To make it short (I haven't read the article, sorry), strong and
em elements should be used to give semantic meaning to your text.
This is fundamentally different than making text bold or italic, as
these are only two visual ways of showing emphasis. Bold or italic
text does not necessarily mean that the author wants to put emphasis
on that piece of text (he may simply want to have his entire text bold
because it looks better that way), while the strong and em
Naturally, if you do not style the two elements, they appear the same
visually as the old i and b tags. People tent to associate
strong and em tags with that styling, but there are countless
other ways of displaying emphasis (by making the text bigger, or
changing the color for example).
Hope that answers your question,
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