I have been searching for a definitive answer to the question: Do image replacement techniques through css cause harm to SEO? I use Kirupa's solution which is outlined below:

<a href="#" id="example">Home</a>

height: 20px;
width: 158px;
text-indent: 10000px;
overflow: hidden;
background: url(kirupa1.gif) top left no-repeat;
display: block;

background-position: bottom left;

I need a definitive answer with (ideally) a quoted source. Thanks guys for your help!

1 answer


Its been awhile since I last looked into this and things likely have changed. Basically, this is a gray area with little certainty. It'd be super complicated to figure out keyword spamming with CSS. I think that search engine algorithms wouldn't screw someone over unless they are 99% sure they deserve it:

From Matt Cutts (Google's Search Quality group) 10-21-05:

We can flag text that appears to be hidden using CSS at Google. To date we have not algorithmically removed sites for doing that. We try hard to avoid throwing babies out with bathwater.

Also see this article (07-16-07) on SEOmoz (specifically "Google on sIFR"):

... developers were surprised when Google officially released an article recommending sIFR, an obvious method of cloaking and hiding text when it comes to Google's official definitions of the terms.

Answered about 9 years ago by Cy Klassen