I have a page that due to CMS requirements has an embedded background color style on an element that contains text <span style="background-color: #000">[text]</span>, the colour varies but in some instances will always be black.

When this is returned by Google webcache in text-only mode, the inline styles render in the browser and show plain black text on a black background as the main css styles aren't available to make it display correctly.

The page is rendered correctly in the full-version view.

As this is text-only, the visual error is due to the browser rendering the inline style, the question is, does this affect the way that Google sees and potentially ranks the page based on the text being hidden.

I'm aware that this question may solicit speculation, what I would like to know is if anyone has any evidence wither way.

  • 1
    Use Fetch as Google to see how Google views your page and not the cache.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 26, 2017 at 17:22
  • 1
    ^ Cache isn't a true reflection how Google sees your pages or site, ignore it. Fetch... is the tool you should care about,. Sep 26, 2017 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


Inline CSS directly doesn't affect your site SEO if it is less enough but it may affect indirectly to it.

Inline CSS affects page weight of your pages and browsers finds it quite difficult to load compare to external css.

It also causes browser catching and its result comes into extra page loading time.

You can use Inline CSS but you have to remember that your inline css won't affect your page loading speed, if it happens then only Google Considers it and consequences turns to penalty.


  1. If possible remove inline css from your commonly used sections like header, footer asides and other by which it will use browser catching properly and avoid some of time to load.
  2. It is best practice to avoid inline css and use external css.

you can check this link for reference.

and can know more about inline css vs page loading

  • Thank you for the help, unfortunately it's a broader answer that doesn't really address the question, this is specifically about the text-only view of the Google web cache.
    – Orbittman
    Oct 11, 2017 at 16:03
  • Ohhh... Actually I answered by reading question and was not read other content. My mistake Oct 12, 2017 at 6:04

That is a very good question.

Yes, it can absolutely affect your organic rankings.

Why? Google is actually pretty good at rendering pages with javascript and css now. They actually look at your pages like humans do (almost) i.e. if you have black text on black background you might not see that content at all.. or if you place text within hidden elements.

There's been a discussion in the seo community if it is ok to hide text behind tabs on a page (with css).

On mobile it is perfectly fine, Google have said that oficially themselves. However, on desktop it can be considered as an old seo spam/keyword stuffing technique.

So test it yourself. Alter a page and track its performance the following weeks or month to see if you get affected or penalized.

  • It appears that you missed what the OP is asking. This is easy to do in this case. The OP is not trying to hide text. He is asking if because he views the SE cache in text mode and the result is X, does that effect search performance? The answer is No. Viewing cache in text only will not use any CSS referred to by URL but will use inline CSS which is causing the unwanted result. The OP is thinking incorrectly. The cache view has nothing to do with anything except to show what code has been stored in the index last. Nothing more. Fetch as Google is the answer here. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Sep 26, 2017 at 23:50
  • @closetnoc you are absolutely right. Apologies, I misunderstood the question. I agree with your answer. Cheers! Sep 27, 2017 at 6:01
  • @closetnoc You should write your comment as an answer instead. Sep 27, 2017 at 6:04
  • Thanks very much, this is what I thought but I just needed some clarification. @Kristian, in your first answer you mentioned that on mobile hiding text in the regular rendered view was ok "Google have said that officially themselves", have you got a link to this for reference?
    – Orbittman
    Sep 27, 2017 at 8:43

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