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Panda And Penguin - Penalizing For Hidden Links Using Css Question

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#1 designbug


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Hi there,

I've read that one of the issues that's causing people to drop in rankings since the P&P updates includes using links that are what they call "hidden" via CSS = specifically no underline and you get penalized for this. Ok, I pretty much hate underlined links in most cases. I don't underline them just because to me they can be really ugly depending on where they are on a site. So I use different colors for the a/hover/visited etc status but don't use underlines or bottom borders.

So, my question is does this mean *all* links? Like navigations, meta links, all sitewide links? I don't mind so much within the content, but sometimes they really mess up the look of navigations and other things and they can really make things look too busy sometimes.

I can understand the reasoning, there are those out there that will use CSS to really hide the links and weeding these people out is a great idea. But mine are all visible with no intentional hiding tricks.

Thanks in advance for your input.


#2 Jill


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

specifically no underline and you get penalized for this

Highly doubt it. As long as they stand out in some way you should be fine.

#3 designbug


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:56 PM

I don't think I can post a link to the article but here's a copy/past of the section I got it from. Should have put it in the my initial post, I'm sorry. So, at this point, this is just an FYI I'm pasting in.
Red Pen Test

Print out one of your webpages and highlight the areas where you are using your main money keywords as links and any content that appears spammy
Next grab a red pen and circle the following:
  • Links that are hidden and links concealed with CSS (no underline)
  • SEO keywords that are not absolutely necessary in your page copy
  • Redundant links that appear more then once in your copy
  • Links to your designer’s website
Unless I'm misunderstanding, these are now no-no's. The last one's a bit weird after all these years of needing to get backlinks and now they're not important. Will take some getting used to.

#4 Jill


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

You still need links. They'll always be important. What you don't want to do is try to trick the search engines. So you of course shouldn't be hiding links. But that's nothing new, that's how it's always been.

As to a link to your designer's site, that's of course perfectly fine. It should use their company name, not a keyword phrase, however.

#5 torka


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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:08 AM

I don't underline links on any of the sites I manage. The underline does appear when you hover your mouse over in-line links in the text. Plus, my in-line links are a different color from standard text, and usually in bold. I don't bother with an underline at all for navigational/menu links. They're pretty obviously links simply because of their presence in the navigation, you know?

And I haven't had any problems with black-and-white animals at all. :)

Of course, you do want people to be able to know that a link is a link, otherwise, they'd never know it was there to click on it. And a link that never gets clicked on is a sad little link. But I think there's more to "hiding" links than just removing the underline. As long as the links are distinguishable in some way from "regular" text, then they're not "hidden," IMO.

My :02:

--Torka :propeller:
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