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Search Engine Optimization: The Fall of Hidden Text

The key to website success is getting found by the search engines. So why do so many people risk getting blacklisted by utilizing unethical search engine optimization tactics? Your site definitely can’t get found if Google has booted you from their index. The most surprising tactic that started over 10 years ago and still gets used by Black Hat SEOs today is the use of hidden text on your webpage.

Hidden text is textual content that visitors to your site cannot see, but is readable by the search engines. The idea is to load a page with keywords and phrases that would be unsightly to web users but would improve a page’s ranking in the search results. These keywords and phrases are invisible to searchers because they are usually in very small font and/or made the same color as the pages background or background image. It’s search spam and it’s a terrible optimization tactic that could cost your website ever being found again.

Search engines have been more than vigilant about fighting efforts to manipulate their results. Unethical techniques, like hiding keyword stuffed sentences on your page, may be able to trick the search engines for a brief moment of time, but once found, you run the risk of being permanently banned. If the welfare of the site matters to you at all, then don’t use spam methods at all.

Poor SEO practices can also be damaging to your reputation and brand. Your website, if your Black Hat practices are brought to any one’s attention and especially if you get blacklisted, will be perceived as untrustworthy. You are after all, presenting your site in one format to search engines while showing different information to a searcher. If your reputation or the reputation of your business and brand matters, then stick to ethical optimization results.

So remember, per Google themselves: “If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages.” Make sure you know the team you hire to handle search engine optimization for your site. Don’t waste your time and money on spam tactics. Invest instead on a custom web design that uses ethical search engine optimization tactics like including keyword rich quality content and natural link building campaigns.

Rafferty Pendery

CEO Studio98