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Dropdown form links: will Goog follow them?

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4:49 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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will google or other search engines follow links from dropdown boxes?

something like this: <script language='javascript'>
function gotoCategory(id){
if (id.value!=''){
window.location=id.value;
return true;
}
}
</script>
<select name='Category' onchange='gotoCategory(this)'>
<OPTION value=''>Go Directly To:</OPTION><OPTION value='/category.html'>Category1</OPTION>

Does anyone have any experience?
thanks,

11:13 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've had Google index URL's from a drop down box in a phpbb forum.
11:23 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If it looks like an URL, just about anywhere on a page, it is a safe bet that googlebot will try it out. That doesn't mean that it will get PR or any other sort of credit that it would get from a real <a href=... link.
11:36 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Sure, it can find the links. The problem is accessibility, not all browsers support java script. I would plan for the user rather than the search engine, if you take into account all users you will be in great shape.
12:28 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google following and indexing a url does not mean that PR is passed or circulated within a domain as it would be with a non-scripted anchor tag.
2:28 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have some obscure pages I want goog to index and move from supplementals. Adding them the dropdown is acceptable, but doing it in regular links is not since it takes too much space.

Worth trying?

2:35 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A year ago Google didnt follow links in a form box for me, so I stopped using them for navigation.
3:08 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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walkman, have you considered a dhtml mouseover menu? You can use 100% SE friendly markup and still sacrifice no screen real estate. The only javascript you need would be to switch visibility of the dropdown, it wouldn't have to touch the actual links at all.
3:54 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just put in a 'no script' with all the links.
4:11 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Will PR flow through no-script? I didnt think so?
6:56 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Tedster's DHTML suggestion seems the safest to me, and it doesn't cost you any functionality. There are a number of methods floating around that let you keep all the important content in simple HTML/CSS, and with some work you can get it to degrade gracefully. And if you move your javascript to an external file, it will keep your file size manageable.
7:14 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I originally said a mouseover DHTML menu, but I should mention that it can also work with onclick just as easily. You could even visually imitate the look of the current dropdown.
5:09 am on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I tried a script that has a java script and css file load from the header. In the page it's more or less like this:

<li><a href="/link-to-z" rel="z"><span>Z</span></a></li>
<li><a href="/link-to-x" rel="x"><span>X</span></a></li>

and then

<div id='z' class='****'><a href='/link/'>product</a></div>
<div id='x' class='****'><a href='/link2/'>product2</a>

Clicking on the letter will display all the products with that letter. Looking at the source, all the links are in there like this:

<li><a href="/link-to-z" rel="z"><span>Z</span></a></li>
<li><a href="/link-to-x" rel="x"><span>X</span></a></li>

I tried this around the bottom of the page since it takes a lot less space (600 by 100 or so) and didn't want to change my side menus. I hope google likes it. It's functional since users can navigate their entire sitemap within a few seconds, and the links gets seen.

On edit: it has .innercontent{display: none;} and the content loads, but is only seen after the user clicks on the letter B for example to see the products that start with "B". Will goog see this as cheating?

5:46 am on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Will PR flow through no-script? I didnt think so?

I think it will, but the layout is often not pretty if js is turned off and the noscript links become visible.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:50 am (utc) on Mar. 3, 2007]

6:35 am on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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On edit: it has .innercontent{display: none;} and the content loads, but is only seen after the user clicks on the letter B for example to see the products that start with "B". Will goog see this as cheating?

No - it's a very standard show/hide div script. When ordinary (and even explicitly called for) user action displays the content, you're fine.