Google on using CSS to Hide Internal Links

css to hide internal links
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Hidden Internal links are a big issue. However, John Mueller, the senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, answered the much-awaited question explaining that it is not a big issue getting penalized. It is a huge deal if we consider site improvement. 

The question was not appropriate as the person who asked the concerned question appeared to misapprehend the term cloaking, and he used it to define internal links concealed by the application of CSS. 

CSS is made use of to hide internal links. This feature can effectively make an HTML element dissipate from the Internet site without affecting the layout. 

css to hide internal links
CSS to Hide Internal Links

It was surprising that the site could hide the concerned links in the footer for at least nine months, and Google did not issue a penalty against them. 

The person was concerned that demotivation will be experienced by the respected client to invest his efforts to rectify the mistakes related to the concealed links as it has been there for months, and the web page was not even penalized. 

Therefore, he asked the question to draw a clarification about Google’s lack of discipline when it comes to charging the issues or whether the matter is something serious to fix immediately. 

Understanding the difference between Cloaking and Hidden links

To make things understandable, John Mueller wanted to know about the type of cloaking involved in the scenario. The client was hiding, according to the SEO, the internal links in the footer with CSS. As CSS is used to Hide Internal Links, and this circumstance proved the established misconception. Hidden links are not cloaking, as stated by John Mueller. 

Cloaking means displaying a specific type of content and delivering it to Google.  It also refers to displaying the content designation and serving other typed of content for users’ utilization. Also, it indicates the scenario where the original content has been camouflaged from Google by the script that discovers when Googlebot revisits and shifts the content to something else. Hence, Mueller cleared the confusion and stated that the SEO was dealing with hidden internal links and not cloaking. 

Lastly, John Mueller expressed his views regarding the footer links hidden with CSS. He stated that the Google webspam team is not responsible for such a happening. 

john mueller
John Mueller

In the words of John Mueller, 

“I think that’s something that theoretically we don’t like.

But I don’t see the webspam team taking action on that. Because especially when it comes to internal linking like that, it has quite a subtle effect within the website and you’re essentially just shuffling things around within your website.

I think it would be trickier if they were …buying links somewhere else and then hiding them.

That would be problematic, that might be something that our algorithms pick up on or that even the webspam team at some point might manually look at.”

John Mueller expanded his explanation saying he considers hidden links as an opportunity to improve the site. 

Identify whether the links are advantageous for the site visitors, as it directly affects the site visitors. 

According to him, it is better to solve an SEO problem based on how it may affect the site visitors. Hence, non-beneficial links for the site visitors on the web page are also baseless for SEO purposes.

From the perspective of SEO, the main objective of a page is to sell a product; therefore, internal links to some other pages will not be relevant for SEO purposes anyway. 

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