Hidden links are links that can be ‘seen’ and crawled by search engines, but are not visible onpage to users visiting a website. Hidden links solely exist to pass PageRank and to manipulate search engines, and serve no purpose for users.
Typical examples of hidden links include,
- Links that render ‘offscreen’ outside of the view of the browser window
- Links visually hidden behind other page elements
- Links whose anchor text is the same colour as the page background
Hidden links are in breach of the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines and should be removed and disavowed accordingly.
Whilst hidden links can be hard to visually find on a webpage they are easily discovered by searching the HTML source code for the link URL. Whilst hidden, these links still need to be crawlable by search engines so will exist with the pages’ HTML.
Why not use our free Manipulative Link Identification Chrome Extension to help speed up finding sneaky hidden links on a page.