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Relocating Important Links (On One Page) For New Site Development


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8 replies to this topic

#1 ClickClick

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:16 AM

Hi

 

We are in the process of having our site redeveloped (almost complete). The site is very established and has always had a side bar on the right which has been used for 1. the user experience (so users can find everything they might be looking for) and 2. promoting important / new pages with anchor text.

 

We have worked very hard on the user journey of the site and giving people what they want (going by analysing the user journey in Analytics).

 

Anyway, I wanted to keep any important links that are currently in the side bar, mostly for the SEO of the linked pages but also to an extent so people still have access to those pages if they want to have a good study of the page. What we decided was to create a mega nav where the main sections from the old sidebar would still be there, and I would keep the important links in. So the menu bar which is across the top of the page (and always has been) now has mega nav options with various anchor text links in them that were previously in the side bar (and have done their job of pushing various pages up Google's listing very well).

 

The web design company that are doing our site told us that they have been in touch with their SEO contact and he has said that we need to keep the links that we had before in order to maintain the SEO for those pages, so they designed a footer that literally relocated those actual links on the front end. However in terms of the website user experience I don't believe we need this footer because we have the mega nav.

 

Was it necessary to relocate the actual links that were there before, or is creating the same anchor text to the same pages, in the mega nav instead of the side bar enough? Does Google actually say, wait a second, that new link on the page, which has the same word and leads to the same page, is not the same actual link as the link that was there before so it will be treated as if it is a new link. Or will they just see that the old link is not there anymore but it the same link is still there on the page in a different location, and transfer the value of the link to the new link.

 

Hope what I am saying is clear (I'm not a technical person).

 

Thanks.



#2 qwerty

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

You mention a mega nav "option". Does that mean that the new links in the navigation menu aren't available by default, and the user has to do something to enable them? If so, then a bot might not see them, but I kind of doubt that's what you meant.

 

Assuming you just mean that the main navigation now contains more links than it used to, it's probably not an issue for the search engines unless it's a ton of new links -- you used to have two menus, and now you've combined them into one.

 

There may be some issues regarding context, depending on how things were grouped together and how they're organized now, but I think it's more likely that if there are issues, they'll be experienced by users rather than spiders. The bigger and more complex a nav becomes, the more usability issues can arise.

 

The footer links won't do any harm, but I've found that they're rarely clicked. Most people on most pages never scroll all the way down, so they tend not to see the footer.



#3 Jill

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:55 AM

By using the mega nav. you'll be linking to even more pages than you were previously linking to from every single page of the site.

 

This in turn, will have the effect of splitting your PageRank very thinly throughout the website. You'll be essentially telling people and search engines that every single link we have in our main navigation is equally important. 

 

If certain other pages that you used to link to were actually more important than all of those you'll have in the mega nav, then you'll be providing them with less PageRank within the new design, which could in turn hurt their ability to show up for the phrases for which they are relevant. 

 

Putting them also in the footer is just silly, IMO. 

 

Without seeing anything, generally my recommendations for the design would be to only have top level category pages within the mega navigation and then each category section would have a secondary nav. that carried throughout that section which listed all the next level pages within the category.

 

I think this article on site architecture explains. 



#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:21 AM

That's pretty much a formula for disaster.  You're really doing this for SEO, not for users.  Users don't click on all those links, but search engines do.  Unfortunately, the more links you put into your navigation the more page clutter you create and the more page clutter the search engine sees the less likely it will conclude you're doing anything useful for people.



#5 ClickClick

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:16 PM

by mega nav I mean the standard menu bar across the top, with 7 main links in it, but now some of them have a small downward arrow and a sub-navigation that appears when the word is hovered over.

 

There are 7 main menu headings in the menu bar across the top (just under the header). These are clickable but 4 of them have this extra sub-menu that appears when hovered over. Two of the submenus have 5/6 links, one has about 11 and the other has 4. These links are certainly useful for the user and are definitely not PURELY for SEO, but they are also useful to the pages which they are leading to, which are very important pages and are some of the most useful pages to the user.

 

The point is, these pages are already generally listed well by Google, probably largely because there has always been these links in the sidebar (but not solely for that reason as they are very good pages). But as we are getting rid of the sidebar will moving the links to this new mega nav submenu provide just as much value to those links so that Google does not drop the pages because it thinks they have disappeared or changed? The words will be the same and will link to the same pages but I'm just worried that because there has been a change in the position of the links on the page and the way the links are displayed (submenu that appears when the mouse hovers over it, as opposed to being visible all the time in the sidebar), the original links might be treated like they have disappeared and the new links like they are new ones.

 

I hope you get what I'm saying!

 

Thanks


Edited by ClickClick, 10 March 2014 - 12:16 PM.


#6 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

Yes. Understood. See previous response.



#7 ClickClick

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:11 PM

Thanks Jill



#8 ClickClick

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:22 PM

By the way, would submenu links that are not visible unless the menu is hovered over be seen the same by Google as links that are never hidden?



#9 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:26 PM

If the menu is done via CSS, then yes. And these days, probably even if it's JavaScript, but I wouldn't count on that 100%.






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