This is an experiment to see what emphasis the search engines place on various tags. Specifically tested are:

  • h1
  • h2
  • b
  • strong
  • em

I have created 4 pages using a particular phrase for each of these tags. The tags that the search engines actually use to weight words should appear in the top results. If there is no preference then the distribution should be random.

The pages are:

View results at:

Conclusions

Google

Google has crawled and indexed all 20 pages. From here, I see the following order in the SERP:

  1. H1 (A)
  2. H1 (D)
  3. H1 (B)
  4. H1 (C)
  5. Em (C)
  6. H2 (B)
  7. Strong (A)
  8. Em (D)
  9. Bold (B)
  10. Bold (C)
  11. Bold (A)
  12. Bold (D)
  13. H2 (D)
  14. H2 (A)
  15. Strong (B)
  16. Strong (C)
  17. Strong (D)
  18. H2 (C)
  19. Em (A)
  20. Em (B )

This gives somewhat mixed results – clearly H1 is given preference over the other options, so that is reassuring for those of us interested in the semantic web. (But note how this contrasts with my previous tests!) Bold is clearly preferred over strong, which is disappointing. Beyond that, the results seem very mixed.

Yahoo

Slurp has spidered the pages but Yahoo has not yet indexed the pages

MSN

Interestingly, MSN has not spidered the pages with its known Bot, but some of the pages are in its index.

ASK

Ask is yet to touch the pages.

Colophon

Text on these pages was created in the Lorem Ipsum Generator

Page names were taken from the hebrew alphabet, listed at Judaism 101 just for something to name the pages that had no real meaning