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I'm looking for some consensus on what the current school of though is about accordion elements.

Here is a page that uses them as an example: https://www.goaskeve.com/venues/goldsmiths-centre/

Will hiding the text initially mean Google discounts it or, if it will be crawled in its entirety and all the text and images within the elements are counted towards a page's weighting?

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If the "hiding" is for valid UX/UI purposes, and the markup can be crawled/viewed in source, it is fair game. Google is able to render JS too. The more complicated/abstract the JS though, the more difficult it will be.

Your accordion is 100% fine.

Depending on the use case, you can also reference CSS selectors within structured data (JSON-LD in <head> and Google will pick it up. See this example on paywalled content.

Moreover, hiding stuff was mostly problematic back when Google could be manipulated easily. It's immensely smarter now. I'd argue that even if you are doing css hide stuff, for example, if it's for valid UX purposes, as long as it's not black hat in nature Google won't punish you.

Overall, they're very experienced at this point understanding the difference between a legit site using workarounds and a spammy site trying to spoof the algo.

Hope this helps!

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No one knows for sure, since Google doesn't generally say anything about how their algorithm works. But it doesn't sound like accordion text is punished or discounted.

Does Google Crawl Accordion Content?

You will find many websites saying that Google does not crawl accordion content or hidden content behind tabs. This is not true. Dating back to at least 2013, Google has crawled and indexed hidden content behind tabs and accordions. In fact, in a 2016 interview with Gary Illyes, an analyst for Google Webmaster Trends, he confirmed that Google crawls this hidden content, indexes it, and does not penalize the website for its use when implemented using text like “Read More,” “Learn More,” and “Click Here” to direct users to this content.

Another representative with Google, John Mueller, also supported this statement in 2021 by confirming tabbed content is an acceptable design element used to increase user engagement with positive user experience and the content is crawled and indexed by Google. He clarified by saying that Google looks at everything in the HTML and any content that is visible or accessible to website users is included by Google in search engine results page rankings. So the answer to the question of does Google crawl accordion content is definitely yes, without question.

From https://diib.com/learn/google-seo-hidden-content/

(There's a whole lot of articles on the topic; I picked one of the more recent ones, since Google is also famous for updating their algorithm.)

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