Here is a topic that we recently discovered was still a problem… we hoped that such a practice was in the mid-90’s internet graveyard but its still a problem. Blending keyphrases into your website that are invisible to your readers is a technique that makes the Google Bot’s face red and will almost guarantee a delisting. However, some webmasters are still using this as a “search engine optimization” technique.
Unlike some search engine optimization techniques, this one is not up for interpretation. Some businesses, acting under the advice of misinformed “SEO Specialists,” have long lists of keywords in their website’s footer that are in the same font color as their background, thus making it invisible.
The problem is so irritating to Google that they not only mention it but built a whole section on hidden links and hidden text in their webmaster guidelines center.
Google is pretty direct in the language they use to explain the consequence of hiding keyphrases:
“If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages.”
To check your website for hidden text, go to your web browsers top menu and click on “Edit” then “Select All.” This will highlight your entire web page and display any hidden text that your webmaster or “SEO Specialist” may have inserted.
If you find invisible words on the page, you should first demand that your webmaster remove them immediately. A termination of your agreement with them should probably come shortly thereafter as this negligible action will hinder your ability to be ranked highly in Google, and possibly hinder your ability to be ranked at all.
We recently reviewed a website for a company that had over 100 hidden words in the footer. The business owner informed us that he had paid someone to develop the website in February of this year; thus, acting as a reminder that unethical search engine optimization practices are still lurking.
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