Have you ever wondered how web developers change how Google ranks websites? How do ranking indexes that you can look up on Google quickly or other search engines help SEO?
Hidden text techniques would be one of the first “black hat” SEO tricks in a book about SEO. When Google first launched in the early 2000s, it was already the top search engine, but its ranking algorithm was not as good. This has caused more people to cheat the system and find sneaky ways to move up the ranks. That’s how SEO for hidden text started.
One way to improve the usability of a website is to hide text. This is also a way to improve SEO and site promotion in search systems. This can significantly help web pages if you follow the quality guidelines for hiding text.
You could use the hidden text to manipulate search rankings and make you appear higher on the results page than you are. With the help of SEO specialists, it can feel like your entire site has climbed the mountains.
Don’t be fooled, though. The search engines know about this, and if you use hidden text incorrectly, you could get in trouble as Google has penalties for using hidden text SEO for the Google index and search engine results rank.
This article will tell you how to use hidden text for SEO in the best way. We talk about how this optimisation is different, how hidden content works, how Google handles it, and how to hide text so that you can get the benefits without getting into trouble with search engines.
What is Hidden Text?
Google says “hidden text” is “text or links in your content that are used to manipulate Google’s search rankings and can be flagged as a violation and are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” It’s a spam technique that makes keyword stuffing more common and harder to spot on search results pages.
Indeed, one of the best ways people tried to change the results was to hide a list of keywords or image content on the page. Occasionally they used a script to hide the tabbed content, but most of the time, website owners just used black text on a black background or white text on a white background. A few even set the font size to the smallest possible size to conceal the text even more.
The means and goals pursued to include it are, nonetheless, of the utmost significance.
When used effectively, hidden text can instantly improve the user experience and your search engine optimisation.
At its worst, hidden text can be used to manipulate search engine algorithms and cause your website to rank better than it deserves. For instance, you can utilise hidden text to repeat the primary keyword multiple times, and readers won’t even realise it’s happening.
Google sees the following as hidden text as well:
Putting text behind an image;
Putting text off-screen with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets);
Reducing the font size to zero;
Hide links by only linking a minor character, like a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph.
It turned out that hidden or invisible text never aligned with Google’s goals of providing relevant and helpful material and that the primary purpose of using it was to impact SERPs artificially. This was something that became clear after some investigation. So Google stopped it right away.
Also, search engines know that there are times when it might be a good idea to hide text for multiple reasons.
Direct and indirect methods can help your SEO.
Why use Hidden Text?
There are some appropriate and even highly recommended ways to use hidden text SEO to make your website easier to use, more informative, and friendlier to search engines.
Webmasters use this strategy for a variety of reasons, including stuffing as many keywords and phrases into the blank spaces in the hidden text as possible. The more frequently they appear on the website, the more likely the hidden keywords are helping to advertise the site.
Below are some reasons why hiding text is used when you publish content or create long essays in your content.
It is increasing site usability.
In web design and development, it is occasionally essential to obscure some content from view. The suppressed text will improve the user experience for content viewing.
This method is sometimes used to track data and user interaction. For example, an article with the link or buttons “Show” or “Read more” is published.
Hidden text can increase a site’s usability as part of its user interfaces, such as hidden blocks on drop-down menus, pop-ups, or news bulletins. These techniques are meant to improve usability, not manipulate search engine results. Various pre-made scripts, including jQuery, can be used to create multi-level menus and other forms of hidden text.
Google webmasters have declared that hidden text pieces visible after clicking a button are permissible and do not contradict the Google recommendations, as long as they are not used to influence the site rating.
To control the page relevance.
To limit screen space on mobile devices.
Hidden content is essential for SEO because more and more people search the web and read web pages on their mobile devices these days. Due to its small screen, you’ll need to find ways to include all the information a site visitor needs and make it easy for them to find.
Because of this, you may need to use hidden text techniques when making your mobile website.
Use menu tabs and drop-down text, for example, to make navigation easier without making the screen too crowded.
If you know how and where to put the text that users can easily find, it will be easier to use, better for visitors, and more accessible for search engines.
Regarding search engines, Google now uses “mobile-first indexing.” This means that it uses new ways to rank results based on how people use their mobile devices.
With this, they agree that some ways of hiding text are acceptable and recommended.
Search engine algorithms pay attention to how well your site works for users, so focusing on how to improve the positive user experience for both desktop and mobile viewers will boost your SEO.
What does Google say about this?
Google’s webmaster’s manual says that if your site has black hat hidden text SEO, it can be removed from the Google index and won’t appear on the search results pages.
It sounds like Google hit hard with a harsh penalty, and it seems to have significantly cut down the use of bad hidden text SEO tactics.
But not all hidden text is meant to trick you. Keep in mind that the content needs to help people.
Will this result in a penalty?
Today, it’s easy to find hidden text, and because search engine ranking algorithms have improved, this could lead to harsh penalties. For instance, Google may launch manual reviews if they detect something fishy.
An expert staff member checks your site for keyword stuffing and hidden text that is against the rules.
If you get caught, Google can de-index your site, which means all your SEO efforts went for nothing.
Your website’s potential visibility in search engine results has significantly decreased as a result of this change.
To add to that, if you try to influence search results by dishonest means, you risk having your website taken down permanently.
How to make the best use of Hidden Text?
You can use hidden text to your advantage in non-deceptive ways, even though such use is generally frowned upon and even penalised.
The following methods fall into this category, which is sometimes referred to as “white hat” strategies:
Make use of No-script tagging
Make use of Alt-text for images
Web page search results often include images, and if you don’t use image alt-text, you’re missing out on an excellent way to get organic traffic.
An alt-text for an image is a hidden text that describes the image and how it fits in with the rest of the web page’s content.
In other words, search engines can index more text. Also, even though the text is hidden, it will show up if the image doesn’t load correctly on the web page.
Many site visitors enjoy reading through a site’s Frequently Asked Questions section, so using this hidden content is a good idea.
Compile a list of FAQs and provide in-text links to their respective answers. In addition, you can use visual indicators like accordions to let the reader know that more information is accessible.
If appropriately used, pop-ups can improve your site’s SEO strategies.
Ensure that the information you hide in your website’s code relates to the items or services you offer, your brand as a whole, or enhances the user’s experience.
Having what Google calls “intrusive interstitials” can result in a penalty.
Your hidden text should have the same amount of value as any information displayed to the public, be optimised for search engines, and be free of keyword stuffing. Additionally, hidden content must always have a function and contribute to the adaptation of your website for mobile-first indexing.
The user experience is improved, and accessibility is increased when hidden text SEO is applied strategically. But don’t pull a fast one on Google; they know when you’re trying to manipulate rankings, and they won’t hesitate to de-index your site if they think you’re trying to cheat the system. Then you’ll be able to declare that your whole website is just hidden text.