CSS Positioning is Not Search Spam

Sep 6, 2005 • 8:37 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

An Search Engine Watch Forum thread asks Is using DIV positioning for SEO, spam?

Basically, CSS positioning allows you to clean up your code so that the positioning of the code itself within the document does not match the exact rendering on the browser. So if I wanted the body content of this page to load before the side navigation of this page, or the header of this page, I just position the code in CSS to come first. It is good for many reasons but in terms of SEO it is good because the search engines read your body copy first. Since they can read the body copy first, the search engines will most likely get all your relevant copy (most engines cap off how much a page they read (xK). Also, since the copy is at the top, many search engines apply more on page weight to that copy, hopefully giving your page a slight boost in the rankings.

Now if you hide the content with CSS, then that is an other story. Positioning the content is not spam.

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09/07/2005 03:05 pm

But when does CSS become spam? We have recently used CSS & JavaScript to control a tab feature on a web page. Some of the content is hidden until you click a tab, where-upon other content is then hidden. I don't believe there will ever be a definative line which indicated SPAM or design.

Barry Schwartz

09/07/2005 05:18 pm

I would say no one at Google would think your example is spam.

John Mueller

09/07/2005 07:20 pm

"no one" might think it's spam - but we're worried about "no-thing" thinking it's spam... Those pesky algorithms. Seeing how Google tries to see "what the user sees", it will be tough for them to figure out what is being hidden until the user clicks somewhere and what is bein hidden because the user isn't supposed to see it. Will they end up discounting CSS-based content because it might be bad?

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