As I understand this CSS property it is used to prevent the user from accidentally selecting text and other elements that are used for stylistic reasons, or are part of the user-interface (e.g. a clickable div with the text "Copy" or "Share" in it). So it seems reasonable that search engines would ignore these text elements in favour of selectable content. Is this a correct assumption?


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    "stylistic reasons" - this would be the only reason, but it's not something I see referenced in the linked documents? And I don't necessarily think it's the only use of this property. Just because something is not selectable should not make it not-indexable. It is still visible to the user. Search engines already apply a lot of intelligence in determining what is indexable (and what is purely "stylistic"), so I don't think this property would/should influence the search engines in this regard. – MrWhite Oct 5 '16 at 8:58
  • I'm not sure what the answer to this is, but it seems easy enough to test. Create a page with some content that is user-select: none, let the page get indexed, and then search for it and see whether the page comes up. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 5 '16 at 14:27

Yes, I would think that user-select would only be for stylistic purposes. Search engines can read through the source & and the DOM without having to actually select text like a user would.


EDIT: here is a jsfiddle. if you view source and view the DOM, the content is still rendered normally. https://jsfiddle.net/0asekyyh/

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    But the OP is suggesting that because it "would only be for stylistic purposes" (ie. effectively not-content) that this would make it irrelevant for search engines to index. – MrWhite Oct 5 '16 at 21:02
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    @zach I am more interested in how these texts are ranked compared to texts that don't have this css property. It might very well be that search engines don't care and the texts are of equal importance. – tobias47n9e Oct 6 '16 at 5:56

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