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Using Div's And Javascript For Seo Purposes


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8 replies to this topic

#1 BTB

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:10 PM

I am working with a client at the moment, that has a sentence on their home page, which if clicked on, displays lots of text for SEO purposes. The text link is the only thing that appears on the home page as the company that build the site is using a hidden div displayed with javascript to enable them to display it to search engines but unless clicked on by a user you would not see the text.

I am unsure to if this is classed as hidden content or is this a valid SEO technique that can be used? I would greatly appreciate any view points on this subject.

Thanks

#2 bobmeetin

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:14 PM

This sort of functionality is fairly common. It's commonly called a tooltip and if you visit google and search for "css tooltip" or "javascript tooltip" you'll find numerous results. This is not to be confused with the alt or title tags which will momentarily display some informational text about an image or other, then disappear in a few seconds.

You commonly see tooltips used in association with images, but sometimes with text. Lots of fill-in forms these days will display a question mark or help icon which if you hover over it you can some advice on the field purpose.

The disconnect comes into play they are sort of abused like white text on white background. so you hover over it and it displays content that just plain looks "dumb" to the audience. Will you get chastised by Google et co? I, for one, don't know, but with my image galleries that use tooltips they've never raised an eyebrow of doubt.

#3 BTB

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE(bobmeetin @ Jul 20 2010, 08:14 PM) View Post
This sort of functionality is fairly common. It's commonly called a tooltip and if you visit google and search for "css tooltip" or "javascript tooltip" you'll find numerous results. This is not to be confused with the alt or title tags which will momentarily display some informational text about an image or other, then disappear in a few seconds.

You commonly see tooltips used in association with images, but sometimes with text. Lots of fill-in forms these days will display a question mark or help icon which if you hover over it you can some advice on the field purpose.

The disconnect comes into play they are sort of abused like white text on white background. so you hover over it and it displays content that just plain looks "dumb" to the audience. Will you get chastised by Google et co? I, for one, don't know, but with my image galleries that use tooltips they've never raised an eyebrow of doubt.


Thanks Bob for the comment, its not a tool tip is basically a div that contains heading and paragraphs of text, but it will only show to the user when the text link is clicked its basically using JavaScript to display it in a large popup window in front of the website itself, as its using JavaScript it will show automatically to the search engines as they ignore JavaScript, this flooding the page with text but only to the search engines not the end user. Sorry I probably did not explain it very well in the first instance... Hope this helps

#4 qwerty

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

Is there anything visible on the page that lets the user know that if they click that text something is going to happen?

This could come down to Google making a judgment about your intent: is that text there just for search engines, and you really have no desire for people to click the link and bring it up on the page, or is it a design choice, and anyone who wants the additional content can easily access it?

#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:45 PM

It still sounds like the tooltip experience. Here are a couple example pages:

They all share similar functionality in that if you either hover over them or click on the button/link, hidden content is exposed. Since the above are commonly used in added value situations, I don't see the penalties building up, but then I haven't pushed them to the limit either.

#6 SERPico

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:33 PM

Nothing wrong with that, as mentioned above this is very common.

#7 Can2Can

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:50 PM

I learned my hypertext a long time ago - I use hidden text about the same way the Windows help does - if you know the topic, my text flows fast and short, if you need some backgrounder then there is (sometimes) a hidden (till you ask for it) deeper explanation. If I were to encounter a hidden block of text that seemed to be there to _just put words on the page_, It would raise several red flags and I would leave the site.

#8 rayjoy

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:25 PM

If someone knows the answer to this I would appreciate your advice. It seems a great way to "clean up" a web page by having more info available to the visitor through a "more info" anchor text link which then shows the extra hidden text as a sort of "pop up". ( using the following code <a href="#backlink" class="footerlink" rel="facebox">More info</a><div id="backlink" style="display:none">

DOES GOOGLE CONSIDER THIS HIDDEN TEXT AND WOULD THEY PENALIZE?

#9 jmb

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE(rayjoy @ Jul 28 2010, 06:25 PM) View Post
DOES GOOGLE CONSIDER THIS HIDDEN TEXT AND WOULD THEY PENALIZE?

Hi Rayjoy: I think what everyone is trying to say is the technique in and of itself will not draw an automatic penalty from Google. In the past this technique signaled attempts at keyword stuffing and manipulation, but it can also be used for benign purposes, as has been illustrated.

The hidden content itself, if reported to or picked up on by Google, could trigger a penalty if it was wholy unrelated to the rest of the page and/or site content. Can Google automatically "sniff out" this type of content solely by looking for "display:none" in the CSS? The answer would be "probably", but I think this would be of relatively low priority to Google compared with other worse types of text manipulation. Google has billions of pages to scan, analyze and index, so realistically, it must prioritize what content it filters.

If on the other hand, someone notices the hidden content and reports it to Google, and the content clearly is attempting to manipulate the page rank, then the page could be removed from the Index and/or the website could be penalized. You can, however, use Webmaster Tools to monitor for any warnings from Google about this type of action.

In the end, use common sense when evaluating this technique. Are you hiding content because it provides additional depth to people that might want it, or are you hiding it because it's not that interesting or you think it might improve SERPs even though no one would want to read it? If the former, then you are probably safe even if Google performs a human review of it; if the latter, then you are just rolling the dice. Contextually, if you are alerting readers that there is additional content they might want view (e.g. "click for more information on proper SEO techniques"), as opposed to just hiding the content with an image of an arrow, you will be safer still.




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