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Vertical Menu - search engine friendly

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by helleborine, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. #1
    Can someone direct me to a vertical menu bar script or CSS that will allow me to update all menus by changing a single file? If the menu is SE-friendly, that would be a bonus.
    SEMrush
     
    helleborine, Sep 12, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Pat Gael

    Pat Gael Banned

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    #2
    If your server suppor PHP you can make your menu a single included file this way:

    
    <?php include "Name_of_menu_file.inc"; ?>
    
    PHP:
    As for the friendly Search Engine Menu, try one amont these great CSS options:

    
    
    http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic
    
    Code (markup):
     
    Pat Gael, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  3. Ottomund

    Ottomund Peon

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    #3
    Yup includes are the way to go. I also use includes for my ad space so I can instantly change the ads on all of my pages at once.
     
    Ottomund, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  4. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #4
    Before you rush into a menu, decide how you will structure the site. You mention that you will change the menu as you build the site up with pages over days, maybe weeks or many months, years maybe or you might even incorporate a request in your will that your children continue to build up the menu in the distant future.:) Ha Haaa. It is a good idea to plan ahead so that your site retains it's structure with an adequate menu that is based on flexibility.

    You have many choices which cater for your needs depending on whether you intend to use dynamically generated pages or html etc. I don't suggest that you use a "CONTAINER" as per php. Crawlers call upon the script to dynamically produce the same clutter of links on every page making pages less unique.

    A javascript menu controlled by a single js file is one method but can become very complex if your site grows very large, and it is notoriously difficult to be read by crawlers. There are of course benefits to that which we can point out to you later. There are many ways you can use this kind of menu and in most cases are ideal.

    Others include dhtml, collapsible trees etc etc. But I cannot see a real benefit to what you are looking for until you let us know how large will your website be and will you go for categories and internal folders etc where relative or absolute linking will need to be thought of.

    If all your pages are going to be in your root, then perhaps an iframe on the left of your table is the simplest and most effective method. It obviates the site as being controlled by a main frame. Single pages with just one page to alter the menu.

    This leaves you the best of nearly all possibilities. Since the page the iframe contains is the script that never changes. It simply displays the menu which the iframe contains. This page can also be hidden from crawlers and allow only browsing agents. And a good idea to hide your email from crawlers too. Only allow humans to see your email. Or encrypt it. Since you display your email on every page, the likelihood of spam is more likely. And the absence of identical bot readable clutter better makes your site unique. You can make whatever you want visible, but not actually on the page. The more difference there is the better. Removal of a repetitive email is maybe a good % better in uniqueness value.

    There is another super benefit to this. You link up only vital pages of your website that have rich content for crawlers. Humans get to view the iframe, crawlers see what you determine they should see.

    Yet another benefit is that the menu page can look exactly like and to blend in seamlessly. A human would not know it is there. You sacrifice only a user who has his text displayed as very large. You will be limited in controlling visual aspects of a text based menu. It is all a question of compromise.

    Still more benefits. The menu page can be allowed access to robots, rich in theme and content, but only the menu made visible.

    Since you would now have a menu that is super efficient, it can also be made to contain unreadable javascript too, if indeed you opt for javascript. The whole idea caters for your need to only change one set of information to be reflected on all pages. This is also very beneficial in reducing near identical content on pages since there is no repetitive large menu. This increases possibility to maintain a lower risk of near identical pages where majority of the page is taken up by a large menu and a single image change is the only difference between one page and another. In the absence of repetitive clutter, each page stands a better chance of being unique. Though the human eye sees a menu, the crawler does not.

    This leaves navigation for humans and robots separate, or not, depending on how you want it to be.

    Another alternative is vector graphics where a single file is built up as you add pages. This is another worthy contender if you are looking to use optimization. The links within a flash menu can be read by many crawlers and only one file need be updated. The menu can have very little information other than links and can be made to blend in perfectly, or it can be as complex as you want it to be with site worthy information, it's very own title, textual content visible or not visible. It is almost limitless as to how you can make use of the benefits of a crawler readable flash menu. The benefits not being all to do with SEO since the link values may have been discounted by crawlers etc. But the ease of maintaining such a menu is ideal if it is one file you want. A cell on every page contains the vertical menu script, all pages display the same flash menu. All browsers display it. Unless switched off, but some users switch off java anyway. You can also build on the menu as you learn and become dexterous in flash. If the menu gets too long, simply alter it to collapse or open with mouseover. This is an ideal menu if you have a 100 page site. The links in the flash are not repetitive on the 100 pages. It is only one file being shown on all pages. Uniqueness is maintained in the absence of link clutter in is maintained in the eyes or crawlers .

    Ever seen a website with a 100 pages that contain 100 links in all pages? Majority of such pages are near identical than unique. The same 100 links in every page pointing to each other. No wonder crawlers don't know where they are going because they get dizzy in the inefficient maze and leaves pagerank a huge problem to administer.

    Other appropriate menus exist. Let us know which one best suits your needs.
     
    PopTart, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  5. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #5
    BasedSolutions,

    I agree it is a good idea. But this method of dynamically reproducing the very same links made absolute regarding visibility only reduces a pages uniqueness and is of no value so far as pagerank is concerned. A crawler sees the very same links in every page. A 100 page website showing 100 links in every page. That is 10,000 links to a crawler. Repetitiveness can bring the unique value of a page to its knees. This method of a menu actually makes this imaginary 100 page website more to do with it's links than it's contents. Confusion is more about that 100 page site than the contents it displays.

    A good method of doing links, but unfortunately a deadly one and a mass producer of unnecessary overkill of navigational links to crawlers.
     
    PopTart, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  6. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #6
    Addendum.

    The only search engine friendly menu is the human intervention kind. Make one single menu as I have suggested. Display to crawlers only necessary links and relevant anchors. Link up all good content. Orphan all useless pages that dilute pagerank.

    A good habit is if you produce a page with only an image change, orphan it so far as a crawler is concerned.

    Take a look at some sites. Remove the images and you will be hard pressed to know what the site is about. Remove it's massive number of links and weigh up the removed links with original content. Don't be surprised if the balance is heavily tipped towards the mass of links that may constitute maybe 75% of the website.

    Your 100 page website may contain only a 100 links instead of 10,000, but your pagerank will be infinitely higher. Your links will weigh a ton each compared to 10,000 that weigh less than the script they are witten in.

    PHP is not the way to go in your case.
     
    PopTart, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  7. Pat Gael

    Pat Gael Banned

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    #7

    Very true, from a dynamic perspective this can also lead to those unwanted supplemental results in search engines lasting a lifetime
     
    Pat Gael, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  8. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #8
    BasedSolutions,

    PHP should be nicknamed, "the giver of strabismus" to crawlers.

    Since it's inception, PHP has been widely used to make life easier. But the monoculture of a crop, produces the monoculture of it's pest.

    I used a PHP menu on a large website. One day, I decided to weigh up the content text verses the number of links. Low and behold, I realised that 85% of the large website was links, generated to crawlers. A link farm was what I created. The site was more about links than crocodiles. A specific anchor link named "Buy Now" appeared 1,000 times and the word crocodile appeared only a few times.

    No wonder I ranked high for "Buy Now" and nowhere for crocodiles. My website was about "Buy Now"
     
    PopTart, Sep 12, 2006 IP
  9. helleborine

    helleborine Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Thanks! I will use iframe for this site. Sounds easy enough!
     
    helleborine, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  10. frankcow

    frankcow Well-Known Member

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    #10
    If you want it to be SE friendly, use the suckerfish menu method. I've used it for several sites, it's fantastic
     
    frankcow, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  11. WeRASkitzzo

    WeRASkitzzo Peon

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    #11
    Uh sorry Pop Tart... you're way off on this one.

    You're site ranked high for Buy Now huh? Some pretty stiff competition up there huh?

    Helleborine, I'd fully disregard PopTart's posts and go with whichever php includes menu strikes your fancy. I personally use the pop 7 menu magic one (I think thats what its called).
     
    WeRASkitzzo, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  12. rmccarley

    rmccarley Peon

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    #12
    Hold on! There is nothing wrong with usineg PHP includes or dynamic content in web site design you just have to be aware of what you are doing! The search engines don't care how the content is generated and if they hit a page with PHP includes they don't even know it because the spider only gets the finished product which is just html.

    Serriously, if this were a problem blogs wouldn't get any SE traffic.

    An include, PHP or otherwise is a great idea and definately the way I would go.
     
    rmccarley, Sep 13, 2006 IP
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  13. everypcneed

    everypcneed Peon

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    #13
    Absolutely correct. The SEs only read the final page produced and do not care how the content was called in the first place.

    My personal recommendation is to use an include file.

    Rick
     
    everypcneed, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  14. Mano70

    Mano70 Peon

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    #14
    PopTart, I hope you were joking because your advices are the worst advices I have ever seen regarding menus and making web sites.

    helleborine, use the advices from the other people in this thread (includes and CSS menus).
     
    Mano70, Sep 13, 2006 IP
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  15. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #15
    Mano,

    Your inability to write properly leaves you very vulnerable in exchanges of abuse. Your reading ability is also inept. I never mentioned anything about building a website. Do you know how to read? Did you go to school? In fact, my context is clear and precise. The discussion was about something you clearly are not equipped to understand or acquiescent with. You seem to have a catharsis to display a need to micturate against the wind. Your disagreement is one of the worst posts I have ever seen. Senseless, and totally asinine.

    OK everybody, I am guilty as charged.

    PHP and CSS is good. I never said it wasn't. Please disregard the crap I wrote.
     
    PopTart, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  16. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #16
    Not necessarily true... sometimes thinking outside the box of SEO is often better for ranks.

    Traditional nav menus often have a bunch of user-based pages that offer no redeeming 'rankable value' in search engines but because they are part of the main nav they acquire their lion share of weight, relevancy, PageRank and Trust - that would be better spent on 'important pages that need it'...

    Alternative 'static' links can be conveniently placed for these important pages - and you'll do 'so much better' - especially in Google.
     
    fathom, Sep 13, 2006 IP
  17. damiangoogle

    damiangoogle Active Member

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    #17
    use the suckerfish menu method. I've used it for several sites, great working
     
    damiangoogle, Sep 14, 2006 IP
  18. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #18
    Fathom,

    At last, a hint of an eloquent post based on perception and personal observation. Unlike the other iron fisted dictatorial posts that remind me more of hungry chimps feeding time than constructive arguments about a menu that is for a specific purpose.
    Again, Fathom, I raise my hat to you and salute your intelligence.

    PHP is indeed a powerful, useful, expandable and feature rich serverside script that not only makes life easier but was an inevitable evolution that simply had to come. It was fostered by the sheer need to speed things up and to handle such things as we are discussing.

    I use PHP, and I use it for exactly to your description as to it’s value and benefits.

    We are actually discussing a simple menu. How to avoid crawlers seeing any unnecessary links and to plan forward to limit the work needed to maintain a menu. A single menu that occupies a given space on a page, were it can be updated, altered in scripting method to display links, and to allow any change in the future.

    This menu will occupy a particular space that will not change.

    So you see, the menu can change. It’s space that it is now occupying will not change. Crawlers can be denied access to any human visible links of the menu. Within the existing menu, one can allow crawlers access, but one can also make only one to as many links visible to crawlers by way of scripting the links in different readable and unreadable scripts for crawlers.

    If at any stage a more powerful serverside scripting language is required, no aesthetics need be altered to internal pages.

    The area occupied, the space that displays the menu, can have any linking methods. I only pointed out the repetitiveness of dynamically produced links and how it is difficult to avoid displaying the same links in all pages with PHP. Indeed, billions upon billions of useless pages on the interned are presented to robots. That is how google, yahoo etc can boast of their gigantic databases that may comprise of a high percentage of garbage.

    We were actually discussing something else, but some trigger happy cowboy’s who’s only diet is a hybrid wanabe-webmaster-beans, only available in rusty tins, deflate their flatulence at what they don’t understand and care not to explain why they have an opinion. A sort of iron fisted, “my way is better” pontification.

    Really, if someone has something to say, they should write about it like you have. And just to recap, yes, I agree with you. PHP is a good script. But I don’t agree it is the perfect menu in this case. SEO is an altogether a different subject than can only be discussed in forums better equipped with fewer cowboy's and more able scribes.

    How would you feel if I intervened on a post of your's that I know little about and made deliberate derogatory notes in your thread to dilute the subject matter I don't understand? That is exactly what is prevalent in this now silly thread. Besmirched in particular by one post that had so little to say other than a rude notification that such posters like him abound in this forum, pouncing from one thread to another expending the intoxicating results of their feeble diet instead of posting readable notes like your's.

    I mean, what is the point of reading such crap of someone who simply disagrees and has no substance to offer other than the name of a script written by a more able person listed on a website to download.

    I tell you, this thread is now more about advertising idolised scripts rather than a discussion regarding a particular menu.

    Thank you for your input.
     
    PopTart, Sep 14, 2006 IP
  19. PopTart

    PopTart Guest

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    #19
    damiangoogle,

    Are you an affiliate?, promoter?, or re-seller of what you preach as being "great working" simply because you use it?

    What evidence do you have that it is the method worthy of several sites.

    I'd like to know because it looks like whatever you approve of is the beeeeez kneeeeez. If you are convincing, I'd like to live the same life as you. To purchase your choice of cars, homes, clothes, etc. Do the same hobbies as you, seek the same boyfriends etc.

    I have an affinity to follow a messiah. To live a straight forward life. Monochrom. Simply to accept what is advertised with no description as to why I should use it other than what you demonically deem, as your name vividly suggests.

    Have you ever developed or contributed to anything regarding the development of the internet? Or do you simply move from forum to forum and from thread to thread preaching the gospel of "suckerfish" hoping that your voice will be heard.
     
    PopTart, Sep 14, 2006 IP
  20. WeRASkitzzo

    WeRASkitzzo Peon

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    #20
    Hey PopTwit, before you start commenting on people's typos, you'd better make sure you don't have any either.

    I must say I'd feel about like I do right now. You're completely off base and wrong but your ego and self esteemed intellect won't let you admit it.

    Lets go back to the OP shall we?

    Answering that question, I prefer this menu: http://www.projectseven.com/products/menusystems/tmm/index.htm.
    You can change the menu on multiple pages by editing one file and the links all appear as text links to the SE spiders which is obviously SEO friendly.
     
    WeRASkitzzo, Sep 14, 2006 IP