Okay so I designed a website for a restaurant and the design is aimed mostly to entice the viewer by using images of the restaurant's platters and foods. Not to say that text is totally non-existent but the design makes it hard to have enough keywords. Most keywords are found in the ALT attribute of image tags and a couple of headers.

The reason as to why I am in this dilemma? I'm still new to web development and at the time I made the design, I didn't really know much about SEO. So I come here in search of help because I have an idea...

Would it be good practice to have hidden SPAN blocks that would help me fill with keywords?

For example a hidden SPAN would have text in bold to help with SEO. Of course, I will play it safe and not exploit this technique if it works. I have searched that this may be considered spamming by search engines and some companies are taking measures to prevent this.

Thanks in advance!

  • Thanks for the advice guys. I will do the best I can using the headers and ALT attributes on images that I have, this was a good learning experience for me. My next design will be thought of with SEO in mind :}
    – lemonpole
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 20:07

5 Answers 5


Don't do it. Search engines are very wise to the notion of hidden content in elements — at best they will simply ignore the content; at worst, the site could end up blacklisted.

General rule of thumb is: if you think your site content is lacking in descriptive content for search engines, it's probably lacking in descriptive content for humans too.


That is the very definition of black hat SEO. You are serving up different content to the search engines for the explicit purpose of manipulating their rankings. It's a great way to get your pages and/or site banned. Don't do it. There are lots of legitimate ways to help your site's search rankings without having to resort to cheating.


From my experience it is best to be up front and not do anything slightly iffy - like using hidden spans and hidden text. The first step with any site is the content. It must be engaging not only visually but the copy is most important. Enough of it, original and it must acurately describe what is on the sites pages. Title of the page, heading 1 and 2 tags should accurately sumarise the page and sections. Alt tags should describe the picture. If you make your site customer friendly and acurate by default it will be search engine friendly. I'm not an expert but have been working at this for a few years with help from the google webmaster forums and faqs.


in my experience: DON'T DO IT. i've read in Google Page structure to not to using hidden span filled with keywords in your code. like other said, this is black SEO and you might as well consider your website banned from getting index.

I too have several case like this where my clients want a "candy" website full of graphic images. what i can advise to you is that make full use of your navigation link and SITEMAP and submit the sitemap in Google webmaster tool.

oh i hope in other page you have text to increase optimization of your page :)


Are you sure you can't not use CSS styles for some headers? Maybe with background image? And add some real visible text as well? If you tweak the design a little? There must be some place in your design where you can add some body text and a header? At least in sub pages. Depending on competition that may be enough since a restaurant website is very local. I too would probably also prioritize on making an enticing design showing the restaurant or whatever.

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