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The first line of text on all of our client's product pages is "Download hi-res images", which of course isn't what we'd want in the description when people search for their products.

Is there any way to hide this text/link so that Google and the others just ignore it and go on into the text description below?

I suppose we could use a meta-description, but the client isn't very good at computers and it's such a small site it seems silly.

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If they don't want to make the effort why should they expect to be successful? –  John Conde Oct 29 '13 at 17:34
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Rankings come with a little know how and hard work. You can't expect people to legally drive a car if they don't want to learn how :P –  bybe Oct 29 '13 at 17:46
    
It's not that they don't want to make the effort, they just don't have the knowledge or the time. They are looking into getting professional SEO help further on but for now all we want is that the first thing shown in the Google search results is the relevant text, rather than the "Download hi-res images" which is placed before the relevant text in the code. –  Linda H Oct 30 '13 at 9:01
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2 Answers

Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google’s search rankings can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Text (such as excessive keywords) can be hidden in several ways, including:

  • Using white text on a white background Locating text behind an image

  • Using CSS to position text off-screen Setting the font size to 0

  • Hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph

If this doesn't answer you query then i'm helpless.Be very much careful when playing with google..

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Googles guidelines about hidden content are for hiding text from users while showing it to search engines. This situation is the opposite. The text should be shown to users but NOT to search engines. Google doesn't consider that case to be spammy. –  Stephen Ostermiller Oct 29 '13 at 20:21
    
As @StephenOstermiller says, this is not about hiding the text from the users as the whole point of it is to guide users. I'm happy to have it indexed but I don't mind if it isn't either. What I would like to avoid though, is to have that line first in the description on the Google search result page, because it's not as informative for the users searching for their products as the actual product description on the page would be. –  Linda H Oct 30 '13 at 9:07
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  1. Make a graphic for "Download hi-res images" so it is no longer text and doesn't have to be "hidden".

  2. Display the "Download hi-res images" as flash or canvas instead of text.

  3. Place the "Download hi-res images" as unhidden text after the description you want that appears higher in the HTML and position "Download hi-res images" to the top of the page using CSS like style="position:abosolute; top:0px; left:0px"

  4. The best method - use a meta description tag in the head section of the page next to the title.

Don't "hide" text.

To note: Google will not always show the text on the top of the page - it depends on whether or not the content below has a keyword in it that matches a user's search. When the text below is a better match for the search it would be used, so most visitors are likely not seeing the "Download hi-res images" text but the owner is because he is searching for the title.

The same applies when using a meta description tag. It will be used unless there is some better text on the page.

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I thought of a few of those options (mainly the positioning, but with a responsive website that's a bit tricky). A meta description would obviously be preferable but since there are thoughts of having some SEO experts do their thing further on we'd rather leave that bit to them. But to sum it up, there is no "good" way to do this, which isn't the answer I was hoping for but still an answer to what I wanted to know. Thanks! With a bit of luck the text will not be shown in the description, as we are afraid of. –  Linda H Oct 30 '13 at 9:13
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