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When building a website, it is always helpful to keep SEO goals in mind for development decisions. In particular, search engine optimization has been an important consideration for website developers when deciding how to create a website’s navigation system.

SEO best practices have encouraged using search engine friendly menus based on HTML and styled with CSS because the primary language of search engines has been HTML. However, Google has now unleashed the ability for its spiders to crawl and read JavaScript, allowing websites to have dynamic dropdowns and snazzy effects without sacrificing SEO.

javascripttutorialAn example of a JavaScript menu system is the Monitronics website. They recently launched a new website built with DotNetNuke and the Solpart version 1.7.2 menu system. DotNetNuke’s Solpart menu system relies on JavaScript to run. What this means is that with scripting disabled, no menu items are visible, thus this would have been strongly discouraged if local SEO was a consideration.

However, now that Google can spider the new JavaScript menus, the links will appear in the Google cache and count toward SEO value for the site. Even though Google spiders can now index JavaScript, this level of accomplishment is yet to be seen for Yahoo!. Yahoo! has successfully cached the text rendered by the JavaScript but failed to read the JavaScript code itself therefore failing to spider the drop down menus and the menu links.

Thus the main menu text is visible but not any subsection pages access by the drop down menus. A recent study showed that while web users prefer Google (at 43.7% of usage) to Yahoo! (at 28.8%), Yahoo! is still a predominant consideration for SEO. Thus, web developers still need to consider the Sacramento SEO limitations of navigation menus built with JavaScript, but this is definitely a very large step in the right direction and good start to 2015.