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Can text match background?

Can SE's see text if the color blends into background?



7:07 am on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

I have a dark blue home page with more graphic than text, but I need to add text for the search engines. If I removed the dark background color and replaced it with a dark blue graphic tiled to cover the background, could I type the text in the same color to compensate for the company name being a graphic instead of text? Then could I add some other descriptive text to repeat the keywords in the meta tags but have it disappear when the background graphic loads? I don't want it to be visible on the page once it is loaded.

Thank you.



11:35 am on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

Hi Judi,

You might want to hear from the others here but I always was taught that this is a no no. SEs, I believe, pick up on this and consider it spam.



12:46 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

Hi Judi

I have seen this being done on sites that have the same problem as you have now and it does make sens that if the Company logo is a graphic and you need Text info that won't spoil the look of your page then blend it, but beware of too much text content in the hidden area as this might constitute spam.


2:37 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

hidden text = bad mojo

IMHO hidden text of any sort is one of the highest risks you can take because it is so easily detected. True, you still see many pages out there that haven't been caught yet but it's a risk you need to weigh.

The safest route is no hidden text.


4:50 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

Thank you so much. Your advice is well received. As I have never submitted before and have not had this problem, either, I did not know that it would be a bad thing to do and thought that "spam" was only a term retated to e-mail.

I'm glad I asked this question, and you were kind enough to answer me, before I accidentally got myself into trouble.

I shudder to think!! I will put the text on the page in a pale gray so it is not hidden and won't compete with the graphics.

Again, thank you. I am greatly indebted to you all.

Judi : )


5:12 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Isn't it terrible the way 'spam' has been applied to seo? Thank you search engines.

Like littleman said, it is bad mojo and the safest route is not to use hidden text. You never know when an se is going to surf your site by hand. They don't do that as much as they used too, but it still does occur.


5:40 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

Thank you for your comments, Brett. I am one of these people who does everything by the rules, but I have to say that all aspects of our professions in the fields of computers are changing so radically and constantly that it is really hard to keep up with the rules.

I don't want to be accidentally guilty of anything that could cost a client.

Again thank you for this wonderful forum and the huge compilation of valuable materials here.

Judi : )


12:18 am on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member littleman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Brett - good quote but it was the other moderator with 'man' in his nick.

Hiding text is not a very good thing to do if you are in for the 'long hall' with this domain. It is an old fashion spamming technique that some are still using and getting away with. But this should only be done if you have short time horizons
and are willing to sacrifice your listings eventually.


1:53 am on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

Can anyone give me some idea of what constitutes spamming or where I can go to find such a list or description? Had I made my text non-viewable to compensate for the company name being a graphic, I would have had no idea at all that I was creating "hidden text" in any negative sense or that I was doing anything wrong, especially from the standpoint of the search engines. I sure am glad I asked...

I'm still surprised that spamming is not only confined to e-mail. It was never my intention to find a way to get my client to the top of a list. I just wanted to know how to do a correct submission. Now I'm afraid to step on a land mine. Whatever spamming is, I certainly don't want to come even close to doing it.

If anyone can point out a set of things not to do, I would be grateful.

Thanks for all the support. I'm still on the operating table, so docs please don't leave, yet. <g>

Judi : )


2:02 am on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you like some of us would be glad to have a look at the site and let you know if there are any potential landmines ;)

If you don't want to post it you can email it the address in my profile.


2:30 am on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)


You just turned into knights in shining armor! I would be able to breathe again if I had that kind of expert assessment. Back in '97, the last time I knew anything about submissions, I had to search the Net to even find anything at all about meta tags when I knew about them and wanted to use them correctly. No one knew what they were.

I thought I was not allowed to post any URL's on this forum, but I would be thrilled to have some expert eyeballs checking it out for land mines. I have not added any meta tags or keywords, yet, as I have gotten far too confused and am trying to gather up the education so I know what I can and cannot do.

The site is at [lloydslimited.com...]

I was planning on finishing the site before even thinking about getting it ready for submission, but my client wants it published now.

Only the largest images in the Other Sealife and Turtles categories are hooked up to the shopping cart now because I didn't want the public trying to use the "Buy Now" buttons while I am still putting the shopping cart together and adding products. The graphics are talking a long time to do as the photos are poor. The site is definitely not finished.

There are no words sufficient to thank you for your support. It brings a tear to the eye. I just hope I can pull my weight when someone needs something I can do for them in this wonderful forum. Please, if I can do anything to help anyone, I would love to have the opportunity.


Judi : )


3:19 pm on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Posting urls is governed by this simple rule: Please, no dropping promotional urls (no sig file urls). Which is not the case for your post so there is nothing to worry about.

I have two things I can say right off the bat for you:
1)Do not submit until the site is fully complete. It's hard enough to get listed, let alone, try and update those listings after the fact.

2)Since you are using a frameset you need to optimize the <noframes> section of the frame. It's nice to have all the individual pages optimized but if you then put them in framesets you are effectively hiding them from most spiders because spiders are dumb and can't decipher frames properly. Essentially what you need to do put the content from the main page of each frameset into the <noframes> section of the frames page. You can think of the <noframes> section being equivalent to the <body> section of a regular page.

I will be able give the site a little more attention this weekend.


8:31 pm on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)


I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for your time and trouble and your excellent advice.

Having to submit before the site is complete I know is problematic but my client is in a panic. He really does have good reason to need this site up more quickly than I would prefer, so I am trying my best to accommodate him despite the fact that it is still evolving. For this reason, I plan to only put him in some of the most popular search engines. Of course, since Yahoo became so hard to use, I'm not sure which ones those would be, but I need to get him some visibility very soon. He suffered two major robberies and he is quite desperate to get the store on the Internet and get back down to doing business. It's not a matter of an unreasonable client, but of a desperate client. I am sympathetic.

If I submit him at a point where I am going to stop momentarily, and then resubmit later, would I have a hard time getting the site updated? I urgently need to get him some visibility soon.

The relationship you drew between the keywords and text on that specific page is very significant for me. I have always put my keywords for the entire site in my home page and then put the ones that only relate to a particular page also on just that page. So, what you are saying, if I understand you correctly is that the main frame should contain text which will contain all of the key words which are included in all the pages which link within that frame. In that case, I just need to write another paragraph in the welcoming letter to include them. I am right here?

My next concern is that it would seem that each search engine has a different limitation or requirement for the number of keywords used. If I just pick maybe 5 top search engines and find out what their requirements and limitations are, and set it up for them, do you think it would be safe for me to submit as soon as I have been able to finish the site up to this point?

I am so happy that you clarified the issue of the frames. Luckily, through this forum and perhaps even from your previous advice, I located a really good site which has a step by step tutuorial on how to set up frames for submission. They really did not explain this process as well as you did in a simple paragraph. I really appreciate that.

If anyone else needs this site, it is at [searchenginewatch.com...]

I am so relieved that you have rescued me. I need to keep up client confidence and it's getting harder and harder to know it all these days. If my client could afford it, I would hire an advisor for this part of the process.

Thank you so much again. If I can ever reciprocate, I owe you big time.

Judi : )


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