JavaScript Navigation Problems

Sam, that’s a great question and one that too many programmers don’t understand. Yes, JavaScript navigation can create problems for search engines if the codes are not programmed correctly. There are two problems that arise when JavaScript navigation is improperly programmed.

First, if the navigation script uses arrays then there are no anchor links or “a href” to identify a link. Search engines do not take the time to scan a page for links created by client-side scripting languages.

Second, if the navigation script is a separate file such as menu.js then the search engines ignore those files. Therefore any links in the separate file are totally ignored by the search engines. To prove this point let me point you to this search on Google

You’ll notice that search specifically requests files with menu.js in the URL to the file.
You can even check this one which request files called nav.js.

Therefore, improperly programming your JavaScript navigation, while fancy and pretty it might be, can cause your site to perform poorly in the search engines.
There are two solutions to the problem.

First, program your JavaScript navigation so the links appear as real links in the web page.

Second, place text links at the bottom of your pages so the links within the JavaScript navigation are accessible to the search engines via a secondary method.
The first solution is my chosen method.