Does the Google Bot index css hidden divs?

POST UPDATE 04/04/2014
Police will say “we’ve changed the names to protect the innocent” – in that same vein…we’ve edited this post to protect the moron who wrote it.  (Yup – its me.)

I was re-reading some old posts…and it pretty much sounded stupid.  So – I figured I’d see what I could do to make it better.

What did we test?

Well – we wanted to know if Google indexes hidden div’s in HTML code.  Seems logical that Google would – but who flippin’ knows – right?

Back when this test concluded and went live – March of 2013 the conclusion was Google did.  Which is cool.  But – its always good to keep testing.  And I was looking for the original files I used to test with…and they were no where to be found.  Which is fine, but not a good way to show people you are a good testing guy.

So we recreated it.

The Test: Does Google index hidden div’s?

People use this method all the time – its like hiding tabbed content.  But – does the copy “hiding” behind the tab ever see the light of day algorithm of google?  Well – it sure used to a year ago…so we think it still will.  But we may as well test it.

Here are the pages I set up to test.

Keyword/Test 1:  funkyityfootoo
2014-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-01.htm

Keyword/Test 2: sassygogopantalones
2014-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-02.htm

Keyword/Test 3: lillywillywallymon
2014-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-03.htm

The visuals

The highlighted section (yellow) shows that all elements with the keyword, in this example the “H1″ and the second “div” (shown with the orange text and arrows) have both been hidden with an inline style.  Then, we use CSS & javascript to show it after the page load.  The green circles are used to show you the existence of the “funkyityfootoo” keyword.

does-google-index-hidden-divs

Conclusion

As we mentioned above – in 03/2013 Google indexed these just like other content on the page.  Information will be added here to tell us if that is still true.

It makes sense and is a valid test.  There are many, many websites which hide portions of content for a better user experience.  Some of those tabs have very boring information only nerds would look at.

Here is a quick link to the google search results for all three keywords.

5 Responses to “Does the Google Bot index css hidden divs?”

  1. Frank June 30, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for this article – helped me a lot. Does this work the same way with “visibilty:hidden” styles? Thanks in advance

    • tom June 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      Not sure…this may be something we’ll check. Thanks for asking.

  2. Dave August 13, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I’ve always wondered about it and a quick search found your answer! Thanks for the info, better make sure my hidden content is decent then!

  3. WilhelmR October 20, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    Been wondering this for quite a while, thanks for the very clear answer.

    Now the question is, do google follow links hidden by css?

  4. David Woods October 26, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Appreciate it, Ample knowledge

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