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.