Does the Google Bot index css hidden divs?

POST UPDATE 04/09/2015
Its been almost a year since we tried this…we think it is still vaild – but scroll down for some new links.

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.

2015 Tests

Here is the composite google search for the three terms.

Keyword/Test 1:  frediaconineda
2015-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-01.htm

Keyword/Test 2: booleebagadolly
2015-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-02.htm

Keyword/Test 3: sooweedingladoebadoo
2015-04-does-google-index-hidden-divs-03.htm

2014 Tests

Check these out…you can see the search results here.

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.

How Many Pixels Does Google Use in the Title?

I’ve been waiting for a while now for SEO Mofo to tell us Google’s limit on the number of pixels Google will display in the title of a snippet. He created a 107 character title that Google displayed completely. But it was unclear whether this title was in fact the absolute limit on pixels. In the case of his 107 character title, I believe the number of pixels displayed by Google was about 450.

I’m tired of waiting to find out. So, I’m going to find out for myself.

Let’s see where Google decides to cut off the title of this post.

SEO Test: Google doesn’t care about Keywords in the Meta Description

This is a follow-up on my buddy Dave’s post a few days ago: “Do Keywords in the Meta Description Count as Keywords”

He tossed out a test which checked to see if keywords in the meta description were a good, helpful thing…it turns out, then are not.  Worthless in fact.

Here is what he did – he posted the article and then, as the test, put a made up word in the meta description “skiraluntants” – here it is:

Here is the source of the page where you can see the keyword “skiraluntants” clearly in the meta description.

The site was published and percolated for a few days and was indexed by Google.  We know this because if we search for the page using the “site:” – it will show us it is indexed.

Yup – Google indexed the page – you can see the keywords in the meta description, but check the next picture out…

But now search for the keywords (skiraluntants) – no dice.

Google is indexing your keywords in the meta description? It depends on what the mean is is, is…

Even in Google’s own documentation about Webmaster tools is doesn’t ever say that the description tag will be used for search – they say “This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations this description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results”.
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/keywords-meta-tag-in-web-search/

Google clearly states “Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.”  Many SEO’s and other “gurus” still insist it is important and “it couldn’t hurt” – but it is just not necessary.

So – it is a fact.  Google does not care about your keywords in the meta description – the only thing they use it for is to show a nice pretty summary for the search to read.  Don’t get me wrong – this is SUPER important for readability, it is just not indexed.

This makes sense – they don’t want to allow human intervention if at all possible.  If Google used the meta description, then we SEO loving humans could “help” describe the page.  By using the meta description for the SERP, then we can at least help the searchers find what they are looking for.

SEO Test: Does Google look at more than the H1 tag?

UPDATE: 2012/07/10

Check it out below.

 

Well – here we are again, we have a new test to look at. This time we are looking at the effects of strict HTML on the way Google measures a page.

The essential question of does Google look at more than the H1 tag when analyzing a page?

The theory is – if we have a page with just an H1 and no content – does Google care?  We know that Google is getting very good at more complicated HTML and javascript pages – but how deep are they doing to determine the SEO focus of any given page?

We also know the importance of good headings in regards to SEO.  SEO is dependent on the heading tags.

So we setup 2 keywords and 3 pages each.

The first page is a keyword in the H1, but no content.  Page two is keyword in the H1, but non-related words as content.  The finally – we have keyword in H1, and keyword once in the content.

Then we  replicated the entire thing again with an additional keyword…

OK – check back and let us know what your guess on the results in the comments.

Keyword 1: freatwqakhy (https://www.google.com/search?q=freatwqakhy)
Keyowrd 2: vihnjkyelyot (https://www.google.com/search?q=vihnjkyelyot)

Keyword 1 samples:

Keyword 2 samples:

Tom’s Guess:

My guess is the sample 1 is crap and will get shunned, sample 2 will will and sample 2 will still get indexed – but behind 3.  I think Google is looking – but not that much.

Basically I think, “does Google look at more than the H1 tag” – no.  They talk a big game, but in the end still reply on very few ranking signals…we will soon see.

So – does Google look at more than the H1 tag?

Answers to come…

Updated 2012/07/10


We have an update – the initial results are in and more seems to be better.

Here is the results after 2-3 days.

Same thing here – after 2-3 days of being in the wild.

We may have to devise another test – my fear is we have more keywords on the page so it may increase frequency.