Brian Campbell wrote:
> i've been using negative absolute positioning on text that i want
> hidden, but need to be accessible to alternate devices. someone has
> suggested that the text won't be seen by bots (like google) so it
> won't be processed and can't be utilized for SEO purposes. in your
> experience is this true?
The truth is that the answer may be one today, another tomorrow and yet
another next week, and so on.
Web site creators and bot creators constantly try to outsmart each other
and constantly end up outsmarting both themselves and each others by
creating "solutions" at both ends based mainly on pure guesswork.
It's a "no win, all lose" situation, that probably won't improve in the
near future - if ever.
All text in the markup will be "seen" by bots, non-CSS capable and CSS
capable browsers alike. _Where_ and _how_ you position it with CSS,
doesn't matter. You can hide stuff from users of CSS capable browsers in
more ways than I care to list, and most web pages released on the web
contain some "hiding" since they wouldn't work otherwise.
What bots and non-CSS capable browsers do with _any_ text in the markup
is another matter entirely, but they can't differentiate unless they
analyzes both markup and CSS (and maybe some scripts too), which non-CSS
capable browsers can't and bots are unlikely to be very good at - if at all.
Analyzing human intentions is not something any software is any good at,
and I don't think those behind various bots are any better at creating
artificial intelligence that really works in this respect. They will
inevitably get it wrong at least as often as they get it right, which
reduces the usefulness of AI to zero in this respect.
This reduces the chance of anything getting lost for _any_ purpose, to
what humans can judge if/when they look at and analyzes your document.
It also heightens the chance that humans judge it wrong and discard /
punish perfectly ok solutions since humans are not very good at judging
other people's intentions either, which reduces the usefulness of HI to
near zero too - in this respect.
Conclusion: make sure you do not intentionally create / include / hide
something for the wrong purpose, and hope that others never accuse you
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