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Posted 27 February 2008 - 04:34 AM
I finally have a question that I couldn't find just by searching through the valuable history of these forums.
So, here goes my first post.
I understand that the SE spiders can't use these, so I've been trying to brainstorm how to get around this, how to make the page functional to the user(by keeping the form) but how to ALSO make it functional to the spiders.
SOoooo... Invisible Div containing all the categories genres etc? Leading to pages showing all the relevant members to those categories and genres etc?...
I understand invisible divs are generally blackhat.. But I'm wondering what your opinions are?.. Am I going to be penalised for trying to create something more user-friendly but at the same time spider friendly also?
Thanks for your time.
Posted 27 February 2008 - 06:18 AM
You don't want to do that via a hidden div. Not unless you provide some method by which real users can make it visible. If you do you run the risk of getting slapped down for showing the users one thing and the spiders something else entirely, which can and will attract a penalty.
There are ways to legitimately pull off what you're trying to do. You could use something like HiJax to make the form a very rich user experience, but make sure it also functions for non-JS users including spiders. You could convert the JS routines into server side scripting choices too. But even then you'd need to take it out of a <form> element if you want the spiders to get to the info. Spiders don't submit forms. You could use css to make it look and function like a form, when it's not really a form but just a simply css linked list. You could provide an optional method via <noscript> tags. Etc, etc.
There are lots of ways to do it from the code development side of things that are completely legitimate and search engine friendly. However throwing your alternate content into a hidden div that cannot be made visible isn't one of them.
Posted 27 February 2008 - 06:40 AM
So basically I'll use the script as well as providing a small link under the form to a directory of genres page. All the form does is neaten things up. You first have to select a category before it gives you the list of the genres from that category. It stops HUGE pages and neatens things up in my opinion, making it more simplistic on the eye has the same effect on the mind for an end user. This way they're both accessible to the user AND the spider but at the same time the overblown directory page full of hyperlinks is going to be rarely used by actual people.
Thanks a lot Randy.
Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:12 AM
Not that I think you should design your current site because I know how much work that is, but HiJax may give you some good ideas to employ when/if you revamp the site again.
Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:06 AM
It looks interesting, I'll definitely be having a play with it over the next couple of days.. See if I can find anything uniquely useful either to the user or the general integrity of the site. Otherwise I'll just stick with what we've got right now.
I have to get everything right first time around with the site as it works similarly to the current social networks, but instead it provides a service to the pubs/clubs/wedding/children's party/corporate events organisers instead. Any suggestions you've got that may help in any way 'before' we start trading will inevitably help, I really do not want to have to make many changes to it once it has grown and become largely subscribed to.
Sorry if I'm a lil vague on what the site does, I'm cautious about what it actually does. I have very little competition in the market and want to keep it that way until we launch.
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