David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Hidden Text Trick

Every wonder how that image-only home page can outrank you for some pretty important search terms.  The typical advice you will get on forums and in articles is that it is all in the links – that the high-ranking page has more, better and more relevant links pointing from other web pages. 

But there might be something more sneaky and nefarious going on.  Check the source code.  Are there hundreds of words of text that do not appear on the page?  If so, go back to the page.  Where can they be, you can’t see them and there is no scrollbar to scroll any farther.  You highlight the page to see if any hidden text shows up and all of a sudden the page starts scrolling.  You see plenty of text.  And technically it’s not hidden, but it is tucked away where nobody would think to view, because the webmaster has deactivated the scrollbar.  Pretty sneaky.  But is this hidden text?

Technically, the text is very clearly visible, so it is not technically hidden.  On the other hand, a manual review of this site would reveal that there is spiderable text placed where most visitors would not know how to find.  I am willing to bet that a hidden text penalty would be issued to such a page.   

My advice is to report your competitor to Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask right away.  And don’t even think about doing the same thing…because someone else might report you both! 

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4 Responses to “Hidden Text Trick”

  1. Duracell akkus (3 comments) Says:

    We all know that hidden text in SEO comes under the black hat SEO technique, which is not valued by the search engines. The SE can ban your website if it is full of spam. So this is the excellent information sharing among the people. Your blog is so nice and all its post having information, knowledge.

  2. Iain (1 comments) Says:

    What if the text is hidden because it is the "description" of that image, or alternate text? Would that too be considered Hidden Text?

  3. David Leonhardt (136 comments) Says:

    That's not hidden text. That's proper code, which also shows up when scrolling over the image.

  4. samarah (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to share some of this very useful information.. Hiding text in your content can cause your site to be perceived as untrustworthy because it presents information to search engines differently than to visitors and this could lead to your site banned in Google

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