|Hidden text - what's the big deal|
am I missing something?
One of the more common complaints I see here at WebmasterWorld is about the use of hidden or nearly hidden text (white on white, slightly off white on white).
Maybe I just don't really get it, so help me to understand how this "technique" can really help someone to gain an edge.
Does using hidden text actually provide any advantage?
It would seem that using hidden text to stuff keywords would raise the density above a certain level and I'd like to think that the algorithm would weight this accordingly and automatically. I can't see how a kw density of say 40% would be of any benefit. Wouldn't this be detrimental instead?
If the use of hidden text does not raise the density above what is perceived as natural or acceptable (let's just say between 5-20%), why are you not able to overcome this in the same manner as if the text was visible? Isn't text just that, text?
Usually, hidden text is keyword-stuffed and would be unattractive if visible to surfers. Could too many repetitions of the same keyword hurt? Sure. It's hardly a secret technique to rocket to the top of the results, but a few people still do it because it's an easy way to get additional keywords on the page without actually writing good copy.
I usually don't do this, and I'll promise the mods it'll be a one time deal, but let me cite a real world example, and a whopper at that (I cut it to under ~3.5K).
This snippit is from a PR0'ed site. This was text that was near-white on white (#eeeeee). This text, about 12-13K on the site was part of a page that was 16K total. It used to have a PR of ~5.
Now, when you searched for a keyword (and about 40 variations not listed here) and included a city and or state with it these pages (usually about 10-15 across about 10 domains) would pop up top.
Most people wouldn't have even scrolled down as the entire viewable page, with 'footer' are visible at 800x600 above the scroll.
This kind of hidden text is simply there to boot SERP position for searches involving a city/state + keyword combination.
These sites also cross-link with hidden links as well, and that can be used to artificially inflate the PR of the pages.
There are a lot of things a webmaster can do to try to trick the SERPs. This one just happens to be a combination of pet-peeves. (Hidden text + keyword spamming)
I challenge someone to defend this.
|In the USA the states covered are AL - ALABAMA, AK - ALASKA, AZ - ARIZONA, AR - ARKANSAS, CA-CALIFORNIA, CO - COLORADO , CT - CONNECTICUTT , DE - DELEWARE, FL - FLORIDA , GA - GEORGE |
(Snip - More states here)
|TX - TEXAS, UT - UTAH, VT - VERMONT , VA - VIRGINIA, WA - WASHINGTON, DC - WASHINGTON, D.C. WV - WEST VIRGINIA, WI - WISCONSIN and WY - WYOMING. |
Cities in the USA covered are AKRON, OH; ALBANY, NY; ALBUQUERQUE, NM; ALEXANDRIA, VA; ALLENTOWN, PA; ALTOONA, PA; AMARILLO, TX; ANCHORAGE, AK; ANDERSON, IN; ANNAPOLIS, MD; ANN ARBOR, MI; APPLETON, WI; ARLINGTON, VA; ASHEVILLE, NC; ASHLAND, KY; ATLANTA, GA;
(Snip - insert about 3K more worth of cities here)
|WICHITA, KS; WICHITA FALLS, TX; WILKES-BARRE, PA; WILMINGTON, DE; WINSTON-SALEM, NC; WINTER-HAVEN, FL; WORCESTER, MA; YAKIMA, WA; YORK, PA; YOUNGSTOWN, OH; YUMA, AZ;New York, New York; Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; San Jose, California; Indianapolis, Indiana, San Francisco, California, Baltimore, Maryland, Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; |
(Snip - Yep, more cut out here)
|Chesapeake, Virginia; Newport News, Virginia, Dayton, Ohio. |
Cities covered in Canada are Conception Bay, Gander, Grand Falls, Mount Pearl, St. Johnís, Charlottetown, Summerside, Amherst, Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax, New Glasgow, Truro, Yarmouth, Bathurst, Dieppe, Edmunston, Fredericton, Miramichi,
(more more more)
|Penticton, Port Alberni, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Richmond, Sidney, Surrey, Terrace, Vernon, Victoria, White Rock and Williams Lake. |
Hidden text also makes it easy to add off-context keywords to serve up irrelevant serps without presenting the irrelevant keyword stuffing.
So someone building a religous site could stuff it with invisible adult keywords. Then the person searching for adult sites will get served a sermon. The person searching for sermon will not be offended with being presented adult content because that content will not be rendered.
I would also hope that too-high keyword density would not be helpful. Surely there is a density sweet spot, and surely Google knows what it is. Let's say it's 5-10%... anything much below or much above that density for a given keyword should be ranked lower.