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3 Level Navigation with UX & SEO in mind.
Chips Ahoy McCoy




msg:4674068
 11:06 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Going through a complete site overhaul and wanted to ask a question as it relates to our navigation.

We have 4 main navigation items on our website. When you click on a main nav item it goes to it's landing page and from there the secondary nav items load (depending of what main nav item you're on.) Some of the secondary nav items have drop down menus, some do not. The first two levels would look like this, the third level would be the drop down menu which is not illustrated below.


Main Nav 1 | Main Nav 2 | Main Nav 3 | Main Nav 4

Secondary Nav 1 | Secondary Nav Item 2 | Secondary Nav Item 3 | Secondary Nav Item 4 | | Secondary Nav Item 5


The secondary nav items that do not have drop down menus are #anchors to content down the current page you're on. The secondary nav items that have drop down items are linked to a different page.


My problems with this is that say your entrance page is one of those drop down menu pages and you're on domain.com/parent/child/page1.html. From there the user decides to click on a secondary nav item that does not have a drop down menu. They're taken to domain.com/parent/#anchorname, a different URL with an anchor.


Do you think this is confusing from a user perspective? I'm trying to get the designers to buy into the fact that the secondary nav items with no drop down menu should be their own page for SEO purposes. That way we are not covering multiple topics on one page and having links to separate content blocks from different URLs.

I would be okay with the anchors if they only linked to a spot on the page you were currently on, but that's not the case they way the nav is setup.

Any opinions on this matter as it relates to SEO or UX?

 

phranque




msg:4674080
 11:59 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

everything after the hashmark is a document fragment identifier.
it is used by the browser (user agent), not the server, since it isn't passed to the server in the requested URL.

the only times i've seen a search engine index (provide a link to) a document fragment url is when there is a well-structured internal (to the page) navigation in place.

tangor




msg:4674133
 5:05 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Do you think this is confusing from a user perspective? I'm trying to get the designers to buy into the fact that the secondary nav items with no drop down menu should be their own page for SEO purposes.

There's your answer. Yes, it will be bad for the user since the target by site developers is SEO. Users are not SEO. Never have been.

Query: why is the nav not consistent cross-site? Is there a valid reason why "home" can't be found (assuming something, of course, but does sound like that).

Nav inserts on every page are so freaking easy why is that not the case here? (Broadband speeds and nimble browsers make any statement of "page size" null and void).

Page source g, b, y, or any of the newspapers/media sites for examples of huge menus that are cross-site specific. And no hits ugly for doing so.

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