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How bad is it to use display: none in CSS?

So i have a nav with tons of stuff and we want to scale back a few of the a tags in the nav but still have them on the page. So for example I was thinking of using jQuery or css display none to hide the text...but we still want the text on the page for the google crawler. Does this technique hurt our current SEO rankings or is it frowned on by google. Here is my site and the nav is on the left....If this will hurt the SEO status is there anything else we can do to keep the text on the page without effecting SEO


5 Answers 5


Just keep your content fresh and relevant. If your navigation needs an update, change it to be clearer and more useful to your visitors. Don't try to fool search engines by hiding text, through any means.

Google doesn't publish their ranking criteria, but they do offer this guide.


Google tends to keep their algorithms under pretty good wraps. I do know that for quite some time we would force things off the page by using extreme negative margins, and that CSS wasn't considered by google. I'm not as sure about display:none though.

see this question for more info: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5481225/do-search-engines-treat-text-indent-9999em-or-negative-margin-as-seo-cheat

My recommendation would be to use the negative margin trick to force it off the page.


You can use the the following css for the elements you'd like to hide:

text-indent: -9999px;

I'm using this a lot on logos and related logo-text. Hope, this helped.


Hi I've made some bad experiences with hiding text via CSS for the user. Google recognized the usage of color: white or display: none for text and it is not happy about this ;-) You could create a list with all the links in the footer of the page: move all "uninteresting" links from your navi to the bottom...


You could also give the stuff you want to hide a low z-index. I don't have a clue how Google feels about that, but I do know that display:none is not a good strategy.