Hiding content or links dangerous

September 26th, 2006

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Q: I have graphics as my headers on most of the pages, but I want to have text headers as well so Google can index them. Can I create a style on my style sheet called hidden and put text under the header graphic that is hidden or will that be considered unfriendly to google? What else would you recommend?

A: Trying to hide content or links within the page so it is not visible to humans but only to spiders is dangerous. For example: hiding things within noscript tags, playing tricks with div tags, or making text the same color as the background, are all good ways to get penalized or banned. A good general rule of thumb: anything that you’d feel at all uncomfortable telling Google about, you shouldn’t do. The approach I would advise in your situation is to either make your header navigation text or to add alt tag attributes to your img tags.