In doing SEO for a couple clients this week I came up across a couple of their competition's sites. These site were ranking high - and beating out my clients for the targeted keyphrases.
And I don't like losing... so I did a little investigation.
They were ranking high by hiding text within the background of their sites. And to be honest I was a little shocked that people were still using this "old-school" trick to stuff keyphrases onto a page - and then to find it on two sites in one week... wow! (Flashback to all those horrible sites we saw 4-5+ years ago). Of course both sites were poorly designed, and not at all aestetically pleasing, so the hidden text was really the only thing that was keeping them on the first page!
Now, I am not naive, so I know there are lots of sites that do this, and yes it does work BUT it is still wrong. And beyond being wrong it can get your site in a lot of trouble with those "Google Gods". They are a bit strict on those things, if they know about them.
"But Meg, my site has had hidden text for years and I have a great ranking, Google doesn't care about little old me!" (I can hear you all talking out there... you naughty little spammers, stop being lazy and tune up that site properly!)
So, true... the hidden text is getting you that ranking. But Google will likely find out. And if not, then people like me will report you when our hard-earned SEO tuning on our client's sites is not garnishing the results it and we deserve.
I told you, I hate to lose.
Google has a page just for reporting those sites who are not following the "ethical standards", and I used it twice today to report those naughty, naughty sites!
So if you have hidden text... get rid of it, and do SEO right. (Or call me and I'll do it--for a small nominal fee).
If your competition is taking advantage of hidden text and it really pisses you off and you want to tell on them... Go here: