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Old 06-25-2009, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 11
Default DHTML/JS/Java/Flash & SEO

Hi... the thing that spawned this query is when I was installing a DHTML drop down menu for a client, who doesnt care about SEO but I do, and was wondering how does that affect SEO? Is every component of the drop down treated just like HTML, or is it more hidden like a Flash menu?

This would of course, be followed by questions for JS apps, hava, and of course Flash, where I have heard now many SEO can be used for Flash apps... is there a resource somewhere online or something someone can tell me that can make me understand how SEO works with all this progresive web tech? Thanks!

P.S. I am a freelance web/graphic designer for over 5 years and have an intermediate knowledge of all aspects of web design, in case you need to explain something and dont want to go TOO basic!
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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It's good that your thinking about this stuff, even though your client isn't concerned about SEO it's definitely good to get in the habit of making all your designs as accessible to search engines as possible. The upside is, Google is much like a screen reader or stripped down mobile browser so it's not just Google you will benefit.

With Javascript, Google can follow js links and also execute a lot of Javascript now. But, at the moment i personally don't take that for granted and if i have to use Javascript/Ajax for something important like menus i "always" ensure it degrades for non-javascript enabled browsers and displays a pure HTML link. So just turn off javascript in your browser, can you click your navigation and is each page on it's own URL with it's correct content?

The other thing you can do is show an alternate plain HTML menu at the bottom of the page, if you look down near the Validator button on this page you will see links to the main forum categories:

Knowledgebase | SEO | Free Scripts | Free Wordpress Themes | Free Graphics
I removed the default vBulletin dropdown jump menu, and switched it out with pure HTML links for this reason.

Now.. When you use Ajax to hide/show content on a single page depending on user input that can get a little more involved depending if you use the pound symbol in URL's or not.

For example see NamePros: http://www.namepros.com

They have 4 tabs to show different forums, now see the Google cache here. There's nothing except a loading bar, and the content is on bad URL's like tabforumhome.php?tabcat[]=144

I personally wouldn't of implemented it that way.

Similar story with Flash, Google and Adobe are working together to make it more crawlable and Google can read text in Flash but it's best not to rely on it and always ensure the page degrades for non-flash browsers and the same content/links is available to them as Flash browsers.

It's difficult to cover all implementations and uses of script and Flash, so if you want me to take a look at your project or something more specific just let me know.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:41 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 108

Avoid javascript for navigation, as spiders won't crawl it. Drop downs also can present too many choices to the search engine. Having global drop downs might mean global links from your home page, which could easily cause you to have too many links on your home page. They're not a good way to distribute PageRank wisely. The Intel site is a PR9 site, so they can afford to be sloppy.

If, in straight HTML, there is a clear and direct anchor tag with a url that resolves exactly as it is typed -- <a href="some-url"> -- then that link can be spidered and can pass on backlink influence. If the url is in a script, constructed from an array variable, etc, written out with a document.write() statement etc., then it is unlikely to be spidered. And even if it is spidered and indexed, the link is still very unlikely to pass on any backlink influence, Page Rank, or whatever schema the search engine is using.
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