Hidden Content

Hidden content relates to any content on a site which is contained behind tabs or within accordions and is often seen on mobile or responsive site designs. To understand how search engines deal with hidden content and recommended best practice, our Hangout Notes cover common questions, insights and guidance.

Use View Source or Inspect Element to Ensure Hidden Content is Readily Accessible in the HTML

November 1, 2019 Source

If you have content hidden behind a tab or accordion, John recommends using the view source or inspect element tool to ensure the content is in the HTML by default. Content pre-loaded on the HTML will be treated as normal content on the page, however, if it requires an interaction to load, Google will not be able to crawl or index it.

Ensure Accordion FAQS Are Set up Correctly When Using Structured Markup

June 14, 2019 Source

An accordion style format can be used with FAQ structured markup to expand the answers when clicked on, as long as the question is visible by default.

Above the Fold Content is Not Always Prioritized For Rankings

June 14, 2019 Source

Google doesn’t necessarily prioritize the content above the fold when ranking a page, but will also take into account other elements on the site.


Ensure Hidden Content is Set-up With CSS Rather Than JS if You Want the Content to be Indexed

June 14, 2019 Source

If you have hidden content which you want to be indexed, ensure it is implemented using CSS, rather than sever-side JavaScript, to enable Google to see the content has been loaded when they crawl and render the page.

Ensure Googlebot & Users Both See Same Primary Content to Avoid Cloaking Issues

June 11, 2019 Source

Make sure the same primary content of a page is available for both users and search engines to mitigate potential risks of Google seeing your website as implementing cloaking.

Content Hidden in Tabs on Mobile Sites Will Not Appear in Featured Snippets

May 10, 2019 Source

Content which is contained behind a tab on a mobile site will not appear within featured snippets in search results, this is due to Google only wanting to show something in a snippet if they can be sure the user will be able to easily find the content when they visit the page.

Permanently Hidden Content Can Impact a Page’s Ability to Rank

March 5, 2019 Source

While having content that is permanently hidden on a page isn’t manually penalized, Google’s algorithms will detect this and can show the page less frequently in the SERPs.

Content Not Visible by Default Must be Easily Findable For Users

February 22, 2019 Source

If a user lands on a page from search but can’t find the content they expected to see, this is bad for Google. Make sure content that’s expandable or not visible by default is clearly findable for users.

Make Key Content Available for All as Personalized Content Won’t be Indexed

February 5, 2019 Source

Google will only be able to see and index the non-personalized, generic content on a page. Personalized content won’t be indexed so make sure the key content you want to rank for is available for Google.

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