TransitionFX/Google/SEO

Hi

I am fully aware that Google and other search engines are suspicious of hidden text and will downgrade the site in its index.
Does this apply to HTML text which has the Transition FX action ‘on page load - initially hidden’ (and subsequently slides down/slides up/appears…)? Or the similar Mootools action 'effect on load?

And if indexed will it trawl through such text for relevant search terms?

Richard


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Does this apply to HTML text which has the Transition FX action ‘on
page load - initially hidden’ (and subsequently slides down/slides
up/appears…)?

In today’s web this sort of text is generally treated as acceptable;
Google’s indexing logic is extremely sophisticated and should be able
to recognise likely-legitimate uses of text that isn’t initially
visible but is shown through the page load event.

But it is unlikely to index content that requires a user-driven event
(i.e. rollover, click) to become visible. If it does, it wouldn’t
count for much compared with text that’s part of the ordinary
rendered page with no visibility tricks.

This is conjecture of course; Google reveals its secrets to nobody.
But it is all logical supposition.

k


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Google does not run JavaScript before it interprets the page. You can use this to your advantage thusly:

  • Hide anything you want to hide at the initial page load with JavaScript.
  • Reveal it later with JavaScript.

I’m not sure if the Softpress FX Actions do this or not, but if you were coding this along with the Protaculous Action, you would simply note the name(s) of the element(s) you wish to hide, and then add the appropriate script:

//for one
$('nameOfElement').hide();
//for multiple
$$('#name1, #name2, #name3').invoke('hide');

If you add that in Protaculous through the top Function Body button, the script will run before any of the page ever appears on screen. So the elements won’t show on the page to anyone running JavaScript, until you reveal them later with JavaScript. And Google (and other non-scripted clients) will see everything at once, and be able to read (or index) it.

Note that this technique can be used in other JavaScript coding environments, it’s not limited to Prototype. But if you do it this particular way, you will need to use the Prototype show() method to reveal something once it’s been hidden with hide().

Walter


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Sometime around 15/7/09 (at 08:28 -0400) waltd said:

Google does not run JavaScript before it interprets the page. You
can use this to your advantage thusly:

  • Hide anything you want to hide at the initial page load with JavaScript.
  • Reveal it later with JavaScript.

The problem is that I can imagine all sorts of black-hat SEO tricks
that can be done with this. Which means that Google will have thought
of that too. Which means it could be a waste of time or, worse,
potentially damaging SEO-wise.

I don’t know this, but it is a bit of a trick, and it does fall
into the realm of “any trick you can imagine Google will have thought
of already”.

Hence why page-load tricks are probably safer than user-event tricks.

k


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Thanks for your replies. I feel reasonably reassured that I could use this action without worry, but with care nevertheless.

But just one question for Walter. I am not as yet experienced in dealing with code in the manner you have suggested so need to stick to the FX Actions for the present. They are described on the Softpress site thus :—

“Freeway 5 Pro includes Actions which use the Scriptaculous JavaScript library to create JavaScript effects.”

Do they therefore match your criteria

  • Hide anything you want to hide at the initial page load with JavaScript.
  • Reveal it later with JavaScript. ?

Richard


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The FX Actions do all their hiding with JS once the page has loaded,
so content will be visible to google.

Joe

On 15 Jul 2009, at 14:32, Keith Martin wrote:

Sometime around 15/7/09 (at 08:28 -0400) waltd said:

Google does not run JavaScript before it interprets the page. You
can use this to your advantage thusly:

  • Hide anything you want to hide at the initial page load with
    JavaScript.
  • Reveal it later with JavaScript.

The problem is that I can imagine all sorts of black-hat SEO tricks
that can be done with this. Which means that Google will have
thought of that too. Which means it could be a waste of time or,
worse, potentially damaging SEO-wise.

I don’t know this, but it is a bit of a trick, and it does fall
into the realm of “any trick you can imagine Google will have
thought of already”.

Hence why page-load tricks are probably safer than user-event tricks.

k


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Does Mootools work in this way too?

Jon


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This is really interesting, I’m in the process of simplifying various
web sites of clutter in the interest of usability, and hiding elements
on the pages using javascript is an obvious method to reduce
unnecessary page clutter. Only to reveal further information when
the user requires it rather than using another page. Of course you
don’t want any negative hit on the SEO front.

FYI: The recommendation to simplify sites originates from the very
good Podcasts and Blog at http://www.boagworld.com which I would very
much recommend for anyone running websites as a living to look at as
there are some very useful tips to be had.

David

On 15 Jul 2009, at 15:20, Joe Billings wrote:

The FX Actions do all their hiding with JS once the page has loaded,
so content will be visible to google.

Joe

On 15 Jul 2009, at 14:32, Keith Martin wrote:

Sometime around 15/7/09 (at 08:28 -0400) waltd said:

Google does not run JavaScript before it interprets the page. You
can use this to your advantage thusly:

  • Hide anything you want to hide at the initial page load with
    JavaScript.
  • Reveal it later with JavaScript.

The problem is that I can imagine all sorts of black-hat SEO tricks
that can be done with this. Which means that Google will have
thought of that too. Which means it could be a waste of time or,
worse, potentially damaging SEO-wise.

I don’t know this, but it is a bit of a trick, and it does fall
into the realm of “any trick you can imagine Google will have
thought of already”.

Hence why page-load tricks are probably safer than user-event tricks.

k


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