Does moving ViewState really make a difference?

I’ve recently made a change to a client website at the request of a SEO firm, namely moving the ViewState field to the bottom of the page. This is told to help SEO because Google will only read the first nKB of a page, and if you’ve got a considerably large ViewState hidden away in your ASP.NET site Google may not read your page.

Frankly, I think this is nonsense.

If Google can build a smartphone OS, read PDF’s and Word documents and parse them correctly for their own readers and sift through billions of emails to catch spam then surely they are capable of ignoring a hidden HTML field.

All thoughts are welcome, but please don’t spam or point one-line answers, otherwise you run the risk of a good hard banning.

I have worked on sites before where we have moved the viewstate to the bottom of the page, and I think in theory it can help but probably will not make much of a difference. If all things else were equal between 2 pages, moving it so the content appears higher in the code could be the difference, but a scenario like that is rarely realistic.

So I would move it, but I would not expect it alone to make a huge difference.

I should probably mention that the last time we moved the ViewState from the top to the bottom of the page the client started noticing a number of issues with their site, such as certain forms not working and sessions not carrying properly. This was the reason we put the ViewState back at the top.

Interesting, I do not remember moving it causing any issues on the site for us. That being said if moving it does cause issues, then any benefit from doing that is probably not worth it.