What Attribute Ranks Better Bold or H1 On A Page ?

Mar 29, 2005 • 4:13 pm | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Found an interesting and very active thread today on HighRankings detailing some tests by several members about the importance placed on bold and H1 attributes in the code. I haven't seen these certain SEO tests discussed in a while so its been interesting following the discussion that is taking place. There are invariably some disagreements about the importance of these attributes and the While many of the tests conducted are not conclusive in any way, some members raise some good points about how search engines programming algorithms assign relevance to rankings of a website. One of the members who started the thread conducted a simple test under the phrase "kkhiazna" using "h1, b, big + b, big, h2, font size +1, and font size 2 + b.

Another member paisley, posts some interesting comments about how these attributes get scored:

"it's based on content relevance. Does the h1 describe the text that follows after the . Italics is a 2 score and bold is a 3 score.. fyi. H1s should be a 5 score unless the words used in the H1 are not repeated in the following text, then it is a 3 score (same as bold)."

Then as I was reading the post some disputes started to erupt, Jill did not agree with the assessment placed by the member paisley. He did not like her response. Posts got deleted by members and admin. She then responds about b and h1 tags.

And I'm not saying that H tags do or do not help. I've just not seen any recent evidence to conclude anything either way. Therefore, I would suggest that you use those tags where they make sense to do so, as per WC3 specifications, and not really worry about it as far as SEO is concerned.

As to the weight any given tag is given, one cannot place a number on it, because each tag doesn't work in isolation, but in a synergistic way with the other tags, copy, links, etc. on any given page.

Other members have some opinions and conclusions about the importance of these attributes. Murugan says that "Both are important and should be applied whenever necessary. I have seen some sites without H1 are ranking well. Most of the times we test only 1 r 2 factors, but SE's rank the sites with 100+ factors.". Good point.

From my own experience I use h1, h2, and h3 in my seo as more of a way to hierarchal arrangement of a page, the rule is that whatís in the headers must also be in the content, as keywords are of prime importance for the benefit of the h1, h2, and h3 tags. Bolds and Italics are just as important but to be used sparingly as needed for the benefit of the user and the search engine. Tie that in with other work being done on the page, and it works well for ranking.

Read the heated discussion at Highrankings

Previous story: Yahoo! 360° Invites


Jason Golod

03/29/2005 10:20 pm

I have found the same to be true. I setup all of my pages using Heading tags as the foundation and framework for the content on the page. I throw in a few italics and bolds when I feel it is necessary and to emphasize a certain term that I feel the user may be looking for if they were searching for the subject matter covered on the page.


03/29/2005 10:59 pm

W3C has deprecated long ago the bold tag (which is a presentation tag) in favor of the strong tag which is both a structural and presentation tag. Structural tags (as strong and h1-h6 tags) scores with rankings, not presentation tags. Orion

Ben Pfeiffer

03/29/2005 11:31 pm

Good point Orion about the structural tags, makes sense. :-)

Tim Dineen

03/30/2005 01:45 am

Does anyone have a method for removing the full-paragraph break from the H tags? I've convinced my crew of the value of H1, etc. but sometimes they won't do it because of the excessive spacing it creates.

Ben Pfeiffer

03/30/2005 04:20 am

Hi Tim, try the following in your CSS. This will break the space after the h1 tag. There are additionally a few other trick you can do in CSS to prevent this, but this is the easiest. h1 { display: inline; }


03/30/2005 08:18 am

Using display:inline will probably end up with you using a <br> afterwards though, which isn't too good. h1{margin:0;} Should get rid of the extra space, while preserving the "block" and keeping the effective line break already associated with it. And I really don't think I've explained that very well!

Tim Dineen

03/31/2005 01:11 am

thanks so much!

Charles Benninghoff

09/15/2007 12:05 am

In the final analysis it seems to me that consistency in style and relevance are all that matters. Using H tags in that sense clearly does benefit rankings. I built a page to show how to use H tags for several clients who asked about the subject, it being easier to show how it is done rather than explain how it is done. It is located at www.crownseo.com/headings/index.htm and it is completely in HTML - thus anyone interested can get to the source code. Think of H tags as merely building an outline as we first learned in high school using H1 through H3 and then use smaller H tags as exclamation points. Doing it this way is simple and has earned some good rankings for some of my clients. However, as noted above, DO NOT repeat verbatim in the text what you wrote in the H tag. Cheers!

blog comments powered by Disqus