4 Ways to Hide Content From Google : And Google’s Reaction

Barry stumbled across a thread over at the Google Webmster Help Group and simplified all of the information from the thread in an easy to follow post at Search Engine Roundtable.

  • JavaScript-Only Navigation: This tactic does not fool or confuse search engines, so it likely won’t hurt you in your rankings but from an “accessibility perspective.”
  • CSS-Enhanced Navigation: As long as you do not have “intent to deceive search engines,” then you should be fine. On the accessibility front, it is a win-win, “since it degrades gracefully as JavaScript and CSS support are removed.”
  • Hidden Links via Positioning/Color, for Design/Accessibility: This method can bring you “dangerously close to a grey area.” Don’t use this method.
  • Hidden Links with No Mention of Accessibility or User Value: These links are only intended for bots to see as attempt to deceive search engines. [Meaning it’s going to get you banned or in big trouble with Google]

This is a basic take-away, Barry’s post goes more in-depth.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker

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3 thoughts on “4 Ways to Hide Content From Google : And Google’s Reaction

  1. Funny that a company which is developing a search for “accessible” sites (http://labs.google.com/accessible/) would penalize sites for using techniques specifically intended to make those sites accessible. I have to question whether (taking into account good web design and development practices) it is good advice to sacrifice accessibility for the mere possibility of search engine penalties.

  2. During this week I was wondering how to give links to my user but not for Google.
    Instead a javascript I was triying to use a flash menu (in order to control my linkjuice without using a rel=’nofollow’)… any idea will be welcome!