Does Using a Dropdown Menu Negatively Impact Page Authority?

Today’s Ask an website positioning query comes from Joe in Croatia. This one offers with a problem I’m certain each website positioning skilled has both seen — or will see sooner or later of their profession.

Joe asks:

“I’ve a query relating to drop down menu/hidden hyperlink impression on authority of the pages.

So, our webpage is about sports activities information and statistic, the place on our homepage we present varied sport matches performed in varied international locations. For person expertise and for the technical a part of the web page, these matches will probably be put in a drop down menu of every nation. If the nation menu isn’t clicked on, these matches are each invisible to customers and Google. Will which have a destructive impression on match pages relating to authority and can it impression crawling?”


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Navigation and menus are a massive space the place website positioning professionals can both enhance their web site or do extra hurt than good.

Why Navigational Menus Matter in website positioning

A number of thought goes into menus, not simply from an website positioning perspective however from UX, inventive, accessibility, and improvement lenses, too.

In technical website positioning phrases, navigation is your finest likelihood to affect the PageRank of your inside pages.

It’s the place you may management the hyperlinks and the way any authority (can all of us give up saying “hyperlink juice”?) flows all through your web site.

Navigational menus additionally assist serps perceive how your web site is laid out.


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I’m usually requested, “If the hyperlink is within the sitemap, do we’d like it in the primary navigational menu, too?”

The reply is sure, you do!

If the hyperlink isn’t necessary sufficient so that you can put in your navigation and present to customers, why would the various search engines suppose it’s necessary for them to indicate to customers?

So let’s get again to Joe’s query: Is there a destructive impression on authority for pages in your dropdown menu?

It relies upon!

Depending on how your menu is coded, these secondary and tertiary hyperlinks could not be seen to serps. That received’t have a destructive impression on these pages, but it surely’s additionally not perfect by way of their general optimization.

It may additionally have an effect on crawling.

Many website positioning professionals imagine that Google crawls pages primarily based on their PageRank so extra inside hyperlinks to the web page enhance the prospect that it is going to be found and crawled, and likewise the PageRank!

While I don’t imagine within the idea of PageRank sculpting, it is very important consider your nav from a link graph viewpoint.

Side be aware: A couple of years in the past at a convention, Dixon Jones did a nice speak about how CNN altering their navigation round affected the PageRank of web sites a number of hyperlinks away from them as a result of it modified their inside hyperlink graph a lot. I can’t discover that presentation on-line, however right here’s a blog post speaking concerning the principle.


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Important Considerations for Navigational Hierarchy

When designing a nagivational hierarchy, it’s necessary to remember person stream and what pages are necessary.

Not each web page must be within the menu. However, there needs to be a clear crawl path from the homepage to the entire different pages on the location – one which doesn’t contain the sitemap.

You’ll discover many prime retail websites have one high-level menu on their homepage, however then add in a secondary menu with extra hyperlinks related to that class on the class pages or subpages.

They’ve chosen to stream their “authority” to that sub-set of pages, after which let these pages all hyperlink to every little thing else. This isn’t a unhealthy technique and it’s one I’ve used up to now.


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Always create a graph of inside hyperlinks to be sure you’re actually sending the indicators you wish to ship.

You can do that simply utilizing instruments like Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Majestic, PowerMapper, and even by yourself utilizing Gephi and a record of inside hyperlinks.

Also, guarantee that your navigation doesn’t find yourself being the vast majority of the content material on the web page.

Search engines have gotten actually good at figuring out what content material is in what components of the web page, however I nonetheless see tons of web sites with navigation so massive that it accounts for about 90% of the content material of the web page.


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That’s not perfect and might be complicated to serps (and other people).

To be taught extra about finest practices for navigation, see How to Improve Your Website Navigation: 7 Essential Best Practices.

In closing, the reply to Joe’s query is that it’s totally different for each web site. I hope my response provides you some issues to consider and assets to assist decide one of the best ways ahead in your distinctive state of affairs.

More Resources:


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Editor’s be aware: Ask an website positioning is a weekly website positioning recommendation column written by a number of the trade’s prime website positioning consultants, who’ve been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a query about website positioning? Fill out our form. You would possibly see your reply within the subsequent #AskanSEO put up!

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