Google’s John Mueller confirmed again that bolding words and “important points on a paragraph” does help with SEO and rankings. But it is all relative, if you bold everything on the page, then it doesn’t help, John explained.
This came up at the 40:23 mark into the video where at the end, John said “So if you want to kind of like simplify it to to one word answer. Does bolding important points on a paragraph help the SEO? Yes it does.”
I like how John summed up his answer at the end, kinda like an audio based bold tag where he said bolding words or paragraphs does help with SEO in short.
Here is the video embed:
John also mentioned this Matt Cutts video from 2013 on bold and strong tag:
Here is the transcript from John’s answer in the new video above:
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 the session actually and Matt Cutts did a video I think in like 2012 or something around that. About bolding and strong in on pages. So usually we do try to understand what the content is about on a web page 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 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 in 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’s it doesn’t change that much.
The other thing is that this is to a large extent relative within the web page. A if you go off and say well I will just make my whole page bold and then Google think we’ll 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 text and this is potentially one of the most important points of this page. And we can give that a little bit more value. And essentially what 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 like simplify it to one word answer. Does bolding important points on a paragraph help the SEO? Yes it does. It does help us to better understand that paragraph or that page.
Here are some tweets John posted after this:
These things don’t make your site rocket up in rankings, but especially with regards to understanding pages better, small things can help. Think of it more as giving relative guidance within the page; if you have 5 “SEO-points”, what should they be used for on this page?
— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) November 12, 2021
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Here is a funny one to add to this story:
Random sentence bolding is not quite a replacement for high-quality, useful, unique, and compelling content.
— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) November 22, 2021