Google, your web site and CSS spam
Hiding content and links in CSS code that is not visible
to human web surfers has become popular among webmasters
who want to trick search engines.
How does CSS spam work?
CSS (cascading style sheets) allow webmasters to specify
the location of a web page element in a web browser. Some
webmasters create keyword rich text that is not intended
for human web surfers in a CSS element that is not visible
to normal surfers.
For search engines, the invisible CSS element looks like
a normal part of the web page. As the invisible element
contains keyword rich text, search engines might think
that the web page is relevant to the keywords mentioned
in that text.
Why is CSS spam a bad idea?
Just like any spam technique, CSS spam can lead to good
short-term results. However, just like all spam techniques,
it's extremely risky to use CSS spam. A new post in
the blog of Google's spam fighter Matt Cutts indicates
that Google could detect CSS spam at least in some cases:
"[The site] had spam (specifically hidden text) on
[the] pages. When Googlebot visited http://www.thepeoplescube.com/Truth.php
on Sun, 05 Mar 2006 12:17:12 GMT, the page looked fine
to users, but had hidden text."
Using spam techniques puts the success of your your web
site at risk. It doesn't matter if you use CSS or any other
technique to trick search engines. As soon as search engines
find out that you're cheating them, they will ban your
What does this mean to your web site?
It's very important that your web site is spam-free. The
most common reason why a web site gets banned from Google
is spam. If your web pages contain spam elements, it's
likely that they'll get banned from Google sooner or later
or that they don't get listed at all.
Even if you're not intentionally spamming, make sure that
your web pages don't contain hidden text or other spam
elements by mistake.
There are better ways to get your web site listed
in search engines
Don't try to cheat Google. Focus on your web site visitors
and offer them what they need. Your web pages should offer
good content and they should be useful to human web surfers.
If you have such a web site and then optimize
your pages so that they can be found for your most important
search terms then it's very likely that your web
site will get high rankings on Google. If your web site
has optimized content and good
incoming links, then it is very difficult not to
get high rankings on Google.
Further information on how to optimize your web pages for
Google and other search engines without using spam techniques
can be found in our free SEO