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Google's guidelines state: "Avoid hidden text or hidden links."
This is from the webmaster guidelines [google.co.uk] which, "outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index."
If you do it, you run the risk.
I still see sites that do hidden text though. - professionally executed sites that you would think know better. If I can stumble onto the hidden text surfing, surely google will notice eventually?
This is a bad idea even if it's "nearly hidden" text instead of hidden text. I bet the first live googlite that sees it will hand penalize your site...
[edited by: roodle at 6:57 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2006]