View Full Version : Resolved Search engine spiders and dhtml menus

05-02-2009, 06:23 PM
1) Script Title: All Levels Navigational Menu (v2.1)

2) Script URL (on DD):


3) Describe problem:


This is my first post and would appreciate help.

I have a website template that has an existing nav menu that I want to replace with a multi level navigation menu. I hoped to be able to reduce my workload by being able to use one template for my entire website rather than having 1 template for my home page (t1) and separate templates for each of my second tier pages (t2) -there may be up to 15 of those. These second tier pages (t2 pages) are set up to click through to my t3 pages (perhaps another 15 of those). It was for this reason I was excited about the multi level navigation menus on DD. Because since I have to do multiple sites I though that I could do all the menu linking in one template.

I selected, All Levels Navgational Menu, because in its description it said that it was search engine friendly. So it was the one I selected to try. I consulted a colleague that gave me the following caution, however. So I want to share what his concern is and to see if there was anything that could be done to still use the All Levels Navigation Menu (or another search engine friendly multi nav menu) but not have the problem he envisioned. I would really appreciate an answer, as he recommended against a dhtml menu.

Here is what he wrote, after initially being very enthusiastic about the All Levels Nav Menu,

[10:49:53 AM] eriknevio: using the dhtml menu means that all the links towards your t3 pages are preseent in the code of your homepage (t1)
[10:50:34 AM] eriknevio: that means that google can see them when looking at your homepage, thus they automatically become t2 instead of t3's
[10:50:56 AM] eriknevio: in other words, i don't think you can have t3 pages defined in the dhtml menu

As background, after receiving his answer, I searched the forums and on June 7, 2005, Cr3ative, then one of the elite coders, wrote:

"Scripts which are purely for visual effects don't usually have a problem with search spiders - however scripted links, such as DHTML menus can be a problem to index."

Could someone tell me if that is still valid today (almost 4 years later) and if it is applicable to the All Levels Navigational Menu? and if it is not valid please help me understand why. And most importantly, whether my colleague Erik is right and I have to give up on dhtml and do 1 home page template and 15 t2 templates.

Thanks so much for your help.

05-10-2009, 12:55 AM
This one is simple to answer- yes, the links defined inside All Levels Drop Down Menu should be picked up by most search engines. This is because the links are simply defined inline on the page as regular links and wrapped inside DIV tags. They exist physically within the page's source, regardless of whether JavaScript is enabled or not.

05-10-2009, 05:32 AM
Hi George:

Thanks for your response, but please confirm to make sure I understand your answer.

My intention is for the spider to only see my Tier 2 pages when it spiders my home page since they are far more important than the Tier 3 pages. And to spider the Tier 3 pages only when it arrives on a Tier 2 page.

If I only want the search engine spider to see tier 2 links and not tier 3 links on my home page, are you telling me that I can not use the dhtml script. Because when the spider comes to my home page, it will see all of the links on that page and there is no way to differentiate between tier 2 links and tier 3 links. Am I understanding this correctly?

If that is the case George, is it possible for me to just define the T2 links in the home page, have the script show those, but have on the Tier 2 pages another use of the script so that it then shows the Tier 3 pages. So essentially I have two scripts. The script for the home page defines and thus show just the tier 2 pages as drop downs and on the Tier 2 pages the drop downs showing the Tier 3 pages.

Or if I can't use two scripts on a site as outlined above, can I use the script just on my tier 2 pages, not on my home page at all. I would have regular navigation on my home page. But on my Tier 2 pages I have the dthml script, then on those pages I have a drop down that will show all of my Tier 3 pages/

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Best regards,

05-10-2009, 06:07 AM
Just from a SEO standpoint, I'm not really convinced on the validity of breaking down pages according to "tiers". To me it seems you're overthinking the issue. But regardless, as far as your question goes, it's up to you what links are shown inside the drop down menus. If your T2 pages and T3 pages use separate templates, then for the drop down menus' HTML, simply alter them inside the two template pages, so different menu links are shown on T2 versus T3 etc. The script itself would remain the same across the board, with the only thing changing being the HTML for the drop down DIVs themselves.

05-10-2009, 06:27 AM
George, thanks for your prompt answer. I appreciate your insights.

Best regards,