Google Will Ignore ‘Click To Expand’ and Tabbed Content

by Alex Graves
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Website owners have recently been reporting to have seen that content that had been placed into areas in which the content is made less intrusive to a user has been seen to be struggling to find its way into the index and it seems that during the latest Google Webmaster hangout with John Mueller we now know why those areas of content could be failing to return.

Mueller was asked about the ‘click to expand' javascript examples directly and about how Google treated those areas following on from their decision to render pages as a visitor to a specific site would see and John explained that Google feel that they should make use of the content that is visible at the time of accessing the site as a user.

This means that Google discount information that is hidden within tabbed areas, content within click to expand boxes and anything that would generally result in the content being invisible to the user without interaction on their behalf, stating that Google believe that it could become confusing if a user was to click through to the resulting site from their search engine results and the content not be immediately available for them to see, labelling the users experience potentially ‘misleading'.

Although sometimes the inclusion of large areas of content can result in pages being oversized and sometimes daunting, it seems that Google, who have always maintained that you should build your site for the user, doesn't like the UX steps taken to allow the user to focus on their main reason for visiting the site in some instances.

John answers the question at 10 minutes 45 seconds into the video, which you can see below:

With that now out in the open, albeit that this seems to be a longer running thing for Google than many knew about, if you are using these boxes are you looking to ditch them in favour of having that content found or will you make use of this information to allow the use of duplicate elements that could be found?

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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