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Hidden content after 'Read more' harmful?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by MySEOpower, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. MySEOpower

    MySEOpower Registered Member

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    Hi there,

    I've seen some websites using the 'Click to expand more' method of hiding their content from the visitors. When visitors click the 'Read more' button/link, around 1000 words of content will add to the normal text.
    I would like to add some extra content to the homepage of one my websites, since it only contains around 600 words of content right now (it's a bit too low to rank really good for this niche in my opinion and I think it's holding the SERPs back). The layout won't really let me add more than 600 words, since the sidebar isn't that long (it will create a whole empty gab in the sidebar) and I don't think mobile visitors would like to see this huge amount of content when they visit the website.

    Questions
    1. Is it safe to use a 'Read more' button to hide content for your visitors? Would like to add around another 1000 words in this hidden section. Heard some stories about Google penalizing websites for it.
    2. Does Google index the (for users) hidden content just the same as the other text on the page?

    In order to answer these questions myself, I've viewed a Matt Cuts video and the Webmaster Guidelines, but I would also like to hear your opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  2. Tobbe co

    Tobbe co Junior Member

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    What makes you think your mobile visitor would only like to read half of the content?
    Make the last widget in the sidebar float along when the user scroll down. I recommend http://stickyjs.com for this.

    Yes. That's literally how every wordpress theme works, by showing an excerpt. Google will crawl the hidden content and Matt says it's okey to do like you've mention.
    If you wanna be sure you can link the read more button to a second page and add a html tag to show the relevance between the two pages.

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.se/2011/09/pagination-with-relnext-and-relprev.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  3. MySEOpower

    MySEOpower Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reply Tobbe Co.

    See, the content that's currently on the website fits all the needs to the visitors. It contains enough information so that the visitor knows what the purpose of the website is and what they can buy on it. The problem is that I've got a feeling that 600 words of content on the homepage is too less for the specific niche I'm targeting. I don't think that mobile visitors wants to scroll down through the page when it contains 1800 words.

    I've already read the internet about this matter. I've seen some blogs telling that since November 2014 Google is no longer indexing 'click here to expand' content (source: John Mueller, Google Webmasters employee), since Google doesn't want to refer their visitors to pages to are not actually showing the content right away. A video from Matt Cuts (3 years ago) said that Google accepted these 'click here to expand'. I'm a little confused about this matter.

    Linking to a second page might be a good option, but it doesn't really seem right to me.
     
  4. Tobbe co

    Tobbe co Junior Member

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    Links please?
    That just sounds plain stupid and can't be right. Just think about all the stuff they would ignore.
    Drop down menus.
    Youtube video descriptions.
    Most FAQs.
    Long social media posts.
    Etc..
    Why not?
     
  5. MySEOpower

    MySEOpower Registered Member

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    youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534&v=tFSI4cpJX-I

    From 10:50 on...

    Can't put a link to the video, haven't been a user on BHW long enough the system says. I've also found a blog giving the same information about this matter.

    The second page isn't really possible for my website, quite hard to explain why. Will use that tip for other projects.
     
  6. Boriss

    Boriss Supreme Member

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    Almost all of my sites have a "read more" and I'm doing fine.
     
  7. MySEOpower

    MySEOpower Registered Member

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    A 'Read more' forwarding visitors to a new internal page, or a 'Click to expand' section? I've used it before (for example on FAQ pages), but I'm not sure about
    putting it on the homepage (the most important page of the website).
     
  8. Tobbe co

    Tobbe co Junior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2016
  9. upstarter

    upstarter Regular Member

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    Hey, read it here -> https://www.seroundtable.com/google-hidden-content-tabs-19534.html

    @MySEOpower -> G doesn't penalize sites with hidden content like text in tabs, "Read more" links, and paginated pages. They are crawled and indexed but NOT GIVEN THE SAME WEIGHT as the content that are obvious to the users and bot (or only to the bot).

    It is best to have a good balance of satisfying the search engines and the users. If you think your users wouldn't like to scroll down for those additional words, and since G wouldn't give much weight to it in the serps, then it would be best to place those additional 1200 words on a separate page.

    Scenario:
    1. You make a 1800-words page that the search engines like but the users doesn't.

    2. You add a "Read more" (I'm assuming this is hidden by AJAX) link which is beneficial to the user but the search engines don't give much weight to.

    3. You keep the page down to 600 words which is acceptable to the users but *you think* is not enough for the search engine.

    4. Create a new page (add a "Read more" link that points to it) which contains the additional 1200 words that is both good to the users and search engines but *to you, doesn't seem right*.

    It's up to you.