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Is it a good idea always bold or italic keywords in the page contents for SEO (Google)?

(not programmatically, but in the most of cases, near the totality)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If it is semantically justified to use bold/italic (that means, if the visitor will benefit from it), go ahead. But search engines today are smart. The ranking of the page in search hits mostly corresponds to the quality of the content (and how well it fits the title/description of the page) rather than counting words that are <strong>or <em>.

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Slight tangent/addition... from an SEO/Google perspective, <strong> and <b> are treated the same, as are <em> and <i>, according to a video by Matt Cutts. –  w3d Jan 4 '12 at 16:35
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I would say not to bold the keywords but the important points and terms you are mentioning in your content. Highlighting the keywords directly even can lead to some SEO penalty. So be careful. :)

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