Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Eric Enge posts at Search Engine Land examining the "Display: None" CSS attribute as it pertains to SEO - the legitimate user-friendly methods and the shadier possibilities.
Comments12 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from oxclove 2368 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You write:They might be neat coding tricks, and fun to learn, but they will increase your exposure to potential negative reaction by a search engine.The truth is, though, that no one seems to know for sure if the SEs are penalizing for using "display:none" in CSS.  There is no evidence that I know of....

Avatar
from johnandrews 2368 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I think it’s a question that shoudn’t be asked. display: none is the work of designers all over the web. It has nothing to do with SEO. I don’t know a single SEO who uses display:none with an intent to deceive search engines, so why bring it up for discussion?

Avatar
from Gab 2368 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Actually, I alluded to that in my bit on disguising text link ads.

Avatar Moderator
from incrediblehelp 2367 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well said John!

Avatar
from sammy 2367 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just to know the none value for the display element is : This value causes an element to generate no boxes in the formatting structure (i.e., the element has no effect on layout). Descendant elements do not generate any boxes either; this behavior cannot be overridden by setting the ‘display’ property on the descendants. Please note that a display of ‘none’ does not create an invisible box; it creates no box at all.W3CAnd screen reader do not read content in this element except Jaws...Myself I more going to use the -9999px technique over the span display:none one. There’s a big debate over this...

Avatar
from garypool 2366 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I must admit I have used this tactic for SEO even if only for a short while.I had a client with a nice looking website. The header was full of great words but they were unfortunatly an image. While we were working on the redesign I did use a class style to make the text I put over the header invisable.It did work we got the results we were looking for while we created the new design.Confessions of a whitehat that looked to the darkside if only for a short time. ;-)

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2365 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Display:none is not only useless in most circumstances, Google clearly stated its a negative quality signal. By itself it won’t do any harm (there are plenty of legit, non-SEO reasons for using display:none), but I’d think twice before using it on a site that’s less than clean. You stack your cards too high they’re bound to collapse.

Avatar
from Gab 2365 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well stated !

Avatar
from cyclelicious 2364 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To John Andrews: hiding keyword text using CSS for SEO purposes has been on a problem. Matt Cutts has talked about it on his blog and has given several specific examples of websites that Google has penalized for hiding text using CSS.What’s funny is that Blogger.com (owned by Google) advises blogger.com users to use display:none to create expandable post summaries.

Avatar
from johnandrews 2353 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@cyclelicious: if "hiding keyword text using CSS" has been a problem, then address that. This article addresses "using display:none" which by my view is a troublesome path to take, and ultimately not helpful. Webmasters use display:none all the time. To suggest it is an seo tactic is irresponsible. Go ahead and discuss abuses of display:none, but even then, please refrain from labeling abuse of display:none as an "SEO tactic" except where you cite specific cases of known SEOs using display:none abusively. Your note about the expandable summaries is a perfect example. It’s a legitimate user interface technique, yet for some reason you feel the need to highlight it in the context of SEO. With that logic, the keyboard is an instrument of abuse by SEOs and so maybe keyboards should be addressed by the google guidelines?People are so quick to call anything deceptive "SEO", when actually that slander of SEO is the most deceptive part of the discussion.

Avatar
from KevinCheng 2227 Days ago #
Votes: 0

How could I have missed this topic a few months back...Anyways, I was recently doing some research about this very topic as my current client has been using this technique to create a scrolling promo box on the homepage.  After awhile I’ve noticed some ranking fluctuation (mostly negative), but I could not come to conclusion if it has anything to do with the display: none technique.So I’ve done some digging, and found this very link and the article on Searchengineland, but also another one that dates back to late last year ocarbone.free.fr/blog/?p=222 that basically said that Google told him via GWT that the search engine had removed his site due to the display:none code on his blog.So, I’m still skeptical about this very techinque.

Avatar
from JohnHGohde 2226 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Keep on saying on what this Sphinn argues for, after Google has banned your site for hidden text.White Hat SEO of a website’s navigation system can have a major impact upon useability, crawlability, and visibility of your site in the SERPs.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: