cutts did a video I think in like 2012, or something around that, about bolding and strong on pages. So usually we do try to understand what the content is about on a webpage.
And we look at different things to try to figure out what is actually being emphasized here. And that includes things like headings on a page, but it also includes things like what is actually bolded, or emphasized within the text on the page. So to some extent, that does have a little bit of extra value there.
And that it’s a clear sign that actually you think this page or this paragraph is about this, this topic here. And usually that aligns with what we think the page is about anyway. So it doesn’t change that much. The other thing is that this is, to a large extent, relative within the web page.
So if you go off and say, Well, I will just make my whole page bold, and then Google will think my page is the most important one, then by making everything bold, essentially, nothing is bold, because it’s all the same. Whereas if you take a handful of sentences, or words within your full page, where you say, this is really important for me and you bold those, then it’s a lot easier for us to say, well, here’s a lot of texts. And this is potentially one of the most important points of this page. And we can give that little bit more value.
And essentially, what that kind of goes into is everything around semantic HTML, where you’re giving a little bit more meaning to a page by using the proper markup for the page. And from our point of view, that’s good. It helps us to understand the page a little bit better.
So if you want to kind of simplify to a one word answer, does bolding important points on a paragraph help SEO? Yes, it does. It does help us to better understand that paragraph or that page.