Responsive Design and SEO

Hi everyone,

I have a question about responsive design and SEO. Here is more on what responsive design is:

Here is a question that I need to answer:

Can you have hidden links in responsive design for seo? Responsive design hides certain sections of a page as you shrink the browser window size. Will these hidden parts of the page be hidden content to Google that it penalizes you for?

I am an SEO specialist and my boss needs me to research this and give him an answer. I have been looking for it online but could not find a good source (other than the one I list below).

In my opinion, hidden links (even in responsive design) are not good for site’s SEO. Google says in webmaster guidelines that hidden links should be avoided at all costs.

What do you guys think?


[FONT=Verdana]Responsive design shouldn’t be about hiding links or content, although there may be times when you offer alternative navigation methods for small screens. All the links are still accessible, you just maybe need a slightly different route to get to them.

I don’t think it’s likely to be a big deal for Google (although I freely admit that I have done no research on the matter…), for the simple reason that you’re not cloaking or smuggling hidden links (they’re there in plain sight for the majority of users), so they have no need or desire to penalise you. What you’re doing is reformatting the site to make it more appropriate for mobile devices. As they have a mobile version of search that can give slightly different results, prioritising sites that it believes are mobile-friendly, they are clearly more than happy for webbists to take that kind of approach.[/FONT]

Steve, thank you for your input. I am sorry, I did not have time to thank you. I appreciate it. I was looking online for the answers and yeah, looks like if you are not doing something really bad, it is very unlikely that having some hidden content will get you in trouble. Thank you!