Why Hidden Text Is Ineffective In Your SEO Efforts
Gone are the days when you could hide text on certain web pages and then rank for keywords that were not visible on your page. Search engines have gotten smarter and smarter over the years. Today, hidden text doesn’t add much value to your SEO efforts. Content cloaking, which is what the strategy is referred to, was effective back in the day because search engines would still index the hidden page and crawl it. Today, search engine algorithms are designed to detect spammy links and content from a mile away. Not only will your hidden text never be crawled or indexed but you may also risk a poor ranking due to low quality content on invisible pages.
Invalid Reasons For Using Hidden Text
With the rise of negative SEO, many people adopted poor tactics in an attempt to trick search engines to rank their web pages highly. Among those negative tactics using hidden text include:
– Adding keywords on a hidden page which you don’t want to show to the public. For instance, you can attempt to rank for your competitor brand terms and you don’t want to include their keywords on your visible content due to legal compliance. This is a poor SEO practice that will never work.
– Spamming the page with numerous keywords. Some people believed that creating hidden text that included numerous keywords which they wanted to rank for would increase their ranking but this doesn’t work today.
– Some SEOs would use hidden text to hide links from other sites. Most of the times the links had content that was not related to what’s on their website. Other times the links are obtained after hacking other sites. This not only risks your website being penalized by Google but is also considered illegal.
In an attempt to give users the best and most relevant content, Google has made significant changes to its algorithm over the years. Today, Google is much better at spam detection and any of the tactics mentioned above would have no significant impact on ranking. In fact, sites that are found to practice negative SEO are often banned or penalized by Google when they get caught up.
When Is It Right To Use Hidden Text?
There are certain valid reasons to hide content on your website. For instance, you can put dropdown menus or multiple hierarchy menus among other navigational elements to avoid cluttering the page with too many links or text. Hiding content from the user in this way is considered a valid technique accepted by search engines.
Secondly, if you have certain sections of your content that should only be visible to paid subscribers, Google allows you to hide this content until you pay to view it. Other than that, there are some sections of a website content that may not appear on the mobile website but will be there on a desktop screen. This is often done to enhance the web pages’ usability. If you notice that a competitor has used hidden text to outrank your website, report the page to Google immediately so that it is reviewed and penalized accordingly.