I’ve just come away from a day long seminar on SEO where hiding text was described as a bad practice – regardless of the purpose or CSS method used. This seems to be a bit of a sweeping statement. Many of the sites I have built use hidden content in some form (either a form of image replacement or structural labels). From what I have seen, none of these sites have been penalised by Google.
However, it is better to experiment rather than hypothesise. The four pages below have unique keywords, the same link value (there is currently only one link to these pages anywhere on the web), the same page title value, the same number of keywords mentioned on each page and the same character count on each page. Each of them uses a different method to display or hide content.
Will Google treat these pages differently (refusing to index them?) or is this just a crude and badly executed test?
- zzaaddaallaaddaa – Raw content only
- zzaaddaallaaddxx – Content replaced with images and hidden using off-left method
- zzaaddaallaaddzz – Content replaced with images and hidden using “display: none” method
- zzaaddaallaadd00 – Content hidden for evil reasons using “display: none” method
Let’s sit back for a while and wait to see the results…