When it comes to desktop pages, Google has long demoted content that is “hidden” behind tabs, accordions or clicks. But with the move to mobile first, this can complicate matters.
It is a common tactic to put mobile content into tabs for multiple reasons. First, when a site uses a longer amount of text on a mobile page, accordion tabs can make it easy to collapse sections that can then be expanded by the searcher, if they want to read more on that particular section. Second, it is far better for a user experience, since it doesn’t require as much scrolling.
Here is an example of this, from Wikipedia… any section can be expanded to show the complete text in those sections.
The question has come up a few times on Twitter since the initial announcement, and Gary Illyes from Google commented that there should be no issue with the content being devalued on mobile.
@schachin no, in the mobile-first world content hidden for ux should have full weight
— Gary Illyes (@methode) November 5, 2016
So if you have content hidden for usability reasons, you shouldn’t have any problem with that content ranking properly.
That said, hidden text – text that is NOT accessible to users – would still be against Google’s webmaster guidelines. So if you are hiding text for usability reasons, make sure you have implemented it correctly so it is visible to searchers when they land on your mobile page with tabs/accordions.
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