“Read More” Effect in SEO

Jason
Question: does hiding your text with a "read more" button affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Seems to be different opinions on this, online. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Furq
I think nope.. google scan code.. 🤔 if you check in code you will see all your post text is present, its just hidden from the front end where user needs to interact and click on the button to show rest of the text…🤔
If your read more button redirects to some other post than that can be a problem… 👍🏽2

Jason ✍️ » Furq
thanks!

Jason ✍️
So if the "read more" opens a new landing page that is relevant to what they want, wouldn't this be good? This would mean users are interacting with more pages on your site, which improves bounce rate, right?

Jake » Jason
It depends on how each page "holds its own." If each page ranks well for its own target keywords, then great! More effective internal links. However, if both pages target the same keywords, you're more or less just splitting your efforts between two pages. 👍🏽1
Jason ✍️
Okay, this makes sense, thanks!

Thomas
For Desktop Google counted such Hidden content less important. For mobile it makes no difference. As mobile will be the future crawling, you can use that in terms of better user experience and it will not harm your rankings. John Müller stated that once when Google announced the Switch to mobile crawling only. 👍🏽1
Ferdinand
For a SEO/marketing perspective "read more" is very a weak CTA signal and rather old. Better is to have an individual line for each item. The reason: if you talk to the user directly and specifically about the content, it increases the probability that he clicks on the link.
The "read more" (even though using different wording) link might be helpful when it leads from a page with a primary keyword to pages with secondary keywords. Or from secondary keywords to pages with supporting keywords. Which means you'll need to have a very clear structure of your pages and of the distribution of the keywords (see: silos).

Jason ✍️ » Ferdinand
yes, I'll label them with titles of what they'll find, like "our happiness guarantee," etc. It won't lead to a new page 👍🏽1
Philip
I'd swear I've read that this is related to Googles move to mobile first indexing. In other words don't have "read more" on mobile whilst your desktop site shows all the text. In any case more relevant text improves ranking – so show it. 👍🏽1

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Hang Xu
im a full stack software enginner that develops web app. IMO whether the read more affects SEO depends on what clicking the button does. if the hidden text is already loaded in the initial page load and just hidden by Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and clicking the button just changes the css, then i don't think it affects SEO. but if the text is not there in the initial page load and clicking the button sends an AJAX call and get more data from the backend, then i think it affects SEO since the text is not there when google's bot scraping it. hope this makes sense. 👍🏽1

Praveen » Hang Xu
what stack do you work with mate?
Hang Xu » Praveen
react/jQuery + python for backend + MySQL/Postgres on AWS. What about you?
Praveen » Hang Xu
we are a dev agency, work with multiple stacks – .net, nodejs, go, react/vue, but all using aws. recently been building loads of seo agency focussed tools. hard to find devs who also share SEO. I'd be interested in having a chat if you're keen? (also, sorry to hijack comment/post 😁)
Hang Xu » Praveen
haha I don’t have too much knowledge about SEO, that’s why I am here in this group to learn more about it. 🙂 👍🏽1
Praveen » Hang Xu
all good. be still keen to chat.

Stark
Will affect you SEO when using some poorly design WordPress plugins that creates a page for each modal.
Jason ✍️
So I tried it and it affected my keyword density, surprisingly. I ended up just not using the toggle or accordion buttons and leaving it as it is. Thanks, everyone! 👍🏽1

Mike
How would you know it affected your keyword density when search engines don't report on keyword density.
Jason ✍️
I use SEO tools to check it. 🙂
Mike » Jason
That just means the tools couldn't read it. That doesn't mean search spiders couldn't.
Jason ✍️
Yes, which is why I changed it back. Don't want to take chances. I also noticed that the Headers were not there, even though I marked them as H2s in the toggle area. Rather just leave it as is.

Mike
It depends on how it is done. If it is done in a way that search spiders still are crawling the content on the same page, it won't have an impact. If it is done in a way that spiders cannot read the content or it frames it in a different page, then yes it will impact it.
And if you want to check this, look at a cached page and view the text-only version. If you see the content there, you are fine.

Mike
And if you want to check this, look at a cached page and view the text-only version. If you see the content there, you are fine.
Jason ✍️
Yes, I viewed source code to double check if it was exactly the same. It wasn't 🙁
Mike » Jason
In that case, then yep. It would potentially have an impact on rankings.
Jason ✍️
Yeah, pretty strange. I read tons of articles on how it won't change anything, but it did. Strange 🤷‍♂️

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