The Truth About Google Rankings

upward graphHave you seen websites or blogs with seemingly random words in bold type, such as, “Do you love polar bear keychains? I do.  Here’s where you can buy polar bear keychains.” The words in bold seem to have no particular purpose.  There’s no reason to emphasize them. Is there? Well, there is a purpose, and that’s to try to rank higher in Google.

Rank higher in Google

What they’re doing is trying to catch Google’s attention.  Google’s algorithm “likes” text in larger sizes (such as headlines and subheadings), text in italics, and text in bold.  It uses those signals to tell what’s important about the page and to get a better idea of the subject matter.  People who randomly bold or italicize text are trying to appeal to Google and other search engines so that their pages will rank higher. The repetitive keywords are added in the hope that the post will get a small boost in Google rankings.

Get more attention

Sure, use bold when it makes sense, such as, “There were 500 candidates for the job, and I made the top 5 finalists!”  When  you look at sites with random bolded words, it’s distracting and looks odd. It slows you down (at least it slows me down).  You want them to read, not wonder whether you went nuts with your bold tags.

Robots don’t buy anything

As Sonia Simone put it, “SEO is people.”  I’m all in favor of ranking higher on Google, but not at the expense of human beings. Humans are the ones who will actually read your site (and make a decision about whether to hire you or buy something).  Jonathan Fields ran a test with an article marketing whiz.  She got him on the front page of Google for the keywords she was using.  Great stuff! Except his clicks didn’t change.

What do you think?

Is the bolding OK?  Will we all get used to it? Or is it annoying?  Share your thoughts.

Image by Christian Ferrari

4 thoughts on “The Truth About Google Rankings

  1. Like anything else the bolding needs to be used in moderation, in balance with SEO purposes.

    Nice, yet simplistic design you got here plus i really like your tag phrase 😉

    • Thanks for the compliments!

      What’s even worse than the bolding is when people rearrange words to fit keyword searches, writing something like “daffodils bulbs plant.”

  2. Oh wow! I didn’t know this. And, I use bolding in my blog. I’ve probably been bolding the wrong words. I do like using larger fonts but not because of SEO. I just think looks better on a screen.

    • Bold text and tags (h1, h2, h3, etc), are signals to Google telling it that particular text is more important.

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