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.

There is No Penalty For Hiding Content For Screen Readers

September 21, 2018 Source

There is no penalty for hiding content on a page that has the sole purpose of being used for screen readers, as long as it is consistent with other content on the page. The web spam team may assess intent to deceive search engines in these cases.


Content in HTML Treated the Same Regardless of Whether it’s Visible by Default

September 7, 2018 Source

From Google’s perspective, there is no difference if secondary content is hidden by default or included at the bottom of the page and navigated to by an anchor link, as long as the content is in the HTML.


Content Not Visible by Default Will be Shown in Search Results For Unique Queries

June 26, 2018 Source

Content that isn’t visible by default isn’t currently being given as much weight in the search results, but it will be shown if a user is explicitly searching for that content, especially if it is unique. This content won’t be treated differently for mobile-first indexing though.


Content Not Visible By Default Will Be Taken Into Account For Mobile-first Indexing

May 1, 2018 Source

Good user experience on mobile depends on managing content with tabs and similar methods, so content not visible by default will be taken into account for mobile-first indexing as long as it doesn’t load on click. This applies to anchor text as well.


Tabbed Content Loaded On-Click Won’t Be Indexed

October 20, 2017 Source

Content in tabs is fine for mobile as long as it is loaded when page is loaded and not when the tab is clicked on, otherwise it won’t be indexed.


Links Not Visible By Default Will Be Crawled

August 22, 2017 Source

Links hidden behind tabs will be crawled in the same way as other hidden content.


Content Hidden in Tabs on Mobile Will be Seen by Google After Mobile-first

June 27, 2017 Source

Content behind tabs (or other types of user interface) on mobile will be seen by Google when Mobile-first indexing is released.


Content that Fades in Onload With ~2s Transition is Not Considered Hidden

May 2, 2017 Source

Content is considered hidden when it is not visible at all. Content which fades in within a couple of seconds during a transition or is slightly transparent is likely to be indexed. You can test a transition using Fetch and Render.


Hidden Links are Counted

September 9, 2016 Source

Links which aren’t visible in the rendered page should carry the same weight as visible links.


Related Topics

Copyright/DMCA Thin Content Duplicate Content Embedded Content Images User Generated Content Interstitials Expired Content Keyword Optimization Header Tags Page Structure Web Spam Videos