I have a question I can't seem to find an answer to, and I thought maybe you guys could help out. Logically, I feel as if the answer to my question should be "No.". As in - no the spiders and crawlers for search engines can follow links in a DHTML menu, like: http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamici...pmenuindex.htm just fine, however honestly I have no idea. I actually will be using a variation of that menu in the next site I am designing, because I really do like it. I'm kind of bored with classic "links in a menu on the left" look.. even though in my mind, that would be the best for search engines because bang they are right there. However again - I don't really know.
I know that spiders crawl based on the code in your site basically I'm sure they'd find the links to my other pages while using the above script.. and I could of course make some sort of Site Map page in my footer that would in a classic way "list" all the links to my other pages, and that might be good for the search engines... but bah.. I'd like to hear what you guys have to say. I could be all wrong and who knows, maybe the spiders love those menus even more!! Ha.... we'll see what you guys have to say about it.... you're the experts and I look forward to your advice.
Sorry if my post is a little weird.. I'm tired.. spent 3 hours in bumper to bumper traffic today while it was pouring rain so hard you could barely see... and then 6 hours in Philadelphia... ah.. it was..terrible... So yeah.. I'm going to go lay down, but I wanted to pop this question in so maybe there'd be some kind replies when I get back. Thanks to anyone that contributes their thoughts.
I figured they *could*, I just wondered if when push comes to shove, if Google and Yahoo typically like to index pages that have their links clearly visible in and in a list for the Visitor as well. Granted, if you look at the html the links are listed boom, boom, boom for the DHTML script... but again, I just wasn't sure either way. I am in the process of reading the SEO Boook (which seo book?) ("the seo book").. and it's pretty good but I haven't found my answer in there yet.. Thanks for replying Bobby. If anyone else has some input it would be very mch appreciated as well.
I would not be quite so confident about SEs following links in DHTML menu. Remember, DHTML is parsed by the browser, using an optional technology. There are no guarantees an SE spider is going to notice menu items in an array. There's plenty of evidence to suggest spiders handle pages at the source level, since they must distinguish between types of elements (<h*> tags and <title>s get extra weight, alt text has to be picked up, etc.). It's possible some SEs do follow menu items in a DHTML menu, but the ones that only look at a page by its code will not, and I don't know of any resource that makes it clear which ones do and which ones don't. It could be that all SEs do now, but...
Thanks for that insightful reply, I appreciate it.
Another potential issue, and again, I don't know enugh about search engines to even know if it's a issue is how I have my site "come together". I built it with HTML, and of course there is my DHTML menu, but then I chopped it up into 5 sections, something like header.php, menu.php, promos.php, main.php and footer.php. Then, I pulled them all together in an index file with includes. I do this with every subpage as well, for example if I make a FAQ, I replace the include for main.php for an include calling faq.php.
So yeah.. I didn't really optimize it for the ideal conditions a search engine would like my site to be in, because I really didn't know what conditions those would be. Even to me, I feel as if I've really complicated things for the spiders, when they view index.php, I don't know if they are going to see:
And then turn back around and leave. That sounds kind of ridiculous, as with today's Yahoo and Google spiders (screw the other ones.. sure they matter, but I'm most interested in the big dogs who will do things right from the beginning), I'd imagine they wouldn't do such a thing as see some php and run, otherwise how would php sites or forums ever get indexed, right?
So maybe I'm just being overly cautious - maybe the search engines will have no problem pulling my site together, digging through arrays to get my menu links and then following them. Or maybe.. I still have no idea.
Search engines will never see your include statements, the same way site visitors will never see them. These are parsed at the server and they are delivered as complete pages. You have nothing to fear. This is a perfectly acceptable way of doing things
Certainly - I'm always glad to help, especially when it's for someone who's able to see past his or her own browsing habits and take a broader audience into account. I think you'll be amply rewarded in the end with better rankings and more traffic. Best of luck!