Hidden Keywords: Our Technical SEO Puzzle Game

"One of the BEST SEO games ever created"

In 2020, our Tech team set out to create something to entertain and test the brains of their peers – and hiddenkeywords.com was born. Find out more about the puzzle and how it was created here – direct from the horse’s mouth (that horse being Dave, our Head of SEO)…

What is Hidden Keywords?

“Hidden Keywords is a puzzle for SEOs. There are a seventeen keywords hidden throughout the site, in places that really only a technical SEO would find themselves looking.”

Why did you create it?

“Developers sometimes hide messages for other developers in the source code of websites. When you audit websites all the time, it’s not uncommon to see messages from engineering teams suggesting you apply for a job in their robots.txt file, or in the DevTools console. It’s partly that that originally got me thinking about how it would be fun to hide clues for other SEOs around a site.”

What was the hardest thing about creating it?

“This is probably a partial spoiler for one of them, but it uses cloaking (not something we advise our clients to do, but an acceptable risk for this side project) to show one of the hidden keywords to Googlebot, but not to users. We had to figure out how to ensure that the genuine Googlebot could see the keyword we wanted, and not just anyone who had spoofed their user-agent.

Is there anything you’d have done differently, looking back?

“I’ve had people suggest a leaderboard for when you complete the game, or a way to capture people’s emails and then try to hire them afterwards. In truth, I don’t think I’d want to implement any of that – I like the simplicity of the ending.”

What are some hiding places you considered, but ultimately decided against?

“I really wanted to figure out a way of only revealing one of the answers if the user prints out the page. I decided against it because it doesn’t have anything to do with SEO (and so would basically never be discovered by anyone) and, perhaps crucially, I have absolutely no idea how to actually implement that.”


Want to play? Hiddenkeywords.com

Want to test us? If you’d like some of the best brains in the Tech SEO world to take a look at your website, get in touch.