Recently the small business of a friend was featured on a TV show.  I was so happy for him.  I sent him a congratulatory email.  Then I looked at his website.  Yikes!  He was doing the one thing guaranteed to get him kicked off of Google.  He was using hidden text to try and get higher search engine rankings!

People use hidden text to add keywords to their page that Google, and other search engines, will pick up but that people can’t see.  This is typically done by putting the keywords in a font color that matches the background color of the page.  Search engines can see this text, but it’s not viewable by website visitors.

Why would people do such a thing?  To a large extent working with keywords is about repetition.  The keywords should be in the URL, in the text, in the text bolded, included in a link, used in H1 text and so on.  It’s a lot of work to use the keyword phrase so many times and write compelling copy.  Some people take a shortcut and just repeat the keyword in invisible text.

I once watched a customer’s competitor use this tactic.  The competitor site soared in the search engines.  It worked extremely well for about a month.  Then Google must have noticed the hidden text.  His site wasn’t listed in the search engine at all.  His site was still up, but he was excommunicated from Google.

Don’t let this happen to you!  Just say no to hidden text.

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