What used to once be a favourite SEO technique amongst optimizers, hidden content (also commonly known as ‘cloaking’) is now considered a black hat SEO technique and should be avoided at all costs. This is still not enough of a deterrent for some people, even though there are many reasons that this kind of SEO can be highly detrimental to your website’s ranking.
Essentially, hidden content for SEO involves showing your website in one way to the search engine spiders (it has generally been optimized with relevant keywords) and in another to any human visitors (it is generally not user-friendly or relevant to the user’s original search). This is a big SEO no-no, and search engines carry big penalties for websites that utilize such methods.
For people who are wondering how exactly you can hide content on a website, there are a number of ways that this is done to further SEO:
• Text that is the same colour as the background may be used, which is full of repeated keywords
• Floating text that uses CSS off the visible screen may be used, which is also full of repeated keywords
• The font size may be set to 1 pixel so that it cannot be read by the human eye, which is also full of repeated keywords
While keywords are very helpful to SEO, hiding text in order to keyword stuff your website is not permitted by the search engines.
SEO practices, such as hidden content, are likely to get your website banned and de-indexed by all of the various search engines, leaving your website high and dry. It is always much better to implement ethical SEO techniques to generate organic rankings.