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Mega-Nav Links - As Valuable As Non-Hidden Links?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 ClickClick

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:04 AM

Hi

 

I have a website which does very well in Google. It has always had a side-bar on the right (throughout the whole site), which is used to list important pages that we want listed in Google. It seems to have worked pretty well. I do not change the side bar too often so it has maybe 10-15 of our most important words and phrases (which are also important for the user-journey).

 

I feel side-bars are now becoming a little old-fashioned and sites are generally more minimal, with the most important links and graphics on the home page, guiding readers through the site to optimise the user experience.

 

Anyway, we have decided to remove the side bar, but I have made sure the links are not dis-appearing because I am worried we will lose our Google listings for those pages, so I have requested a 'mega-nav' from the agency developing the site. This is the name they used for a dynamic drop-down menu, with headings and anchor text under each heading so that when one of the headings in the menu bar that goes across the top is hovered over, the user will be presented with a number of links relevant to that menu heading.

 

Will these links (ones that are not visible unless the menu is hovered over) be as valuable in the eyes of google as links that were on display to everyone in the side-bar? I want to make sure that we will not lose any listings for the keywords that have been moved from the side-bar to the mega nav. As a precaution the design agency were going to move the links from the side bar to a footer, but I thought that having a mega-nav might be enough. They are under the impression it is a slightly different thing as they will literally be able to move the actual links from the side bar to the footer, whereas a mega nav would be laid out slightly differently so the links wouldn't look exactly the same.

 

I hope that makes sense. Any advice on this would be appreciated.



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:32 AM

They are not "hidden" to search engine crawlers. and provided the "dynamic navigation" is NOT created by javascript should not make any major issues.

#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:25 AM

JavaScript, commonly jQuery, can be used effectively to aid a dropdown/fancy menu to work, but not creating the menu, as Chris said. The later was old hat design that is rarely employed today, certainly not by educated services. 

 

Mega-menus work, but IMHO, are a horrible usability experience, as are accordion style menus that lazily open and close testing your patience. :)



#4 ClickClick

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

Lovely. Cheers.



#5 Mikl

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

I feel side-bars are now becoming a little old-fashioned and sites are generally more minimal, with the most important links and graphics on the home page, guiding readers through the site to optimise the user experience.

 

 

I don't see how it's optimal to make the user always go to the home page to discover the "important" pages on the site. I might be wrong, but my practice is to always put the important links on every page. After all, you never know which page the visitor is going to arrive at. I want him to be aware of the important content on the site from the moment of his arrival.

 

Mike



#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:51 PM

Anyway, we have decided to remove the side bar, but I have made sure the links are not dis-appearing because I am worried we will lose our Google listings for those pages, so I have requested a 'mega-nav' from the agency developing the site. This is the name they used for a dynamic drop-down menu, with headings and anchor text under each heading so that when one of the headings in the menu bar that goes across the top is hovered over, the user will be presented with a number of links relevant to that menu heading.


If it were MY site, I would keep the sidebar navigation.

No one can reliably predict what will get a site into trouble (or boost its search referral traffic) so you'll only find out in the doing. But in my experience these drop-down menus are user-unfriendly and people tend to load them up with way too many links.

You're exchanging simplicity in design for gimmickry. I don't think that's a good idea at all.

Edited by Michael Martinez, 16 January 2014 - 03:51 PM.

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