Google Confirmed Again: Content Hidden In Tabs With Mobile-First Index Is Okay

Jul 7, 2017 - 8:19 am 7 by

Google Hidden Content Mobile

Back in November of last year, Gary Illyes from Google said content hidden in tabs is okay in the mobile-first world. Well, John Mueller of Google also confirmed that today in a YouTube hangout at the 43 second mark and then again at the 35:29 mark into the video.

John said at the 35 minute mark:

So with the mobile first indexing will index the the mobile version of the page. And on the mobile version of the page it can be that you have these kind of tabs and folders and things like that, which we will still treat as normal content on the page even. Even if it is hidden on the initial view.

In short, when the mobile first index rolls out, which won't be for some time, content in tabs or hidden for user experience purposes, will rank just as well as content in plain view of the user.

Currently, content hidden in tabs do not rank as well in the desktop first index world. But that will all change with the mobile-first index said both Gary Illyes and John Mueller of Google.

Here are the video embeds at each start time:

To take you back a bit in history Google has told us for years that content hidden in tabs, accordions and so forth are not given full weight and may be ignored by their ranking algorithms. Not so in the mobile-first Google index.

Here are the transcripts:

Question:

On desktop if you hide content then it gets, it's considered a lower weighting for ranking. Now with the mobile first index working to be crawling and indexing content rather for mobile is that going to change now in any way? Because I suppose with mobile and mobile interface you have to hide content, you have to have content in tabs. So is there going to be some sort of more relaxed approach from Google side on mobile with hiding content or is it you know could you kind of try to explain how that's now gonna impact mobile?

Answer:

With the mobile first index we we decided that sometimes with the UI limitations on mobile you kind of have to use the these kind of I don't know design matter - that's fine from our side.

So on desktop it's something where we think if it's really important content it should be visible. On mobile it's it's a bit trickier obviously. I think if it's a critical contact it should be visible but that's more kind of between you and your users in the end.

From an SEO point of view both [content hidden in tabs or not] are legitimate options

When we index the mobile content yes. So at the moment we index the desktop content, that's the canonical yeah. And switch to the mobile version and then we'll be treating it differently.

Question:

You’ll be treating can hidden content differently?

Answer:

Yeah.

Then later at the 35 minute mark:

So with the mobile first indexing will index the the mobile version of the page. And on the mobile version of the page it can be that you have these kind of tabs and folders and things like that, which we will still treat as normal content on the page even. Even if it is hidden on the initial view.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

 

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