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Will it make a tremendous difference if the top links will be graphical or text?
I am concerned about how the change will affect search engine rankings, since the site is ranking #1 and #2 on the primary keyword phrases.
Will the change adversely affect the rankings? Is there a "safe" way to do top navigation without having funny looking descriptons show up on searches?
We have a few sites with top button menus, and what we do to prevent adverse effects on our rankings is we add text links on top of the button links...so the text links will be at the very top of the page, then the logo/title of the site, then the button menus.
It seems to me that it would have a negative impact on SE rankings because some of the best spider food will be at the bottom.
2_much, regarding the button links on top - are those the img src= buttons Brett is saying to use?
If there are buttons (gif or jpg, img src=) further down in the page, if they're on the side of the text, they will always appear below the main body of page text in the code. And when I use those, I still use text links on the bottom, which is habit by now.
While we're on the subject of top navigation, what is the effect of using a drop down list for navigation at the very top? That is nice looking and compact, convenient means of secondary navigation, but how does that appear to spiders?
Yes, we we use the img source buttons, but we also back it up with text links.
Shari Turrow wrote somewhere that it's not advisable to use drop down menus. She said that, although they're good because they don't take up too much space when it comes to navigation, the download time is slow and most spiders can't follow links.
I've never used drop downs so I can't add anything about my experiences with this.
Similar with a site where we got rid of a js menu at the very top under <BODY> . Everybody liked the js menu, but its effect on SEranking i think was substantial.