Avoid hidden text and links

/ / avoid hidden text and links

Updated: 2017-02-21

Deceptive ways to hide text/links

Hiding text or links in the content in order to manipulate search ranking can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Common methods to hide text and links include:

  • Using similar/identical background colors (e.g. white text on white background)
  • Using CSS to position text off-screen
  • Locating text behind an image
  • Setting font size to 0
  • Hiding a link by linking a small character

Doing this may lead to your site being removed from Google and their partner sites. A good way to figure out if you are doing something deceptive is to ask yourself if your text and/or links are there solely for search engines rather than the visitors.

Hidden text that is not considered deceptive

Not all hidden text is considered deceptive. If your website uses technologies that search engines have difficulties accessing, such as images, JavaScript or Flash files, then you can include descriptive text for these files to improve the accessibility of the website.

Legitimate methods of using “hidden” text to improve the site accessibility includes:

  • Using the alt attribute to describe images
  • Place JavaScript content inside a <noscript> tag - just make sure that the content is identical
  • Include descriptive text about the video in HTML