Mar 10, 2013
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I just heard of someone using white text against a white background to get page one ranking in places, even without doing any of the correct methods. In fact they do show up on page one without doing much of anything in their places account. Has anyone heard of using this method (not that I would even consider it)? I would think that Google would catch that in a minute, since if they are seeing the white text for ranking, they would also be able to see it's spammy?
I can't prove this is happening, since I can't see the white text, but was told by site owner that is how they are getting ranked well? Real or B.S.?

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Google has been hip to hidden text like that for years. I doubt that's why they are ranking but would love to see/analyze if you care to share.


Sep 27, 2012
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Most manipulation works for a short period of time. If you are looking for quick results, black hat, as you've described, is worth the try. If you are looking for any long term results, this tactic is not worth it. I'm not suggesting that you are doing it for the record.

You could do a Ctrl + A (control all) to highlight the text on the page and see if the text is there. In your example, this should be all you need to find the hidden text. It will highlight if it's there.

You would need to share more information to see if this is why they are ranking. I echo Linda, I doubt that this is the reason they are ranking well. If it is the reason, I doubt it will be for long. If this is a site you are working on or plan on working on, you should disclose your tactics as the finger will ultimately be pointed at you when they get slapped by Google.

There are black hat tactics that work and unless you know ALL or MOST of the ramifications when conducting these tactics, it is not recommended. It is usually only a matter of time until Google discovers them and de-indexes the site. It's not very easy to get back on their good side either.

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012
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I'd take it a step further and say hidden-link tactics rarely even work in the short-term. I'd be interested in looking at the specific website that seems to be ranking well and hiding links.

This dovetails nicely with a recent post by the great Bill Slawski:

Google Granted Patent on Invisible Text and Hidden Links


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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In my experience, G+L is often behind the times when it comes to the "standard" algorithm. This wouldn't surprise me one bit.
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