SEO Vs. User Experience – “Click To Expand” Hidden Content

hidden content

Google has recently announced they would start rendering web pages more like a modern browser, which means it will be able to process Javascripts and CSS better than before. What this also means is that Google will now be able to understand tricks such as content hidden behind “click to expand” links.

Images below are an example from Ryder’s used truck site. They have applied this tactic on the search result pages to boost ranking. As you can see when the hidden content is expanded, there are so many internal links, which clearly shows this content was created with intention for SEO.

click to expand before

Example of click to expand content – before clicking the “read more” link


click to expand after

Example of click to expand content – after clicking the “read more” link


So what’s the big news for the hidden content?

According to some users at WebmasterWorld, Google will not index and rank for such hidden content anymore.

It is understandable that this kind of way to hide content is not always for SEO purpose. Some web designers believe less is better for user experience and it is tempting to hide non critical content especially when posting transcript for a Podcast show or a Video.

When looking at Whiteboard Friday posts, they actually just leave the transcript right below the video without hiding. These guys knows SEO so if they are not hiding it, you shouldn’t either.

Another approach can be like what Mixergy does for its interview posts. Embed a text box with scrolling bar (image below)

embed text with scroll



Don’t hide your content especially for SEO purpose. Google knows what you are doing!



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