SEO Tip #125: Will I Be Penalized For Hidden Content If I Have Text In A Read More Dropdown?

Matt Cutts: Here are the things to be aware of; number one let’s sketch out the bad side first. The bad side is if your dropdown is 1 pixel long and 1 pixel deep and the thing that gets revealed when you click on it is 8 pages filled with keyword stuffed anchor text and things like that it’s going to look pretty bad.

If however you are fitting within the normal idiom where you have a navigation menu and you click to reveal a paragraph or two with a link or two that is the sort of thing that a lot of different websites do. This is the sort of thing where I would pay attention to what other websites do.

If you use a common framework to do your dropdown that a lot of other websites use there is less likelihood that we are going to accidentally classify it as hidden text. It would also probably be a good idea not to put 8 pages of content in the stuff that people don’t normally see because what you want people to see is the same content that GoogleBot is seeing. You don’t want to land on a page that has nothing on it and have a whole bunch of text hidden behind a dropdown.

But most normal sites doing most normal mouse activated dropdowns are doing a completely normal amount of stuff and that’s not the sort of thing I would really worry about. As long as you stick to common idioms, the way that most websites do those sorts of dropdowns, and as long as you keep it to a relatively reasonable length of text I don’t foresee any problems.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.