Michael Martinez: There is no need or justification for sarcasm in the comments. It`s a legitimate question and one I believe with full confidence that has been explored by many people over the years.
Husain Tezabwala: Just joined the group and this is the very first post I`m reading.
Some comments made me think the use of sarcasm is unwarranted when group`s name clearly reflects it is meant for dummies.
I feel sceptical in asking any question right now.
Zubair Ahmed: It doesn`t effect rankings. Remember that your styling tags like bold and italics are for users, Google & other bots read your text, not their styling.
The bots may use these tags to identify context as part of a Google algorithm, for example heading tags can help in identifying relevant keywords with respect to the article etc.
Richard Hearne: Google has been using rendering for years (eons on SEO terms), so I don`t think your comment here is entirely accurate.
Travis Bailey: I`ve worked with people that swore by bolding keywords. I knew it wasn`t a ranking factor, and a waste of time if that was the only intent. I managed to compromise with them.
List items, my dude! That tag can also aid natural, but keyword targeted internal linking. So they were pleased with a moment`s busy work, and I got my internal linking.
Stockbridge Truslow: Actually, I haven`t run tests, but I suspect it depends how you do it. If it`s just an anchor that you style with CSS to be bolder, then no. But, if you were to encapsulate a link inside a <strong> tag (or <em> for that matter) then I would expect it would get the same sort of benefit you get from emphasizing normal text this way. I might extend that educated guess to include the fact that it would probably be better if you did it in a limited, but carefully planned way rather than just trying to do it to every link. (The benefits of using <strong> and <em> tags in SEO come from a signal that you`re saying that what`s between them is important in some way. If every link has the tags, then no links are more important than any other links and it`s self defeating just like putting entire paragraphs inside these tags rather than just a few important words).
Michael Martinez: You make an interesting point. I bolded internal text via a WordPress theme on a number of sites. The theme was probably using CSS to do that. I never thought to check.