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7/30/10
Original Poster
clarityproductions

Anything wrong with mega menus?

I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES / NO
My site's URL (web address) is:
Description (including timeline of any changes made): were using a mouseover menu that has lots of links on it. i have seen this style used on many other sites like overstock.com. This menu really helps our customers to easily find what they are looking for. Is there anything wrong with using this style of menu?
 
can it hurt your search engine ranking? is there any wrong or right way to be using this style of a menu?
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7/30/10
Expert - Gold
Robbo


In general, you should avoid having what might seems an excessive number of links from one page.    As a rule of thumber up to about roughly say approximatesly something like 100.


If your site has relatively few pages there is generally no harm in putting a full menu on every page as long as your visitors can easily find their way around.

But if the number of outbound links is huge, googlebot may waste some valuable crawling time checking thousands of links on every page.

Such an arrangement may also make the structure of the site more clouded.  

In my opinion when you are in Section-A of the (large) site it is good to give prominence not only to the links to the main page nfor each of the other sections, but also particularly the sub-pages WITHIN that section.   I belive that is better for users and better for crawlers.


A big "no-no" is to have say 1000 links on a page but 90% of them "hidden" from the visitor but visible to search engines - that starts to look like possible deception.    In general, Google does not like being shown text and links that the human visitor cannot see.

7/30/10
Original Poster
clarityproductions
I understand Human visitors can see our menu when they mouseover the top level categories like
Mens Belts and then they would be Casual Belts, Dress Belts, Tooled Belts, etc...
We probably have 150 links in total on the menu 5 top level categories and most one category has about
50 links under it but the rest are around 10-20. Its very logical for the customer but i'm hopint it doesn't
hurt the ranking factor.
7/30/10
Expert - Gold
Robbo


>>> Human visitors can see our menu when they mouseover ...

It depends also on how you do that:

--- if doing it by CSS (display:none) might that be seen as "hidden" text.  You probably be OK as long as it is no deceptive.

--- if doing it by CSS (hover) then what will googlebot "see"?

--- if doing it by javascript / clientside scripting, you should note that googlebot does not generally do javascript actions so it might or mght not "see" what you what it to see at any particular point.

THis is a grey area and very hard to be prescriptive about, especially without seeing a concrete example.

Regardless of the details of what and how you do it, make sure that the intention is good and the result is non-deceptive, not only in your own opinion but that of impartial experts!    

And after you have done it, make sure that you examine the TEXT-ONLY view of google's cache of the page and ensure that google does in fact see all that they should be seeing.


7/30/10
Original Poster
clarityproductions
Were using a jquery mouseover menu that uses <li> tags to build the menu and it does in fact display to both google and the end user.
 
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