Hide Text with Same Color as Background, What does google think?

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Thirty-Two E-Webstyle.com SEO Podcast Sept. 25th 2009. Second page of Transcription

Chris: He was waiting for his seven virgins and, look, I am just quoting whatever they’ve put in the press. I don’t know the details. I haven’t read it myself but arguably he was waiting for his seven virgins after this phone call. One of them, he was hoping was getting, “Hi, and welcome to your seven virgins. I’m your first, Gisele Brady.” Wait, not a virgin.

Paul: So that, oh, yeah. That guy was going to jail. (07:45) put him under the jail forever.

Chris: That is crazy.

Paul: And that was, too, that kind of sucks, man. That’s a little too close to home to me.

Chris: Yeah and he was going to take–it’s kind of funny ‘cause he was going to take out–not funny but his thought process he’s going to take out a bank in Dallas and this was going to cripple the remaining–cripple the American economy.

Paul: A local branch of a bank.

Chris: Well, no. It was-it was–

Paul: Oh, okay.

Chris: It was a big whatever 20, 40, 80-storey building or whatever–

Paul: Oh, wow.

Chris: It was a skyscraper. But it’s still just one building. That doesn’t cripple the industry.

Paul: I know.

Chris: You need to go after-I don’t know-something.

Paul: Let’s not pass on the advice.

Chris: Bigger, yeah. I don’t know.

Paul: You suck, man! I’m going to go ahead and say that, you suck! That’s whack.

Chris: Yeah, Smadi.

Paul: Yeah, you’re going to get what you deserve.

Chris: Smadi, not so smart.

Paul: Thank you.

Chris: All right. So–

Paul: What’s on the agenda for the day?

Chris: We’ve got a couple of things on the agenda. Actually–

Paul: What did we cover last time?

Chris: Yeah, we got to cover last time. We had the final two podcasts of interview with Joe Orsak, with improvemycredit. And he’s actually in the last two, we gave him very specific advice about what to do. He’s already incorporated some of it. And he sent us a question about that information.

Paul: A really good question. I think this is a question that a lot of people who possibly beginning SEO might have this question.

Chris: So he keyed in and he really understood about title tags and header tags and having the titles on the page and that’s what gives a lot of value to Google. And he understands that from a marketing perspective, the front page is a page where you really kind of hammering home your marketing information which may not necessarily be work well with the keywords that you’re targeting. So if your ultimate goal is to do any credit repair in the U.S., you may not want credit repair Houston, even though if credit repair Houston is what you’re targeting right now.

So what he did is he actually took some text and it’s real small, it’s not on his life site, it’s real small and the text is on a white background and it is white. Therefore, it is hidden text.

And he asked us how does that affect Google, does this little trick work? And so this is kind of a very tricky question. To be a stickler for Google’s rules, hidden text, this is definitely going to be a Black Hat technique.

Can you get away with it? I know people who have used this similar Black Hat technique, hidden text on websites and they’re still up and it’s been years. They’re in a very low market. There are not many people who traffic that website and the people who do traffic that website aren’t very tech-savvy. So are probably not even going to realize what’s going on. And that maybe true. So you may be able to get away with it ‘cause at the end of the day, if you’re typing in–if somebody’s typing in improvemycredit Houston and they end up on his page, has he really deceived Google or the end-user? And the short answer to that question is no, he hasn’t. Is he going directly against their policies?
Yes, he is. So if somebody were to go to his website and recognize that he did it and reported to Google, he could very easily get banned.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Just like Kay Bailey Hutchison got banned.

Paul: That’s right. And that’s basically kind of doing the same thing.

Chris: And that was about five or six podcasts ago that Kay–that we talked about Kay Bailey Hutchinson, she had–she was using CSS tags or just cascade style sheets to hide a big block of text, which one of the phrases in it was “why do have knees?”

Paul: Knees. Didn’t she have like an image over–

Chris: Yup.

Paul: All the text?

Chris: Yeah. She used her cascade style sheet, also known as a CSS to actually make sure the picture was over it. So she actually got banned from Google so until she got that all fixed up.

So, Joe, the short answer is I wouldn’t mess with that. I would find another way to incorporate that text in there. And we’ll be following up with Joe to make sure he does have that information.

So that’s a great question. It’s one of those things like I’m just trying to do the right thing. It makes sense so this is how you’ve told me to get on the first page. And this is why it’s important to deal with an expert company because you can read–the information we gave him was just information that you could find anywhere on the web. We’re world-class experts at what we do and we’re not perfect. He takes that information, he goes off and he makes what he thinks are the best decisions with it. And he ends up doing something that could ultimately get his website banned.

So you really do want to be working with some sort of expert. Preferably with us ‘cause we’re happy to help you, we’re reasonably priced and–

Paul: We’re awesome.

Chris: We’re awesome.

Paul: There you go.

Chris: You can give us a call. You can reach us at 713 592 6724. We also are on Twitter so can follow us on Twitter. If you go twitter.com/ewebstyle. Or you can find us on Facebook. Also you can become a fan of our company at Facebook. We’ll keep you up-to-date there. And also remember, you can send us an email – podcast@e-webstyle.com.

We’ve got another question. It’s actually very similar. Almost identical but we’ll address individually. This is from Sebastian Gonzales. And do we have a website for him? No.

Paul: No, Sebastian didn’t submit his website.

Chris: Okay. So what he has is–really what he has is the CSS image replacement. And what he says is: “One question that I’ve been wondering about is CSS image replacement.” And he’s saying, “That’s where you can use an H1 tag of text and then you use CSS, which puts the text indent minus 9,999 pixels.” And basically, what he’s saying is, “I’m going to put an image over this text and it’s going to hide the text.”

And again, this is the same response that we gave to Joe. If you’ve got legitimate text there and people find you because of that, then, and you’re not trying to get people to your website who type, “Why do we need knees” or “Why do we have knees?” then, you’re really not doing a–again, you’re not doing a disservice to Google and you’re not doing a disservice to the Google user, which is ultimately what Google cares about.

Now the flipside of that and I didn’t mention this in when we’re talking about Joe just moments ago, Google has robots and robots don’t make those kinds of decisions, right? They don’t say, “Oh, this is hidden text and it’s relevant and it’s really not going to mess with our users.” They just say, “Here’s hidden text” or “here’s text that’s not going to be displayed” or “here’s whatever.” And put a flag up. And so you could get banned using this technique. And that’s just something you don’t want to mess with. There’s got to be another way, right? And really, this is, we’re kind of your creative web design team – which we have a nice one here – comes in real handy because you’re thinking, “I’ve got to have this image,” well, maybe there’s a way to do both or maybe you incorporate it or there’s something–there’s a way to do this that looks good, is user-friendly, sells your marketing message and also appeases or caters to Google the way that you need to.

So, that’s really important that you do that.

Paul: Yeah. And we’ve stressed it so many times before, Google has the lion’s share of the market. Their word is basically Gospel if in–even if you’re not using–if you’re using relevant keywords and you’re hiding them behind an image, if Google says
you’re doing it wrong, then you’re doing it wrong. And if they ban you, then, your website’s going to be in a great deal of trouble. And to my understanding, it’s tough to get out of their supplemental. I’ve–we’ve never had to pull anyone out but I hear it’s really, really tough. So just kind of stay away from stuff like that.

But great question, thanks again, Sebastian. We appreciate you asking.

Chris: That was awesome so I think we covered that well. Let’s go on. Our next thing we’re going to talk about. This is a very serious SEO subject.

Paul: Which one?

Chris: SEO, yeah, right. SEO rapping.

Paul: Rapping to SEO. That, man, are we going to rap about SEO? (sound effects 16:33). Not today at least.

Chris: Go, Paul!

Paul: We found this guy who raps about SEO.

Chris: His name is–

Paul: I don’t know – Chuck?

Chris: Mo Serious.

Paul: Oh, Mo Serious. Yeah.

Chris: Mo Serious.

Paul: Mo Serious is his name, he works of another company here in Houston, a competing company. And I was almost a little hesitant to talk about him ‘cause he’s our–they’re a competitor of ours but he puts on it together that I thought was so good. I was like, “Man, this is really worth giving a shot out for him.”

Chris: We got to give him props.

Paul: I’ll really do it. I haven’t even–I’ve never talked to the guy, never met him but he did a rap about different SEO techniques and it actually is good–

Chris: It covers the techniques.

Paul: Covers the techniques.

Chris: Well?

Paul: And it–his delivery was very impressive. Where can they find this rap?

Chris: If you go to Google and you search for “design coding rap” and that’s R-A-P, he’ll come up as the first video there. And “Design Coding” is actually the name of the video. I got to tell you the information in it was awesome. I was listening.

Paul: It really was.

Chris: Everything is enunciated beautifully so you can actually follow it.

Paul: Yes, you can understand it, yeah.

Chris: And–

Paul: I mean he talks about linking, how to layout your websites–

Chris: Good image colors.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Action calls-to-action.

Paul: Strong versus bold, using tables…

Chris: I was just going to bring that up. There’s something that I’ve been hearing lately. I just continue to use bold when I’m doing HTML tag, you need a little technical here on you, guys, so bear with me. I use the bold tag, which is just a B in order to make some text bold. And apparently the new one is strong. Nobody called me up and say, “Hey, Chris, now we’re using strong back in ’04.” ‘Cause I read an article recently about it that was written in ’04.

Paul: You didn’t check your HTML tag memo box?

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