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What Is Hidden Text in SEO?

search engine optimisation with a magnifying glass

Hidden text is one of the oldest and most popular SEO techniques. In case you’re wondering whether or not it can work today, then it is important to accept the fact that it is not of much use in today’s SEO strategies.

A few years back, search engines were not advanced as they are today. This meant that it was possible to hide some webpage content, including text, to ensure a better ranking for different keywords which were hidden on the page. Similarly, it was also possible to hide links for various websites which linked the page whose ranking you want to improve.

Content cloaking is another name used for this. It is successful because, despite the hidden nature of users, search engines can still access and crawl them.

Why Are Efforts Made to Hide the Text?

There is a wide range of reasons behind the use of hidden text and why it is being implemented by website administrators. Some of these reasons are as follows:

Unrevealed Keywords for the Public

Competitor names cannot be included in the keywords. While trying to rank for the brand terms of the competitors, certain keywords cannot be used because of issues pertaining to the legal compliance, marketing policies in the corporate sector, and various SEO approaches. Sometimes, there are SEO specialists who use wrong spelling for keywords and clock them as it just does not seem right for being used in a post.


There are a few SEO experts who believe that by just increasing the frequency of word count, they can increase the rank of a specific keyword. Such practice was wildly successful in the 1990s and 2000s. However, it is 2019, and you cannot expect to enjoy the same success from keyword spamming.


Links still play a strong role in ranking. There are several websites that receive links from other hidden websites. The reason these links were hidden was that their content was not relevant for their website.

In some cases, the websites get these links – which are owned by a partner or the company. In other cases, websites are infected via hacking so links can be added. Bear in mind that this is not only a bad SEO strategy, but it can also land you in legal trouble.

Search engines like Google are not a fan of optimisation methods as they do not weight much on ranking metrics. In the past few years, Google has enhanced its processes and infrastructure of assessing and processing of hidden text. When Google is unable to detect your hidden content despite its highly advanced crawler, then the hidden links and the hidden content quality are not powerful enough, and thus they are not ranked well. Moreover, there is no dearth of manual reviewers on Google who are assigned the responsibility of manually evaluating these websites and proceed further.