Do You Need a GPS to Navigate Your Site?

    September 13, 2004

There are many very important aspects in SEO, but few are as essential as proper navigation.

GPS Navigation
How Easy Is It To Navigate Your Site?

As more and more webmasters turn to state of the art technologies for designing attractive and exciting websites, many of them are forgetting all about the search engine spiders.

Many visitors tend to enjoy an eye catching flash or other graphically intense means of navigation; however there are many search engine spiders that pass these by. Although some spiders are capable of following linked graphics, many seek out and follow straight text links, ignoring the rest.

You may want to think twice before using flash, graphics, DHTML or JavaScript as a sole means of site navigation. These technologies certainly have their place for design and usability from a user stand point, however to rely solely only on these methods you stand the risk of having the bulk of your website’s content virtually invisible to the search engines.

The key to success in having your site fully spidered is to provide a clear path via text links. For small sites this can be easily accomplished through the addition of basic textual navigation at the bottom of the page including a link to each internal page of the site. For larger websites, a comprehensive sitemap may be required.

For sites with a large number of pages the navigation map should point to the main pages within your site, as well as a site map that includes links to all internals grouped by a common thread. If your site is made up of in excess of 100 pages I recommend breaking the sitemap into multiple pages, as some spiders may not follow all the links on the page. In some extreme instances pages with well over 100 internal links may also end up penalized.

Although some spiders are capable of following a variety of links, by providing a clear text path you will significantly increase the chances of not only having your site fully indexed but also reap the benefits of improved placements in the SERPs.

Scott Van Achte is the Senior SEO at StepForth Search Engine Placement. Scott has worked with StepForth Placement since Aarly 2003 and has thoroughly enjoyed working in the search engine industry. When he’s not punching away at the keyboard he can be found spending quality time with his wife Lyndsay, or out on the golf course. Scott would be happy to answer any questions, and can be reached at