Can google read hidden tags and aggregateRating necessary?

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Dennis van Dalen

Sep 21, 2011, 4:09:47 AM9/21/11
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Dear members,

I've made some adjustments to my website using microdata, but before i
put it online i would like to ask some questions to be sure.

i have the following line in my code:

<span style="display:none;" itemprop="reviewRating"><?php echo
$rating; ?></span>

Will google read this itemprop, since it is hidden (not displayed on
the website directly)?

My next question is...

My websites contains a couple of reviews, but not a countup of
reviews. I was wondering if the "<div itemprop="aggregateRating"
itemscope itemtype="">" line is
necessary? In other words, will google do an automatic countup of all
of my reviews and present it like this when i search for a product
that has been reviewed on my website: ***** 7 reviews

Thanks in advance!

Martin Hepp

Sep 29, 2011, 5:37:15 AM9/29/11

in general, it is better to reuse visible content for sending meta-data to search engines, because such has a greater credibility and less likelihood for spam. If you have a very trustworthy domain name / host, then using invisible markup is often accepted by the search engines; there are examples of site using invisible markup that show rich snippets.

However, if you want to use such meta-data that is independent of visible content, it is much better to use the official <meta> and <link> elements for this than to hide the displaying of your elements using style="display:none" or other CSS-based approaches.

Hiding content on the CSS level has the worst reputation from the search engines' point of view, because it is frequently associated with manipulative SEO.

So I would recommend something along the lines of

<meta style="display:none;" itemprop="reviewRating" content="<?php echo $rating; ?>">

martin hepp
e-business & web science research group
universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen

phone: +49-(0)89-6004-4217
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