Is hidden text (or links) a Google ranking signal?

Published: January 18, 2019

Yes, according to official statements from Google, hiding text or links can negatively affect your search rankings.

“Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google’s search rankings can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” source

Google used to send Search Console warning messages to webmasters who implemented the tactic:

“we wanted to talk to you a little bit today about hidden text and keyword stuffing so what does it mean if you get a message like this in Google’s free webmaster tools the webmaster console” source

According to Google, here are some common ways used by spammers to hide text and links:

Using white text on a white background

– Locating text behind an image

– Using CSS to position text off-screen

– Setting the font size to 0 (zero)

– Hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph” source