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Navigation Layout - Drop-down Boxes Required?

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#1 Sydneydude


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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:01 PM

We are building a new site and are planning to implement an horizontal navigation menu for customers. We are planning to build a travel sites and are not planning to use 'sub-menu' when hovering on one of the navigation headers (just like Expedia http://www.expedia.com.au ). Is this recommendable for SEO or should we rather use the Qantas option e.g. http://www.qantas.co...ines/home/au/en when hovering on one of their navigation headers all their "sub-menus" come up.

This questions is really focusing on SEO rather than on the customer experience. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

Thank you

#2 torka


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 01:54 PM

QUOTE(Sydneydude @ Dec 26 2011, 10:01 PM) View Post
This questions is really focusing on SEO rather than on the customer experience.

Then, with all due respect, you're focusing on the wrong thing. nono.gif

Search engines are "users," same as your human visitors. The user experience should always come first. Someone who focuses on "SEO" as something distinct and separate from the user experience, IMO is someone who doesn't understand what SEO is really about. (Just saying.)

Whether you do it through dropdown or flyout "mega menus" or through a more hierarchical internal navigation (or some hybrid option), you need to provide internal site navigation. Which structure/method you choose for your menus and other internal navigation depends on what you want to "say" about your pages to your visitors (human and SE).

A hierarchical navigation allows you to give the search engines -- and your human users -- indications of which pages you consider most important, and which are secondary, tertiary and incidental. It's useful for large or content rich sites where your users may need some help sorting through everything to find the information they're looking for. A dropdown/flyout menu system that links every page from every other page indicates you consider all your pages equally important. It's usually a better idea with smaller sites, where every page actually may be equally important to every other page. With a categorized presentation, though, a dropdown/flyout menu system can also give clues as to your site organization. It's not so much about the general methodology used, as it is about the specific implementation on a specific site.

Asking which is "better" or "worse" for SEO is the wrong question, because the answer is "all of them." (Or "none of them." Take your pick.) Choose your menu option based on what's best for your site user experience. Then figure out how to optimize within that choice.

My penny.gif, less taxes, adjusted for inflation.

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#3 chrishirst


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:09 PM

This questions is really focusing on SEO rather than on the customer experience.
Not wishing to pee on your bonfire, (much) but "SEO" without considering the "customer experience" went out of date sometime during the last Ice Age or last century whichever you prefer.

What's the point of having pages that "do well" in search engines but visitors leave as soon as they land on them??

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