View Full Version : Effect of DHTML/CSS tabs on search engines
03-16-2007, 11:37 AM
We are redesigning a site that was coded years ago using a WYSIWYG html editor. The code is, to say the least, jacked, but the website does does acceptably well in the organic search rankings.
On our product pages, the client would like to use tabs to hide the different sections of product information, very similar to this page (http://www.brother-usa.com/fax/modeldetail.aspx?ProductID=FAX4100e).
Here is my concern, while we are doing a full redesign using web standards, we dont want to interfere with the "special sauce" that earned the site its high ranks. I'm concerned that if we take these page sections (specs, features, etc) and split them into seperate files it could affect the rankings.
To mitigate this, we will use a DHTML/CSS tab system like this (http://dhtmlkitchen.com/scripts/tabs/Tabs/demo/nested.html).
Will this kind of scheme be invisible to the search engines? Since all of the text is in the document, split into DIVs, will the search engine just pretend my hiding/showing script isnt there?
If there is any risk, we would not want to change a thing.
thanks - djm
03-17-2007, 11:20 AM
03-20-2007, 04:03 PM
Why separate into different files? I can't speak for the tab structure, but I would keep all the content on a single page and use divs or something to show and hide content...
03-20-2007, 04:28 PM
Yep what they just said. I don't see a problem with using <div> tags with hide close, the search engines just read the <div> tags without the css styling when they are reading the
I think the benefits of having a div/css layout for web marketing far outway having it built with tables.
For example you can have the centre content appear before the top and left navigation, see my site as an example.
03-20-2007, 05:05 PM
You might want to take a look at this.
All the content of the tab panels are contained on the one page, are simple <div>s and thus are SE readable. This should give you good control over SEO.
Java is used to render the tabed panel and make it functional.
For me it worked out well. Numerous product pages of mine are #3-#5 in Google.
It depends on your demographic appeal as to whether or not this is the best option. On my site the stats show that Java Off visitors is nearly zero.
03-20-2007, 07:00 PM
I did a whole site redesign from web standard'ed code to jacked code and my rankings increased, basically to the top spot for 99.3% of my desired keywords. Neat eh? (not my signature)
my only question would be, what are you looking for? High search results, accessability? It's a gamble AND you should know what you want in the long and short term.
03-21-2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks for all the responses. In a nutshell, we are looking for improved user experience (i.e., the customers find exactly what they need as quickly and effeciently as possible), without doing anything that sacrifaces some really good organic search rankings. We want to make things better, but want to tread lightly.
It sounds like the consensus is that if I take some given content, remove all current HTML, and put that same content in a new code structure, the search engines should still see it the same way, regardless of whether I am using JS/DHTML to hide/unhide div's.
Sounds like that is indeed the best approach.
Thanks again, djm
03-21-2007, 04:15 PM
The brother-usa.com page you´re using as an example uses a separate page for each tab.
You are suggesting to put the data for each page together into one page using dhtml.
That results in the following things:
* Less pages in the website
* Less focus in the pages that use the tabs
These are the 2 problems I can think of right now. I believe it is a very bad choice to use divs to create tabs to show or hide content. I don't think that the search engines will make a big problem out of it, but as far as I know, the search engines will treat the page as if all the content was visible at the same time. This will make that pages with tabs less focused and it would not surprise me that many rankings will drop, though I wouldn't be able to tell you how bad the damage would be. It could be very minor.
PS. When you do a site redesign you are likely to see your rankings behave strange for a couple of months until the search engines have reindexed the whole new design and pages and have let go of the old pages. That is a normal process.