Any thoughts as to whether google can properly index content that is inside an HTML Textarea box. Is it best to have the text directly on the page? I have some text inside a scrolling html textarea box.
Of course I can't say for certain how Google does it, but most crawlers strip the HTML tags from a page to get the text, so anything betweem '<' and '>' is ignored, and anything between '>' and '<' is considered content. The obvious exceptions with Google are title and meta tags, image alt text, and possibly anchor titles.
Because of this and the fact that text area fields have the text between tags (as opposed to text input fields which contact the text within the tag itself) it would be a good guess that text in a text area field is properly indexed by Google and other crawlers as well.
Just make sure you dont have so much text where one would have to scroll a lot. If you are scrolling a couple of lines past what is visible to get to the end of the text then you should be ok; but if you have a lot of text that is only visible by extensive scrolling then Google could consider that spamming.