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Googlebot and Hidden Text

P: n/a
Hi:
I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this issue. (I've been
digging around everywhere and can't seem to find it by searching):

I use the @import statement to attach an external style sheet on our
site. I chose to use this technique rather than use the LINK tag
because I wanted to hide the design from older browsers like NN4 and to
present a clean, text-only version to JAWS and other accessibility
screen readers.

In the style sheet itself, I use the display:none attribute on the H1,
H2, and H3 tags so that the copy within these tags won't appear in the
version meant for those browsers that can interpret the @import
statement (modern browsers). In NN4, however, the H1, H2, and H3 tags
do appear, which helps to identify the pages of my site to this
browser.

My question is: does the Googlebot understand the @import statement? I
know that use of the display:none attribute may not comply with
Google's best practices, but if the Googlebot cannot read the style
sheet, is it safe to use this technique?

Thanks to anyone who can answer this question.

Jul 21 '05 #1
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6 Replies


P: n/a
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 15:45:32 -0300, Bonnie <bo**********@jhu.edu> wrote:
Use text-indent: -5000px;
I never use the display: none. I don't want Google to ban me or lower my
PR.
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Jul 21 '05 #2

P: n/a
Tim
On 21 Mar 2005 10:45:32 -0800,
"Bonnie" <bo**********@jhu.edu> posted:
I use the @import statement to attach an external style sheet on our
site. I chose to use this technique rather than use the LINK tag
because I wanted to hide the design from older browsers like NN4 and to
present a clean, text-only version to JAWS and other accessibility
screen readers.
In what way are you doing it? Liking to an external style sheet, and it
imports the additional styles? Or are you doing in-line styles in the HTML
head?
My question is: does the Googlebot understand the @import statement? I
know that use of the display:none attribute may not comply with
Google's best practices, but if the Googlebot cannot read the style
sheet, is it safe to use this technique?


So far as I'm aware it doesn't even look at stylesheets (my webserver logs
don't show it accessing them, either).

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Jul 21 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Unknown User" <me@privacy.net> writes:
Use text-indent: -5000px;
I never use the display: none. I don't want Google to ban me or lower
my PR.


You think if it can be written to object to display: none it can't be
written to object to text-ident: -large; ?

I suspect, given that Googlebot doesn't download CSS files, it objects
to neither.

--
Chris
Jul 21 '05 #4

P: n/a
Chris Morris <c.********@durham.ac.uk> wrote:
"Unknown User" <me@privacy.net> writes:
Use text-indent: -5000px;
I never use the display: none. I don't want Google to ban me or lower
my PR.
You think if it can be written to object to display: none it can't be
written to object to text-ident: -large; ?


I agree wrt Google. But think about screen readers - dual purpose
browsers that display the page on screen and read it aloud (many use
IE for the screen display). These often support media="screen" and so
display: none; will hide the content from the screen reader as well as
from purely visual browsers. OTOH the text-indent and similar
techniques will only hide it from the visual browsers.
I suspect, given that Googlebot doesn't download CSS files, it objects
to neither.


For now. ;-\

Steve
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I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 21 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 14:29:12 +1030, Tim wrote:
My question is: does the Googlebot understand the @import statement? I
know that use of the display:none attribute may not comply with
Google's best practices, but if the Googlebot cannot read the style
sheet, is it safe to use this technique?

So far as I'm aware it doesn't even look at stylesheets (my webserver logs
don't show it accessing them, either).


On my website (see sig ^^), I have comics, aka images containing text.
I wanted the text to be indexed by google, or even be readable by
no-visual browser, why not?

I didn't feel like putting all the dialogues in the alt attribue. I felt
it was too much text.
Does Google read it anyway ?

So I put it in a div with, in the css file a display:none, well google
reads it and I can find my website just by searching for a quote of my
comics. My inner geek is happy.

http://www.google.fr/search?hl=fr&q=...bull+attack%22

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Jul 21 '05 #6

P: n/a
Tim
On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 14:29:12 +1030, Tim wrote:
So far as I'm aware it doesn't even look at stylesheets (my webserver logs
don't show it accessing them, either).

Salagir <Sa*****@jeruCITEDELESPACE.org.invalid> posted:
On my website <http://www.geeksworld.org.>
Hmm, the drawing styles reminds me of a cross between Tin Tin, Marineboy,
and some manga. ;-)
I have comics, aka images containing text.
I wanted the text to be indexed by google, or even be readable by
no-visual browser, why not?

I didn't feel like putting all the dialogues in the alt attribue. I felt
it was too much text.
The ALT text is an alternative for the image. In some cases, it's going to
be the only way to understand images, so it should contain useful content.
In some cases the surrounding text (such as your CSS hidden text) does the
same task and the images are purely illustrative, and don't really need any
ALT text.

For something like a comic I probably wouldn't worry about it and do it
like you've described. The chances are that the ALT text couldn't really
do it in a coherent manner, anyway, particularly with multiple characters
saying something in a cell.
Does Google read it anyway ?

So I put it in a div with, in the css file a display:none, well google
reads it and I can find my website just by searching for a quote of my
comics. My inner geek is happy.

http://www.google.fr/search?hl=fr&q=...bull+attack%22


I think they only Googling problem with display:none; was with in-line
styles, where Google will see it (I see no evidence of Google reading
external stylesheets). Likewise for doing white text on white, etc.

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Jul 21 '05 #7

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