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

SMS Text

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
  • Rhyaniwyn

    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.

  • http://www.arielis.com Dave

    I would’nt be suprised it Google was able to crawl javascript links.

  • http://www.senormunoz.es Señor Muñoz

    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!