Some time ago, Google’s Gary Illyes said that content hidden in user interface elements should have full weight in Google’s mobile first index.
This has been confirmed by Google’s John Mueller in a webmaster hangout:
“[43s] With the mobile first index we decided that sometimes with the UI limitations on mobile you have to use the these kind of design – that’s fine from our side.
So on desktop it’s something where we think if it’s really important content it should be visible. On mobile it’s a bit trickier obviously. I think if it’s a critical contact it should be visible but that’s between you and your users in the end. […]
[35m29s] So with the mobile first indexing will index the the mobile version of the page. And on the mobile version of the page it can be that you have these tabs and folders and things like that, which we will still treat as normal content on the page, even if it is hidden on the initial view.”
The means that content in tabs that is hidden for user experience purposes will rank as well as content that is directly visible. Google’s current algorithm gives not as much value to content that is hidden.
Of course, the content that is hidden in the tabs should be available by clicking the tabs on the page. Chances are that content that is hidden for SEO purposes will have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages.
There are many more elements that influence the position of your web pages. Check your website with the Top 10 Optimizer and the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to find out how to improve your rankings: