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On Top Navigation Bars Or Menus


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9 replies to this topic

#1 chapulin

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:49 AM

I've read conflicting views on how to do the top navigation bar or menu. On one side, I've heard that it's better to have it all text based, that it's good for search engines to see the main topics of the site there. On another side, I've heard that the first words in a page are important, so it's better to have the navigation as images, considering the same words you put there will be the first words search engines will see on every single page of your site (so, no matter what page you're in, search engines will always see the same words on the top, which could somehow confuse the search engine, reduce keyword focus, etc).
So, what is it then? Is it good for the 'Tickle me Elmo' page that the first 50 words the search engines read in there are like 'Shirts' 'Pants' 'Jackets' 'Watches' 'Accessories', the exact same words that will also show first in the 'Silver Rolex watch' or the 'Contact Us' page?

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:17 PM

Tell you what,

Wherever you read that ancient load of bull I'd suggest that you never bother reading there again.


Ten to fifteen years ago, in a bunch of long dead Search Engines it may have had some basis in fact, but not anymore



#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE(chrishirst @ Nov 16 2010, 09:17 AM) View Post
Tell you what,

Wherever you read that ancient load of bull I'd suggest that you never bother reading there again.
Ten to fifteen years ago, in a bunch of long dead Search Engines it may have had some basis in fact, but not anymore


Actually, one of SEO's most venerable names has recently been advising people that putting important content near the top of the document is now worthwhile. This is something I've been mulling over, as it does seem to match specific advice that Matt Cutts has given about other things. Still, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's necessary to do this for on-page optimization. If what this venerable person says is accurate, it has ramifications that are far-reaching (but which may be related to Google's growing focus on the mobile device marketplace).

#4 Jill

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE
On one side, I've heard that it's better to have it all text based, that it's good for search engines to see the main topics of the site there.


Text navs are fine regardless of where they occur in the code. As our imaged based navs when they use alt attribute text, regardless of where they appear in the code.

No need to move navs to the bottom or hide it or anything.

All search engines know what's your navigation and what's not and don't care where it shows in the code.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:39 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 16 2010, 12:53 PM) View Post
Actually, one of SEO's most venerable names has recently been advising people that putting important content near the top of the document is now worthwhile. This is something I've been mulling over, as it does seem to match specific advice that Matt Cutts has given about other things. Still, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's necessary to do this for on-page optimization. If what this venerable person says is accurate, it has ramifications that are far-reaching (but which may be related to Google's growing focus on the mobile device marketplace).

I'm not sure which venerable person you're referring to, but my understanding of this developing concept of a search engine recognizing some text as more important based on its position on the page isn't so much about it being at the top, but that it should be in a place that stands out -- the top, or near the top being one of the areas where text has increased visibility.

But what I've been reading about this also makes it pretty clear that common elements, like navigation, are not likely to stand out and be treated as particularly important, simply because they're common elements to the site as a whole. Think about the text that's important to a page, and you'll likely think about something above the fold, but you're definitely going to think of text that's unique to that page.


#6 chrishirst

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE
putting important content near the top of the document is now worthwhile.
It is certainly useful from a human point of view


And far be it from me to suggest that Google propoganda machine may not always be as transparent as it seems to be. smile.gif

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 07:20 PM

It's something on my long list of things to check out. I'd rather not name names (although I am sure Jill has sat on one or two panels with the individual to whom I refer) as I'm in no position to defend someone else's viewpoint.

#8 Jill

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 16 2010, 07:20 PM) View Post
It's something on my long list of things to check out. I'd rather not name names (although I am sure Jill has sat on one or two panels with the individual to whom I refer) as I'm in no position to defend someone else's viewpoint.


If it's who I'm thinking of, I wouldn't listen to a word that he says.

#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 01:43 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Nov 17 2010, 05:40 AM) View Post
If it's who I'm thinking of, I wouldn't listen to a word that he says.


crossfingers.gif This is someone who seems to be in tune with realty (most of the time). In any event, I find myself agreeing with some of his other recent statements.

He's a big guy....



#10 Jill

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:47 PM

LOL might not be the one I was thinking of then. Feel free to pm me yours... smile.gif




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