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I know that Google used to do things like look at font-size and font-weight (or the equivalents from when Google first started) from their initial paper. But that was in the 90's.

Does anybody know which styles are important to search engines now?


(Explanation: I know that technically we should serve up the same page to everyone—however, for many websites this simply isn't possible. A website I'm currently working on has a "content-only" version for search engines and users without JavaScript—they cannot integrate this version with the "main" JavaScript-friendly version of their site—and I'm not sure which styles I should carry over from the main site's content.)

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  • To which Stack Exchange site should this question go if it's off topic?
    – luxun
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 16:55
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    does css matter at all?
    – yi_H
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 16:56
  • 1
    As I said, Google (at least when it started) judged text importance by taking into account relative sizes and bolding of text.
    – luxun
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:02
  • That was 10(?) years ago.. use <h1> <h2> etc..
    – yi_H
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:05
  • @luxun: I think it would be suitable for webmasters.SE, as it's a broad issue.
    – Chris Morgan
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:14

2 Answers 2

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None. AFAIK CSS doesn't factor into it at all.

Update: I've asked Gary Illyes, who works for Google and he says:

CSS files aren't indexed and as far as I know they're only fetched and used in very limited case

https://plus.google.com/109139237014771009015/posts/R5TCdFR19M8

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  • As I said, Google (at least when it started) judged text importance by taking into account relative sizes and bolding of text.
    – luxun
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:03
  • That's right. Not any more. It's all about h1, h2, h3 tags for importance now. Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:04
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    Do you have a source for that?
    – luxun
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:05
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    No, but CSS is notable by its absence in google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769 and google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291 . External CSS is downloaded, as Matt Cutts mentions that hiding text via CSS is detected, but I am pretty sure it doesn't affect ranking in any other way. (So, unsourced, but I've seen no evidence to suggest otherwise) Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 17:14
  • So do you think I should just eliminate all CSS entirely? Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 19:12
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As far i know, googles crawler doesn't like hidden text. E.g. when the background match text color.

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  • does this mean that google will analyse css?
    – Sam
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 4:34

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