A novel light trapping technique for solar cells is based on light scattering by metal nanoparticles through excitation of localized surface plasmons. We investigated the effect of metal nanoparticles embedded inside the absorber layer of amorphous silicon solar cells on the cell performance. The position of the particles inside the absorber layer was varied. Transmission electron microscopy images of the cell devices showed well defined silver nanoparticles, indicating that they survive the embedding procedure. The optical absorption of samples where the silver nanoparticles were embedded in thin amorphous silicon layer showed an enhancement peak around the plasmon resonance of 800 nm. The embedded particles significantly reduce the performance of the fabricated devices. We attribute this to the recombination of photogenerated charge carriers in the absorber layer induced by the presence of the silver nanoparticles. Finally we demonstrate that the fabricated solar cells exhibit tandem-like behavior where the silver nanoparticles separate the absorber layer into a top and bottom part.