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So if I have a link that says click here for more info, the user clicks it, and I *unhide* a DIV with a bunch of information in it.
This is a totally legitimate and real-life situation it is currently being used in.
However, for this to work, you hide the DIV and its contents until someone clicks on it.
How does Google tell this apart from using hidden text?
Short answer, they can't. So is it not safe to use these style of "popups"?
A bit of trial and error will reveal many ways that Google can't catch with their algorithms.
There are many, many ways to evade Google's penalties for hidden text.. but this post wasn't about that.
I'm more concerned about becoming penalized on a purely whitehat site, because I decided to use "DHTML" for popups, menus, or otherwise.
Has anyone done any tests on this?
(b) Then make sure that the effect is clearly used to enhance the user experience and that your site can pass a manual review. If you're #3 in Google and you employ hidden text, then whoever ranks #4 is liable to report you for SE spam.
P.S. As daveVk alludes to, consider the consequences of having the text indexed. If someone comes to your page looking for a specific word or phrase and can't find it until they do a View Source, they're ALSO liable to be annoyed and report you for spamming.
I run an ecom site.
We have about 2500 different products, all different types of widgets.
The widgets are separated into about 15 categories.
There is no good way to put any information on these pages and have it displayed by default, but it'd be useful to have a link that says "How do I know which XYZ Widget is for me?"
The "problem" is that there would be a substantial amount of text in this floating div, probably 250-500 words, and it would probably be the strongest on-page SEO factors of that page.
For example check: us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780399244544,00.html
Should be one paragraph on the page right? Not so.