The Austin American Statesman newspaper reported today that Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s campaign website is riddled with hidden phrases such as “rick Perry gay” (Governor Rick Perry is Senator Hutchison’s opponent in the race for Texas Governor. The story broke here, in the Statesman’s Postcards section. The hidden text is a thinly veiled a attempt to capture rankings for a wide variety of phrases.
The CSS display:none Tag
The Senator’s website (site has been taken down–as of July 30, 2009) displayed nearly 2300 phrases–all hidden by the CSS tag, “display: none.” Among these phrases are “rick perry biography,” “governor perry texas”, and the now-infamous “perry gay.” A snippet of the 2300-line code appears below.
<div id="Layer1" style="display:none;">rick perry yell leader www celebratingtexas celebratingtexas texans protecting our water environment and resources cooper tire texarkana texans for life coalition bruchard nodes
The offending phrase was promptly removed after the Statesman broke the story.
Google strictly forbids hidden text and links, as set forth in their webmaster guidelines. Specifically, Google advises against “Using CSS to hide text”.
Michael of TastyPlacement was quoted in the article; you can read here.