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The ecommerce tech person suggested I set up the part numbers but do a whole lot of tweaking with the shopping cart code and make them invisible by not displaying the part numberrs or just put the part numbers in white text on a white background. I've see other sites where the part number doesn't show up on the page but I'm not sure how they do it.
I'm concerned the site might be penalized by google for hidden text. Anyone know how to hide the text and not get penalized?
There was a site in my niche that was doing all sorts of dirty tricks, and everybody was complaining about it.
Finally, I emailed Google about it, and they were gone in two days.
Haven't seen them since.
The odd thing here is that a competitor who is already a proven thief is very likely to use your source code anyway, not the visible page. So its not at all worth any risk of a Google problem, in my view.
Since I discovered in the year 2000, that Google does not index meta tag keywords, I used a scrollable 60 pixel height DIV, 300 pixel width.
Above the fold a search box
Below the fold the keywords
No problem until now.
2005, I optimized my main site and reduced the height of the DIV to 35 pixel height. This was to small.
I received middle December 2005 an email, that this site will be deleted from Google index. I corrected the problem and was some weeks later again in the index.
Q: When is hidden text permissible?
A: When you are a large corporate site!
Happened Jannuary 2006
Putting it in an alt tag won't work as it's a dynamically driven shopping cart without alt tags and with over 4000 products. I'd rather clean toilets for a living than adding those all separately.
I guess the only option is to display the part numbers and grit one's teeth and hope all competitors have a religious conversion and repent from their evil ways.
The OP's client wants the part numbers hidden, but wants them available for Google to see so they become searchable results. Thus if someone searches for 5000 series widgets, the client's page will come up in Google but if you go to the page you won't see the actual part number (5000 series)
I'm afraid your client can't have it both ways and like others have said, your client's competitor will find them anyway if were to try and hide them by having them white on a white background.
It would be better to find other ways to battle your unsavory competitor.