I want to hide some sub menu items, using the CSS class, and assign it to the specific menu item. For example the class is no display:

/* Hide menu items */
.nodisplay {
display:none !important;

This works great, but I wonder if this would be penalized by Google, as I read that Google don't like hidden texts? I read that Google marks this as spam, is it true not?

I have a look at the Gavick Menus and Helix Menus, they are using display: none; or left:-999em; too for making the elements.

So my dilemma is if I use display: none; for hiding all my sub level 3 menu items, will Google penalize my site or not?

I am asking this, because I saw a lot of drop-down menus to use this technique.

1 Answer 1


No, Google will not penalise your site for hiding menu items in this way. As you mention, this is a common technique and if it was to penalise sites for this then half the sites on the internet would be penalised! (And then they wouldn't use this technique, user experience could go down, etc, etc...)

If, however, you were to hide huge blocks of text with display:none that your code never shows (and you have no intention of showing) then yes you may be penalised. Google uses complex algorithms to detect this behaviour, it's not so simple as "if it's hidden then it must be spam".

  • Actually my idea is to have Main Menu with only one sublevel , for ex. Item->sub-item, but when you press on the subitem I will show a page with image links which will guide you to another pages. But I want to save the structure via breadcrumb and in the URL: Item->sub-item->image-link info. The easiest way to save this structure is to get another sub sub menu, but I don't want it to be visible for the end users. That's why I want to hide it via display: none
    – ataman79
    Feb 14, 2014 at 9:54
  • Actually my idea is not to hide a text, links , etc.,I only want t hide a sub sub item and this link will exist in my sitemap, so I am not going to hide information from Google. And just to point that I want to use this in Joomla CMS, but I think this can be used everywhere using a drop-down menus
    – ataman79
    Feb 14, 2014 at 9:56
  • Either of these shouldn't cause you a problem. Even hiding sections of content (that you intend to show by some user action) is OK. eg. In a tab-like interface (again something that is very common). (If the answer answers your question then you can mark it as accepted - which informs other users it is solved.)
    – MrWhite
    Feb 14, 2014 at 10:08
  • Thanks w3d, your answer is ok for me, the same as I was thinking, but it will be good if someone else share his experience
    – ataman79
    Feb 14, 2014 at 12:21
  • You're welcome. This answer has rec'd 3 upvotes. On the Stack Exchange network people either upvote if they find the answer helpful or if they agree with it and wish to express this. They generally do not (or should not) comment/answer if they simply agree with an answer (that is what the voting system is for). So you may not get another response "if someone else" has had a similar experience (since that is likely to be expressed as a vote). Different to a forum in that respect. However, if someone has had a different experience then yes you might get a response, so please wait for that.
    – MrWhite
    Feb 14, 2014 at 13:19

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