Does Using a Dropdown Menu Negatively Impact Page Authority?

Today’s Ask an website positioning query comes from Joe in Croatia. This one offers with a difficulty I’m certain each website positioning skilled has both seen — or will see in some unspecified time in the future of their profession.

Joe asks:

“I have a question regarding drop down menu/hidden link impact on authority of the pages.

So, our webpage is about sports data and statistic, where on our homepage we show various sport matches played in various countries. For user experience and for the technical part of the page, those matches will be put in a drop down menu of each country. If the country menu isn’t clicked on, those matches are both invisible to users and Google. Will that have a negative impact on match pages regarding authority and will it impact crawling?”

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Navigation and menus are a massive space the place website positioning execs can both enhance their website or do extra hurt than good.

Why Navigational Menus Matter in website positioning

Lots of thought goes into menus, not simply from an website positioning perspective however from UX, inventive, accessibility, and improvement lenses, too.

In technical website positioning phrases, navigation is your greatest likelihood to affect the PageRank of your inner pages.

It’s the place you may management the hyperlinks and the way any authority (can all of us stop saying “link juice”?) flows all through your website.

Navigational menus additionally assist engines like google perceive how your website is laid out.

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I’m usually requested, “If the link is in the sitemap, do we need it in the main navigational menu, too?”

The reply is sure, you do!

If the hyperlink isn’t necessary sufficient so that you can put in your navigation and present to customers, why would the major search engines assume it’s necessary for them to point out to customers?

So let’s get again to Joe’s query: Is there a unfavourable affect on authority for pages in your dropdown menu?

It relies upon!

Depending on how your menu is coded, these secondary and tertiary hyperlinks might not be seen to engines like google. That received’t have a unfavourable affect on these pages, however it’s additionally not supreme when it comes to their total optimization.

It may have an effect on crawling.

Many website positioning professionals consider that Google crawls pages based mostly on their PageRank so extra inner hyperlinks to the web page enhance the prospect that it is going to be found and crawled, and likewise the PageRank!

While I don’t consider within the idea of PageRank sculpting, you will need to consider your nav from a hyperlink graph viewpoint.

Side observe: Just a few years in the past at a convention, Dixon Jones did a nice speak about how CNN altering their navigation round affected the PageRank of websites a number of hyperlinks away from them as a result of it modified their inner hyperlink graph a lot. I can’t discover that presentation on-line, however right here’s a weblog publish speaking concerning the idea.

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Important Considerations for Navigational Hierarchy

When designing a nagivational hierarchy, it’s necessary to remember person circulation and what pages are necessary.

Not each web page needs to be within the menu. However, there ought to be a clear crawl path from the homepage to all the different pages on the location – one which doesn’t contain the sitemap.

You’ll discover many prime retail websites have one high-level menu on their homepage, however then add in a secondary menu with extra hyperlinks related to that class on the class pages or subpages.

They’ve chosen to circulation their “authority” to that sub-set of pages, after which let these pages all hyperlink to all the pieces else. This isn’t a dangerous technique and it’s one I’ve used previously.

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Always create a graph of inner hyperlinks to be sure to’re actually sending the alerts you wish to ship.

You can do that simply utilizing instruments like Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Majestic, PowerMapper, and even by yourself utilizing Gephi and a checklist of inner hyperlinks.

Also, guarantee that your navigation doesn’t find yourself being nearly all of the content material on the web page.

Search engines have gotten actually good at figuring out what content material is in what components of the web page, however I nonetheless see tons of websites with navigation so massive that it accounts for about 90% of the content material of the web page.

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That’s not supreme and will be complicated to engines like google (and other people).

To be taught extra about greatest practices for navigation, see How to Improve Your Website Navigation: 7 Essential Best Practices.

In closing, the reply to Joe’s query is that it’s completely different for each website. I hope my response provides you some issues to consider and assets to assist decide one of the simplest ways ahead in your distinctive state of affairs.

More Resources:

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Editor’s observe: Ask an website positioning is a weekly website positioning recommendation column written by among the trade’s prime website positioning consultants, who’ve been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a query about website positioning? Fill out our kind. You would possibly see your reply within the subsequent #AskanSEO publish!

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