Google To Webmasters: It's No Longer 1996, Stop Using Marquees

May 2, 2011 • 8:45 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

For those of you looking for some light web development humor you may want to check out this Google Webmaster Help thread where Googler, JohnMu, suggested to a webmaster to avoid using Marquees.

Marquees? Honestly, I forgot what they were and had to do some searches to remember. An HTML marquees basically lets a text box scroll left or right or up or down or other methods. It is very old fashion and might bring back some fun memories of old web sites.

Here is an example:

This Web Site Is So Cool! Take Me Back To 1996

You can find more examples of this at

John from Google told this webmaster, and I quote:

One other thing that you may want to look into is removing the "marquees" on your pages. To users, they show only a very limited amount of information, to search engines, it looks like you're using them to stuff in as many related keywords as possible. For instance, on your homepage, you have one that is one line high and approximately 2-3 words wide.

He goes on to explain, "If it's important that users see that information, then I would recommend placing it on the page in a visible way. If this is not meant for users to see, then I'd recommend just removing it."

Hat tip to Colin McDermott for providing the title used in the header of this story.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Nick Stamoulis

05/02/2011 02:09 pm

Website owners need to match their websites with the times. No, they don't have to be works of Internet art, but a well-designed website goes a long way in convincing a visitor that you know what you are doing. Little design changes can have a big impact.


05/02/2011 04:19 pm

"Take Me Back To 1996" - Love it haha

Michael Martinez

05/02/2011 05:04 pm

So add marquees to the growing list of things (like tag clouds) that people may want to embed in iframes if they want to include stuff on the page that search engines cannot correctly interpret.

James Burrow

05/03/2011 12:45 am

Marquees out, tag still awesome!

Anirban Das

05/03/2011 06:34 am

Marquess , we stopped it since early 2008 and good to see john Mu advicing now...


05/03/2011 08:35 am

Did you read the GWT thread Michael in question? The webmaster had used a marquee to stuff hundreds of spammy keywords into. If it was used correctly as a short snippet of text they most likely wouldn't have had a huge problem with it.

Luke Jones

05/03/2011 02:43 pm

I wasn't aware people were still using them.

Adam Zmenak

09/10/2011 02:58 am

i love you.


06/26/2013 04:09 pm

It is all good to criticise a tag for being old, but let's remember its main purpose: it scrolls the content. Just because it can be misused by spammer like 1000s other HTML tags and tweak, it is not enough reason to single it out like that. It is an HTML tag and it works on all the browsers I tested. Tell me another single tag to achieve the same effect. Using tons of Javascript code or a similarly heavy framework for a simple animated scroll effect? How about speed and simplicity? I hate it when Google people make haphazard statements knowing [desperate] people follow them religiously. Some of their statements even conflict with their own web design such as use of keywords in the URL etc...

David Lamb Minton

05/28/2014 03:47 pm

Ahh. Just sent this link to my client's clueless "specifier" and she agreed it was time to kill it. I finally got to dump the damn scrolling abomination from my otherwise beautiful site!!

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