Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Can iframe cause hidden content penalty?

Showing 1-2 of 2 messages
Can iframe cause hidden content penalty? Lexyman 4/29/12 3:44 PM
My site's URL (web address) is: 
I have a question about iframes. I have some tables on my site from .doc files. I uploaded the doc files to Zoho Viewer. That is an online document viewer. It has an embed option, so you can embed the displayed document to your site. The code consist of an iframe, it includes a generated link to your uploaded document.
The problem is that by default Zoho viewer displays the filename over the displayed document. It doesn't look good on my website, so I set a "-40px" top margin to the iframe when I embedded it to my site. This way the top part of the embedded page cannot  be seen, and the disturbing filename is not visible. However, the hidden part is still visible for the browsers, and I guess also for search engines, because when you do a search for words in the browser on the page you are viewing, and enter the filename that is hidden, the borwser finds that word, it reports the search returned 1 result. So the borwser can see the hidden parts, no matter that part is in the frame.
I wonder if this can cause hiddent content penalty in Google? I cannot figure out another solution to get rid of those disturbing file names, they look really bad on my site, but Zoho Viewer is a great service, so I would like to use that. I don't know any other online document viewers, that can display the uploaded document as text, no matter what the extension is.

Re: Can iframe cause hidden content penalty? Robbo 4/29/12 4:04 PM

In general, if the intention and/or the likely consequence is to deceive search engines and/or human visitors, google may detect that and take action.

However, what you say sounds quite harmless in this particular case.

Even if it was detected and an automated "red flag" raised, I imagine that human inspectors would not think it bad.

Nevertheless, you might like to try the following method.

On page load, allow everything to be visible.  Then immediately excecute Javascript to change the CSS styling for the filename-area, and remove it from view.

That way, you are treating googlebot and humans without Javascript in the same way.    Those few visitors with JS disabled, will see the info but most visitors will not.

Good luck!