[uf-discuss] Hidden metadata no microformats

Patrick H. Lauke redux at splintered.co.uk
Mon Jul 2 16:51:40 PDT 2007

Paul Wilkins wrote:

> You could try the FAQ.
> http://microformats.org/wiki/faq
> Where it says:
> Q. Given that Google now looks at hidden content as potential spam, will 
> invisible microformats be considered spam?
> A. It is advisable not to hide information in your site, regardless of 
> whether it is microformated or not. Microformats provide a mechanism for 
> marking up visible content. Any mechanism for embedding invisible or 
> hidden content risks being considered spam due to the fact that 
> invisible (meta)data inevitably ends up being abused. Avoid invisible 
> (meta)data. Publish visible data.

FUD. Will Google attempt to parse the complex interplay of CSS and 
(X)HTML for each page to determine if content is somehow hidden? No. 
Currently, the way it works is that somebody reports a page to Google, 
and their team investigates it (cfr the case of BMW in Germany a while 
ago). There's human judgement involved, and not an automated "hidden = 
spam" algorithm.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
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