Bold and Italics in Search Engine Relevancy

    February 15, 2007

Dear Kalena…

A quick question – How much added value is there to placing keyword text within bold, strong, italics, or emphasis tags in terms of the weight given to those terms by search engines?


Kalena’s Answer:

Dear Adam

Just like a healthy diet, everything in moderation is the key to a search engine compatible page. Yes, if you use bold/strong or italics to highlight text on your page, the search engines will assume you consider the content of that text to be important.

Same goes for the use of H1, H2 tags etc. If you consider certain keyword strings important enough to emphasize via headings, it is my understanding that the search engines will give the content between the tags slightly higher relevancy weight than content outside the tags. But don’t go overboard and emphasize too much content, or you will defeat the whole purpose of making certain keywords stand out. You’ll also annoy your readers – there’s nothing worse than trying to read a web page that has been over-formatted. Overuse of such tags might also trigger anti-sp@mdexing filters.



About the Author

Kalena Jordan was one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia and New Zealand and is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. Kalena was one of the founders of and is currently Director of Studies and SEO tutor for the online training institution. Kalena is a member of SEO Consultants and has spoken at the popular Search Engine Strategies Conferences. She is also a moderator at the Search Engine Watch Forums and author of the popular Search Light newsletter.