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  #1  
Old 02-28-2006, 01:43 PM
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cimmeron cimmeron is offline
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Drop down menus and SEO

If a site has one of those fancy drop down menus (not rollovers), can the spiders pick out the links to get thru the entire site? If not, will the spiders really make it to the bottom of the page and pick up those text links? I've read both opinions - that they do, and that they probably wouldn't make it to the bottom of the page to do so.

I realize inbound links are key but once there, I need to make sure the spiders make it all the way through, right?

Thanks!

d

note to self: spell check
 
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2006, 02:49 PM
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Spiders will read links that are in hidden divs. If you use regular anchors in hidden divs and hide/show to create a menu then most spiders will follow those links.

And as long as you don't have a rediculous number of links on your page then every spider will read through to the bottom to read your links.
 
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2006, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimmeron
If a site has one of those fancy drop down menus (not rollovers), can the spiders pick out the links to get thru the entire site? If not, will the spiders really make it to the bottom of the page and pick up those text links? I've read both opinions - that they do, and that they probably wouldn't make it to the bottom of the page to do so.

I realize inbound links are key but once there, I need to make sure the spiders make it all the way through, right?

Thanks!

d

note to self: spell check

First of all can the spiders see the links ?

As long as they are on page and not in a javascript off page yes ( although javascript links get checked out by google reportedly ).

Will the spider make it to the bottom of the page ?

The only reason it wouldn't would be you have an excessive number of links ( last time I tested ~120, most people reccomend no more the 100 per page ) or an excessive file size, which from looking at the serps ( I did this sometime ago it may have changed in the last 8 or 9 months ) would be a filesize of about 1/2 a meg for google ( hint: look at the cache of really really large pages ).

The final unasked but should have been question is..

Is this a good idea ? Will I get penalized for it ?

In my experience I have never been penalized but I keep all my css off page and manipulate the display attribute via an off page javascript file. I have read but not verified reports of pages being dropped that had the display attribute embedded in the style attribute of the element on the page. as in <sometag style='display: none;' >
 
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2006, 03:13 PM
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G10 G10 is offline
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Just curious here but wouldn't a good old sitemap file sort this for you?
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:39 PM
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It wouldn't be problem but prefer direct links if you can. And as G10 said a sitemap will help you to indexed all your pages.
 
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2006, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRM
It wouldn't be problem but prefer direct links if you can. And as G10 said a sitemap will help you to indexed all your pages.
with the site map linked off the index page, yes?
 
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2006, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webprofessor
First of all can the spiders see the links ?

As long as they are on page and not in a javascript off page yes ( although javascript links get checked out by google reportedly ).

Will the spider make it to the bottom of the page ?

The only reason it wouldn't would be you have an excessive number of links ( last time I tested ~120, most people reccomend no more the 100 per page ) or an excessive file size, which from looking at the serps ( I did this sometime ago it may have changed in the last 8 or 9 months ) would be a filesize of about 1/2 a meg for google ( hint: look at the cache of really really large pages ).

The final unasked but should have been question is..

Is this a good idea ? Will I get penalized for it ?

In my experience I have never been penalized but I keep all my css off page and manipulate the display attribute via an off page javascript file. I have read but not verified reports of pages being dropped that had the display attribute embedded in the style attribute of the element on the page. as in <sometag style='display: none;' >
Why would I get penalized for a DHTML menu? I'm not clear on what you're saying here, sorry.

d

oh, and VERI:
Quote:
If you use regular anchors in hidden divs and hide/show to create a menu then most spiders will follow those links.
What is a hidden div
 
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2006, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimmeron
with the site map linked off the index page, yes?
Yes, thats what I would do.
 
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2006, 04:38 PM
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alrighty. Do you use a sitemap builder? I was looking at a couple today that are very robust
 
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2006, 04:40 PM
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Depends on how big your site is.

Some people say that it is best to create one yourself but if one has a very big site, I can't see why someone would want to do this.

What progs are you using for this?
 
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2006, 05:55 PM
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I'm considering this one:
http://www.xtreeme.com/sitexpert/

And I also tried this one www.sitemappro.com

Both have trial versions. I like xtreeme better, so far, because you can display the hierarcy. I'm working on a site now that is huge and I don't want to map it myself, really.

d
 
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2006, 06:22 PM
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this type of menu:
http://www.icwebdesign.co.uk/

Is everyone saying that the spiders will recognize those as links and spider thru the site? Yes/No/I don't know
 
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2006, 06:33 PM
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The top menu with the Javascript? I don't believe Google will be able to read that or parse the links.
 
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2006, 06:40 PM
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Just checked - it's JS is an external file - not readable by SE's.
 
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2006, 08:03 PM
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You could be penalized if google or another seach engine thought you were trying to present your users data that is different from what google see's.

So if a SE see's hidden text you need to consider, will a SE think I am hiding something from my users and presenting it to the SE to rank for something ?
 
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2006, 03:50 AM
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Drop downs are evil:

1) It’s not only SEO but under Law links must be accessible and this includes disabling JavaScript and CSS the site must still work; be it alternative links or text links styles by DHTML.

If you use a DHTML menu rather than a pure JavaScript menu you should be ok. One of my sites is Cobalt Capital (feel free to steel the drop down markup). It does not pass Double A accessibility due to the use of a Table but will pass Single A, Section 508 and for now the UK law under DDA (but that may upgrade to Double A soon).

2) Usability wise why would you want to hide useful functions under a drop down? Are you mad or does the client want them?
 
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2006, 09:34 AM
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oh come on now drop downs have there place. To say they don't is to be overly obtuse.
 
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  #18  
Old 03-01-2006, 09:54 AM
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I think they suck from a usability POV. Whenever I visit a site I like to know what the navigation has for me without mousing over or clicking anywhere. But that's just me.
 
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:13 AM
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I think for 2ndary functions on a site drop downs are appropriate. To frame it from the usability point of view drop downs are for the "expert users" of your site.
 
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2006, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimmeron
with the site map linked off the index page, yes?

My sitemaps have way over 120 links. Is this a problem?
 
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