Thursday, December 18, 2008

<strong> and <b> / <em> and <i> - Which is for what?

A question that has been bugging me all day today when I was conducting some SEO work today was is the <strong> and <em> tag any different to the <b> and <i> tag. The conclusion I have come to after researching the topic is that you use the <strong> and <em> instead of <b> and <i> tag when you are trying to emphasize keywords on a page as readers treat the two tags differently. They achieve the same visual effect however the <strong> and <em> tags are "logical" tags. This means that they are for when the developer wants to add emphasis to particular words or phrases. A reader for a user with disabilities may say the word louder for example. The <b> and <i> tags are for visual layout effects on a page and do not have the same effect on a reader or add any weight to your keywords in the search engines. I suggest when crafting a page and that if you want to format something purely for visual effect then you use the <b> or <i> tag, as they will reduce you page size very slightly, hence increase load time. This post by Nikki Pilkington also states that there is no effect in the SEO world.