I've heard many times that it's bad to use
display: none for SEO reasons, as it could be an attempt to push in irrelevant popular keywords. A few questions:
- Is that still received wisdom?
- Does it make a difference if you're only hiding a single word, or perhaps a single character?
- If you should avoid any use of it, what are the preferred techniques for hiding (in situations where you need it to become visible again on certain conditions)?
Some references I've found so far:
If you're straight-out using CSS to hide text, don't be surprised if that is called spam. I'm not saying that mouseovers or DHTML text or have-a-logo-but-also-have-text is spam; I answered that last one at a conference when I said "imagine how it would look to a visitor, a competitor, or someone checking out a spam report. If you show your company's name and it's Expo Markers instead of an Expo Markers logo, you should be fine. If the text you decide to show is 'Expo Markers cheap online discount buy online Expo Markers sale ...' then I would be more cautious, because that can look bad."
And in another comment on the same article
We can flag text that appears to be hidden using CSS at Google. To date we have not algorithmically removed sites for doing that. We try hard to avoid throwing babies out with bathwater.
Eric Enge said in 2008
The legitimate use of this technique is so prevalent that I would rarely expect search engines to penalize a site for using the
display: noneattribute. It’s just very difficult to implement an algorithm that could truly ferret out whether the particular use of
display: noneis meant to deceive the search engines or not.