www.warehouse-video.co.uk are another UK based company ranking in Google thanks to black hat techniques, this time using hidden text.

The site looks reputable on first look, nice design, clean, crisp and easy to use. They also are pulling in some natural traffic, e.g. number 1 for ‘dvd jewel case’ and 5 for ‘VHS Tape Packs’ but to do this the site uses a black hat technique of hiding a H1 tag at the top of most pages.

The coding is simple, a div at the top of the page called ‘top’.

Wedding DVD Cases - Blank DVDs - DVD Jewel Case - VHS Tape Packs – Warehouse Video, Middlesex, UK

In the style sheet its hidden, not using the popular display none but using text-indent:-5000px. This is basically displaying the text 5000 pixels to the left of the screen.

#top h1

If you want to see this hidden text there’s a couple of options, view the Google cache of the page, click on text only. The other way is to use the web developer toolbar plugin for Firefox and turn the css off, the text then appears.

The text appears on every page, with the text just changing depending on what the page is about. At the moment they seem have avoided any penalisation from Google most likely due to them being under the radar, not being a big enough site to get spotted. This will most likely not last, Google will catch up them which is way black hat methods of hiding text are not a sustainable way of getting rankings in Google.

There’s a little link at the bottom of www.warehouse-video.co.uk to www.castus.co.uk whom I’m guessing are responsible for the hidden text. As ever I’ll keep tabs of the site to see if they remove the text or drop out of the rankings.

3 thoughts on “www.warehouse-video.co.uk and their Hidden Text

  1. Pingback: Showforce.com hidden text | A UK SEO - Blog from a Search Engine Optimiser based the UK

  2. MMMM…. I think you are going a little overboard with this.

    I would not class this as a blackhat technique.

    The h1 title tag has been used to describe the content of the webpages. Obviously the h1 tag is indented to not display on the browser window, but I think this has been done simply for cosmetic reasons from a design point of view.

    The title tag is relivent to page content. it has not been over stuffed with key words, and there is nothing on the webpage that sugests any unethical tactics have been used.

    I for one work for an SEO Company…. In of Europes largest. As long as this method is not being abused, then from a professional point of view, it is acceptable practice, and not classed as spamming “blackhat”… by any of the search engines.

    And to add to this, NO i am not a representative of this company, or the company that designed the website.

  3. Hi John

    Thanks for the comment but I would have to disagree with you there. If the H1 tag said “Warehouse Video Services” then it’s not too bad as it reflects the content in the image. The H1 tag currently in the page doesn’t, key phrases have been stuffed in there (Blank DVDs – DVD Jewel Case – VHS Tape Packs).

    Would Google penalise you? It’s all about the intent. I would say that the content in the H1 is there with the intent to help search engines. It’s borderline, but it’s more on the black side than white side.

    Question. If that was your site and Matt Cutts, John Mu, Danny Sullivan etc were at a conference and going to review this site would you keep the text in there?

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