For one of my projects that provides pages with different content in a textarea, I need to make sure that Google Bot is indexing the content of those textareas.

I could not find an answer online. Only the same question, unanswered, from 2006.

If it does not index textareas, I'd need to output a second hidden DIV to make Google Bot see and index the content. Or I output a DIV and use Jquery to turn it into a textarea for the users.


I did a test with "Fetch as Google" in the webmaster console, this is the result:

fetch as google for textarea

And in the "Fetch" section I see the HTML source with the textarea.

But is that an indicator for the indexing?


If that content is very important and should bring SEO traffic, I wouldn’t put it into the textarea. It’s better to put it into pre or samp. If the content should be editable, add the contentEditable attribute or use JavaScript to inject a textarea. The problem is that although the GoogleBot indexes the content of textarea and even displays it on search results, this content is ignored when searching for documents. To prove it, I did some tests.

Test #1

Search by page title: Page found.

site:tutorialspoint.com/html/src/textarea_tag_reference.htm HTML textarea Tag enter image description here

Test #2

Search by form content: Page found.

site:tutorialspoint.com/html/src/textarea_tag_reference.htm Fill the Detail enter image description here

Test #3

Search by textarea content: Page not found.

site:tutorialspoint.com/html/src/textarea_tag_reference.htm Enter your name enter image description here

Test #4

Search by input value: Page not found.

site:tutorialspoint.com/html/src/textarea_tag_reference.htm Submit enter image description here

Maybe there are some things that I did not take into account. However, I would not take risks to put important content into textarea. On the other hand, if you decide to check it out, please do not forget to share your results.

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  • Thanks a lot. Very helpful. I have written the textarea content in a "preview" div, so that this "duplicate" content on the page will be indexed. See example (HTML source): matheretter.de/notiz?n=qqwtt – Kai Noack Dec 18 '18 at 7:52

Textarea is part of the HTML and yes, Googlebot can see your HTML and index anything inside textarea.

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If your site is not rendering correctly using Google Fetch then your content is not being scored as it should. Google renders the page and ensures the page is readable, just as a real-life visitor. You need to fix your code and ensure that it renders both correctly for visitors and Google via the Google fetch tool.

Code related issues can be solved on Stack Overflow.

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  • That was a problem with the CSS not loaded by Google. Fixed by a re-index request. Maybe you have an answer to the question? – Kai Noack Sep 18 '18 at 13:35
  • If it renders in Google Fetch okay, then its okay for ranking purposes... why wouldn't it be not considered? – Simon Hayter Sep 18 '18 at 13:38
  • Because a textarea is kind of "input" field and not a content holder, IMO. – Kai Noack Sep 18 '18 at 18:10
  • Google renders pages, it uses that render and information to rank your page, it doesn't matter if it appears in an input or textarea, I don't know where you read that Google can't understand but where ever you did, its wrong. – Simon Hayter Sep 18 '18 at 23:25
  • @SimonHayter I have done some tests that prove otherwise. Please check my answer. – Victor Dec 17 '18 at 20:53

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