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Are hidden text passages that can open on click worth anything for Google?

   
10:55 am on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Lots of unique and optimized text is good for ranking a page, that's clear. But sometimes this text is 'too much' for the readers. Aiming at a 800 word text for a product page for example raises the question where to put all the text because not many surfers will read it all anyway.

So we show about 50% of the texts and hide the rest with
<div id="r" style="display:none">bla bla bla</div>
When the surfer is interested, he can open the rest of the text with a click - it pops down the text that is hidden with style=display:none.
I consider this a very useful and good way to present the content to the surfers and they appreciate it. There is nothing spammy involved as I am not trying to stuff keywords or game Google anyhow.

But how does Google see and valuete this? Is the 50% of the text that is hidden on load of the page 'lost and worthless' no matter if it's unique and great content? Or will Google give weight/value to this text as if it's visible right away? The text is always in the HTML of the page, it's just not shown by default, only after the surfer clicked on 'read more'.
12:07 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



I wouldn't do it myself.
12:28 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)



I do it, itís still indexed! What youíre doing is to improve the user experience by not cluttering the page, its basic good design!

If google said don't use an accordion layout/effect and a large portion of JQUERY effects then id worry but these layouts are more usersís friendly than endless scrolling down a page. If google starts targeting good "user friendly" design then......

Rule of thumb, if you would have done this for your visitors had search engines not been invented then carry on m8
2:38 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



What you're doing shouldn't be a big deal as long as the text is easily displayed by the user, but I go the other way personally.

I display everything on the initial load, then use javascript/jQuery to "collapse" the page into a more usable form, so the info is accessible to those who don't have JS enabled. Basically, rather than "gracefully degrading" when JS isn't available I "gracefully upgrade" via JS when it's present.
2:54 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



Yah; JD's way sounds like a better way to go.
3:09 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



JD, that's indeed a good point and we will probably do it as you suggested.

Do you think the hidden text will be treated and valueated 1:1 like a visible text by Google when using that technic? Theoretically it should, since it's visible for nojavascript users and so also for the Gbot.
3:14 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Is the 50% of the text that is hidden on load of the page 'lost and worthless' no matter if it's unique and great content?


Like #CaptainSalad2 said, it is still indexed, and pages can rank well for hidden content, even if more than 50% is hidden (although I'm not sure it's the best SEO).

However, if the search terms are not visible on the landing page, it can increase a page's bounce rate. I'd make sure the landing page is concise.
3:20 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'd aim for 70% visible/static text and 30% expanding/extra text. And all this would happen below the fold with no drastic change for the overall page. It's a nice page without the extra text and a nice long page with the extra text to get all the love from Google it deserves.
3:32 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)



Sorry I thought the op meant hidden text in general! I def agree with and use jd's way! This ensures all content is still viewable by the user if JavaScript is turned off in the browser, always build a site to work with and without js!
 

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