Tuesday, August 8, 2006

It's that time . . .

My professional network security and computer consulting resource website is over two years old, it's stale and looks outdated. It's also not very well optimized for search engine placement. (Old theories tried and forgotten.)

I really like the look and feel of slick graphical buttons that change state when you mouse_over and on_click them. It's cool. But it's not good for my search sites, and I am losing out on traffic because I use them. Trouble is, I can't find a decent looking template for text links to pages within, they all turn out cluttered and confusing to the end-user.

One of the "modern" challenges SEO experts face is that internal site links really need to be in text for most search engines to crawl your site properly. If you use buttons, they generally (not always) skip those links. Worse, search engines give preferential treatment to longer descriptive text links like the first link above. They also seem to give higher scores for bold and heading formatted text. These tricks work great for links within the content, but not for site navigation. JavaScript and ActiveX are also out, for similar reasons. Somewhere between is a balance.

How have you solved this issue, assuming any of you have succeeded at reaching a clean looking, easily managed, slick text only navigation system that does not use graphical buttons, Java or ActiveX?

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