DISQUS’s ‘display:none’ visibility properties penalized by Google Pandas?

We have some problems, big problems with DISQUS and I believe these problems are giving search engines especially Google the wrong kind of signals. The problems have something to do with DISQUS’s use of ‘display:none’ visibility properties for their ‘disqus_post_title’ and ‘disqus_post_message’ div tags.

For some unfathomable reasons, DISQUS feels that there is a need to repost the title of your post (if you are using DISQUS), your whole post itself and hide them with ‘display:none’ visibility properties. Unsuspecting users won’t be able to see it live on their blogs since ‘display:none’ visibility property not only hides elements but it will also not take up any visible space. Users can only see those cleverly hidden elements if they view their page sources live with their browsers. Here’s an example that I have taken by random from a blog that uses DISQUS.

<div id='disqus_post_title' style='display:none;'>Saya Kini Menggunakan Disqus</div>
<div id='disqus_post_message' style='display:none;'><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ND2dHyVoMxM/Si6aQLKI3aI/AAAAAAAAACo/r6dszg0ydxs/s1600-h/disqus_125.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 125px; height: 125px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ND2dHyVoMxM/Si6aQLKI3aI/AAAAAAAAACo/r6dszg0ydxs/s320/disqus_125.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5345379410399255970" border="0" /></a><br />Bismillah..<br /><br />Saya kini menggunakan Disqus untuk C@hyaImani. Hal ini untuk memudahkan anda meninggalkan komen di blog saya (walapun xdela banyak pun komen. huhu)<br /><br />Saya juga ingin meminta maaf untuk sahabat2 yang ada meninggalkan komen kerana komen2 tersebut terpaksa dipadamkan kerana saya set disqus untuk semua entri samada yang baru ataupun lama.<br /><br />Bagaimana untuk tinggalkan komen? Mudah sahaja.<br /><br />1. Masukkan nama anda dan e-mail di ruangan yang disediakan. (wajib)<br />2. Jika anda ada blog atau laman web, masukkan di ruangan 'Website'<br />3. Masukkan komen di ruangan yang disediakan.<br />4. Klik 'Submit'<br />5. Tunggu sehingga komen anda dipaparkan.<br />6. Selesai! Terima kasih kerana sudi tinggalkan komen (^_^)<br /><br />Jikalau ada salah dan silap, harap tunjuk ajar ya. Terima kasih (@_@)</div>

disqus display:none

What is wrong with ‘display:none’?

Search engines frown upon the use of purposely hidden texts and Google for an example specifically said;

If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages. [via Google Webmaster]

Can we remove DISQUS’s ‘disqus_post_title’ and ‘disqus_post_message’ div tags?

I think so. I ran some tests in the last few weeks and found that DISQUS works fine without the ‘disqus_post_title’ and ‘disqus_post_message’ div tags. The following lines were what have been removed during my initial tests;

<div id='disqus_post_title' style='display:none;'><data:post.title/></div>
<div id='disqus_post_message' style='display:none;'><data:post.body/></div>

Feel free to do the same if you want to but it is best that you seek clarifications about the ‘disqus_post_title’ and ‘disqus_post_message’ div tags from DISQUS before removing those div tags from your blog.
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