Hidden text used to be one of the old operational tricks in the SEO playbook, but if you're still trying to improve your search engine rankings with this method, you'll soon find that this outdated tactic is useless.
When search engines were not too sophisticated, it was possible to hide text on web pages to rank for certain keywords that were not visible to the page. You can also hide links to other sites you want to rank for.
Also called "content invisibility," this strategy used to work because even if the text was hidden, search engines could still crawl it. But that's not the case anymore - search engines are more sophisticated and advanced at detecting spam.
Why hide text?
The reasons for using hidden text and how it is implemented can vary.
Here are a few reasons why some SEO professionals use this tactic.
These include keywords that cannot be shown to the public,
for example, the names of competitors. These keywords cannot be added due to compliance with regulations, corporate marketing strategies, or methods of stealth SEO in order to compete for a competitor's branded terms.
There is also a situation where email list SEOs use misspelled keywords and hide them because the misspelling looks inappropriate and would be full of errors if used directly in an article.
Some SEO experts believe that increasing on-page keyword counts can help with rankings. This may have been an effective strategy from the pre-SEO era (late 1990s to early 2000s), but it is by no means a good strategy today.
Links are still a powerful ranking factor. Many sites used to get links from other hidden sites. These links are hidden because usually they have nothing to do with the content on the publishing site.
Sometimes these links are added on websites owned by the same company or owned by pre-determined partners. Other times, hackers add links to sites; not only bad for SEO but also illegal.