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I heard that Google "rewards" you for styling the links differenty from other text that are not ought to be clicked. It makes sense I guess.

But what if my links are black, like the rest of the page, but they go red or some other "flashy" color when hovered with mouse? I know this won't happen in mobile devices, but will it stil make Google understand that they are links?

And is it a good idea to place the links as h3 or h4 headings ? Since they are titles of articles, it makes sense to me. But I heard bad things about that, too.

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They'll know they're links because they'll be using <a> tags to create them. You're real question is will you be "rewarded" or with this otherwise impact your SEO. –  John Conde Sep 23 '13 at 20:01
    
@JohnConde Yes I'm asking this. I have the impression that the exact same source code, can be better in terms of SEO, with differently styled <a href=''>'s –  Cengiz Frostclaw Sep 23 '13 at 20:04
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1 Answer

Google won't penalize you, but people visiting your site may not find it that easy to navigate because of obvious usability reasons, as you're somehow disguising your links with your text appearance. You can find almost every SEO expert advising you the same.

I suggest to at least underline them and not underline them on hover:

a { text-decoration:underline; } /* browser default */

a:hover {
    text-decoration:none;
}

What Google actually does is to analyze the CSS and the HTML to find if, somehow, you're hiding text or links. That is a technique of the so-called Spamdexing and it's a violation of the Google Guidelines.

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