I often find web pages where content is placed under tabs. Marketers resort to hide content behind tabs for either managing the space crunch or for keeping a websites body content clean and concise. Tabbed content can be opened or closed just with a single click.
Although popular and very much in use, tabbed content could hurt your SEO efforts. Following are some insights you should look at to understand why they are a threat to your page rankings.
Tabbed content kills ranking, here is why:
For instance, Google crawlers can be able to record only the click made on the first tab if on a given page 5 tabs are used to display different content. This is because the first tab on the page is static. Other tabs will be ignored by the crawler.
In this way, if each tab contains 400 words in each, 1600 words from the page will go unnoticed as it is behind tabs. It will lower your content quality and search rankings.
So, what we can do?
You can't guess the Google algorithms and the way it reads the tabbed content. Yet, to allow crawlers to visit the tabbed area, you have to make JS files readable and allowed in robots.txt files. Googlebot either understands the JS code or not. If it fails to locate and understand the code, your content within that are won’t be displayed or rendered. Means, your content may not be able to make it to search results.
You can use Google search console's Fetch as Google function to see if your tabbed content is being read. It will display both a rendered version for Googlebot and how a visitor will see the page.
How To Fix Tabbed Content?
The best way to get this issue fixed is by removing tabbed content from the page. Create a well-structured and organized web page that enables Googlebot to effectively crawl every section of the page and index every single piece of content the page has. Run a test to check if it works.
Create pages with keyword-rich content. Find out the rankings of the pages in SERPs to get an insight into which pages are ranking well and which are not. Now, make a simple tweak- remove all the tabbed content from the page. Submit the pages to Google and wait until they're indexed again.
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Check these rankings again. You will clearly notice the effect of tabbed-content removal on rankings. Pages that previously struggled to get onto top 10 are now inching closer.
Other SEO Factors to Consider Alongside:
Not only because we removed the tabbed-content, there are many other factors which help in improving search rankings. Age of the page, natural organic links and changes that Google makes in existing algorithm are some prominent reasons that play a significant role in deciding rankings.