Who doesn’t remember the days that search engines ate whatever you threw at them. Meta tags containing unrelated-yet-search-volume-laden keywords, doorway pages and my personal favourite: white-on-white text.
Now it looks like the latter is making a return from its heydays.
Etsy’s Hidden Text
Take a look at this snippet from my Google Mail inbox:
Google Mail shows the e-mail’s subject in regular text and then shows a snippet of text from the body. However, upon opening the e-mail I was surprised not to find the “Find the perfect gift for Mom.” string at the top of the message. What’s more: it was nowhere to be seen at all.
Upon closer inspection however, it turned out that the text was actually there. When I selected the first line in the e-mail it showed up. By matching the text colour with the background colour it was brilliantly concealed by the smart-asses at Etsy.
I love seeing Google getting out-smarted by the exact same practices that were abolished fifteen years ago.