Hidden text, with the goal of manipulating Google’s algorithm, can get you penalized. But here are a few valid and Google-approved reasons to hide content.
What Is Hidden Text?
Hidden text is generally considered a spam technique from the earliest days of search engines.
Search engines back then relied on simple text matching algorithms.
Thus a site could publish content for a site visitor, and hidden text for search engines.
The hidden text meant for the search engines was designed for ranking purposes – it sometimes consisted of repeated keywords.
Outdated & Spammy Way Text Was Hidden
There were many ways to hide text.
A common way was to use a white font color on a white background and then put that font at the bottom end of a web page.
Some spammers also created web pages that positioned content to the far right, off-screen.
This made the content not visible to site visitors who would need to scroll to the right to see it.
Why Hidden Text Used to Be Spammy
The main reason some may still use hidden text is that it’s a way to improve the click-through rate from the spam page to another page where the consumer can make a purchase.
This is a variation of a bait and switch.
Instead of substituting one product for another product (like in the classic bait and switch), this technique offers a product for sale then sends the consumer somewhere else to buy it.
Hidden Text Penalties
Web pages employing hidden text tactics are still in danger of receiving a manual action from Google.
A manual action is when someone at Google reviews a site and judges it to be in violation of Google’s guidelines.
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