1. The website was built in both plain HTML and Flash, and used FlashObject to replace large chunks (virtually all) of the text content with Flash movies;Here's the exact CSS class applied to the main content:
3. However, on inner pages it quickly became apparent that large text nodes were rendered with visibility:hidden and these pages were both unusable and displaying quote different content to users with and without Flash
Following up on your concerns that the your website has hidden text, please be assured that your website is fully accessible to the Search Engines.I want to deal with some of the items mentioned above to clarify exactly what the Search Engines are seeing, and what the official views are on certain implementations being used.
The search engines Spiders view the html code of your website.
All areas of your site that use Flash do so with "Flash Replacement Text", which is 100% search engine friendly.
I would also like to show you how you can see all of the pages that Google has indexed. Type site:www.yoursite.com into the Google search bar you will see that every page of your website is indexed.
I hope that this helps to reassure you that your website is search engine friendly.
visibility:hiddenis a very strong signal of spam. That property is used to hide content within the browser view. Here are the Google guidelines on hidden text:
Hiding text or links in your content can cause your site to be perceived as untrustworthy since it presents information to search engines differently than to visitors. Text (such as excessive keywords) can be hidden in several ways, including:In my opinion having text hidden in the version served to Google constitutes hidden text as defined in the guidelines and opens the offending site to the possibility of penalty or ban.
* Using white text on a white background[… ]
* Including text behind an image
* Using CSS to hide text
* Setting the font size to 0
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. When evaluating your site to see if it includes hidden text or links, look for anything that's not easily viewable by visitors of your site. Are any text or links there solely for search engines rather than visitors?
The goal of our guidelines against hidden text and cloaking are to ensure that a user gets the same information as the Googlebot. However, our definition of webspam is dependent on the webmaster's intent. For example, common sense tells us that not all hidden text means webspam-e.g. hidden DIV tags for drop-down menus are probably not webspam, whereas hidden DIVs stuffed full of unrelated keywords are more likely to indicate webspam.On the face of it it would appear that Flash replacement shouldn't be an issue. On the face of it…
I bring this up because, although your method is hiding text behind a very pretty Flash animation, you are still presenting the same content to both the user and the search engine, and offering it through different media.
visibility:hiddenfor the text replaced by the Flash? Well in my opinion this implementation wont improve your standing with Google.
|About the Author:
Richard Hearne is the founder of Red Cardinal, a dedicated search marketing consultancy. A frequent contributor to Google's Webmaster Group, Richard regularly advises clients on Internet marketing strategy and Search Engine optimisation campaigns. Richard's thoughts and research can be found on his search marketing blog.