h1 with background-image plus text-indent versus SEO

  • # July 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve got a question: If I style headlines (resp. lists with links) with a background-image (what the people see) and a text-indent of -9999px (what the machines see), the background-image is always the same image file, especially if I use it as a sprite or if I hide the h1 in the logo. Taking a look in the logfiles, I can see that the searchbots load css-files as well. I am just wondering about what these robot guys think about the fact, that there are five html-files whose h1 has different text with text-indent of -9999px but always the same h1-background-image. Do the know what’s happening when watching the page with human eyes? These human eyes would be a short algorithm only.

    This is in priciple the same dirty trick as invisible keywords where in the 90ies – with the only diffenrece that we are not pornsite-gangsters anymore but want to make good=semantic content.

    Does anyone of you have any experience how this may influence the ranking?

    For instance:

    The background-image file says: Proceedings in advanced ontology and semitotics.
    The indented text says: Why are my boobs so small and what are men thinking about them?

    This would be my approach to turn Google into Wolfram Alpha :)

    # July 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    If that example is what you’re really doing, it will eventually come to hurt your site and its ranking. Cheating Google is never a good idea, they have far too much influence on how users search the web. Don’t mess with them.

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