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Search Engine Indexing Problem: Fancy Menus
Avoid Spider Problems Caused By Tricky Menus
Originally Published: December, 2002
Another way to work around fancy menu systems is to use a spider map. A spider map is a page with simple, direct links to all the pages on your site
Create your free spider map.
Sometimes people submit but become frustrated as to why the search engine only indexes their home page. In theory, isn't the search engine supposed to spider to all the other pages on your site too?
Search Engine Spiders Are Inconsistent
In reality, the engines are inconsistent. Google often does an excellent job of spidering from one page to another, but many of the other engines appear to have a hit and miss system. Often it becomes necessary to submit your important pages that the search engine spider is not finding on its own. However, there are other reasons a spider may not be finding your pages that you should rule out first.
Notice at the top of the site how the menus drop down when you move the mouse over them. If you view the source code to the page in your browser (in Explorer you select View and then Source), you'll see a bunch of statements with the words additem or NavBarMenu. Since the major search engines are not Java interpreters right now, most are not going to be able to follow those links.
Simple Text Links Are Best For Search Engines
Fortunately, the Webmaster at drillingsoftware.com thought ahead by offering simple hyperlinks (using the HREF tag) at the bottom of the page for the spider to follow. All the links that did not fit neatly onto the page were put onto a page that may be traveled to via the "Site Map" hyperlink. Therefore, the search engine spider would skip by the Java code, but it could still find all the important pages by following the links at the bottom of the page.
Although with some engines you can specifically submit each of your pages, there's often a limit to how many you can submit per day. In addition, you'll often rank higher when you allow the search engine to find your optimized pages rather than submitting them directly.
This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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