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Should Navigation Links Load First?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by honeyandthemoon, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. honeyandthemoon

    honeyandthemoon Regular Member

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    Occupation:
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    Hi guys

    I'm working on a site which already has quite good rankings for its keywords and I don't want to change the code around too much in case it causes a problem with this.

    Currently the page structure goes like this:

    1. Usual META.
    2. Header.
    3. Content.
    4. Right Column (Items such as similar services, Twitter feed etc.)
    5. Left Column (Navigation).
    6. Footer.

    My question is, from an SEO standpoint, is it important to have the navigation loading as soon as possible? I have read numerous conversations on the subject with many saying that links closest to the top of the page will have the most relevance for SEO, but others disagree and say it's not that important.

    What are your takes on it?
     
  2. honeyandthemoon

    honeyandthemoon Regular Member

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    Anyone?
     
  3. PhillyLuke

    PhillyLuke Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    I think that while site-speed is indeed a factor in your SERP rankings, you want to ultimately optimize for your readers not g00gle - readers are the ones actually clicking on your ads (or however you monetize).

    For me that puts the order as:

    1. Content
    2. Images
    3. The rest...

    G00gle counting the links closest to the "top" of the page refers mostly to outbound do-follow links. If you have 2 links in an article to the same URL (with different anchor text) the top one "gets counted" while the bottom is ignored.

    Since your nav links are most likely internal I don't think you need to worry about this too much - a few high quality backlinks to an internal page will be just as useful as a nav link.

    The order in which your nav-link load in comparison to the rest of your content is negligible at best.