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    Does googlebot follow html image map links? a.ka. "Hot Spots"?


    Does googlebot follow html image map links? a.ka. "Hot Spots"? I actuall don't want them to so that I can orgainize the PR flow in the site in a priamaid. I don't want pages all cross linked because of the Image maps. Any idea?

    Also does Google follow javascript links yet?

    And what is the easiest way to block a spider from follow a couple links on a page but allowing it to follow the others. I don't want to block the spidered I just want to control which path they go down when they find a page.
    Last edited by nagual; Nov 13th, 2004 at 06:14 PM.
  2. #2
  3. hctibselgoogtonmai
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    From my experience Google follows both js links and image maps. It's just a little slow with them particularly the js.
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    EGOL
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    I have image maps on some of my sites. They are great for site visitors but they don't do one very important thing - pass anchor text. On these sites I have footer links with appropriate anchor text. You supporting your competitor if you don't get good anchor text at every opportunity.
    Last edited by EGOL; Nov 13th, 2004 at 07:33 PM.
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    What about the second part of my question, how could I block robots from following one link on a page but no another. I've heard by using the no robots text actually inline in the code they will skip the link, not sure how you'd do this or if it's even true. I was thinking of just making a code of the page to that if the user agent is a known robot the image maps I don't want them to follow would not be there, but if the user agent was blank or was someone using a browser then I would show the hot spots. What do you think, or is there an easier way to just make the link no spiderable.
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    EGOL
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    Why do you want to hide the links?

    I used to hide links for PR passing reasons. I don't do it anymore - IMO spiders have been trained to bite link hiders. By hiding links you will only defeat yourself over time.
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    So then how can create any kind of meaningfull internal theme linking structure, I have tabbed navigation of the top of everyone of my 4000 pages and everything will be all crosslinked then. I can't do any priamid theme directory level stuff then.

    Also do you think it's usefull to cross link internal related pages? Like all the products cross linked in a category on their details pages?
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    I have strong linkage between related product pages. That is a very important thing to do.
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    If you have categories with say 120 products or something what's the best way to cross link them togther on the product detail pages d levels down so that you just have a like to 119 other products on footer as "related" products. What would be the best way to do this? Also won't my tabbed navigation with hot spots on it which have links to all the categories end up cross linking unrelated categories? I even have the tabbed navigation on the third level product details pages, maybe I should remove the site wide navigation and just have a home and "return to category" link instead? then only my category pages would be cross linked which wouldn't be as bad as having the product details and home page and site maps and categories all crossed up like I currently have it on the product detail pages. I think I to limit my navigation on my deeper levels or something and develop strong themed cross linking paterns and more content instead.
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    I would still suggest creating a sitemap with all links to your website and save it as yourdomain.com/sitemap.html
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    Thanks I was looking for something like that, I am thinking of maybe cloacking the links on the page for robots too, I mean links come and go on our home page because I feed the most recent forum messages onto the home page so it doesn't make sense that google would have tricks to catch cloakers since our home page changes for minute to minute. I think as long as only a small percent of the page changes and neither the cloaked page or page info is off topic it should be considered something to penalize for.

    I bet you could cloak like crazy as long as everything is themed, if you have news site your links and pages change all the time. I think google would fry the crap out of you if it caught you serving very different theme topic to the googlebot useragent and then something really different to a random IP or spoofed useragent etc.

    I mean the links and content on our home page can change second to second, so how can google know if one visit from freshbot is a cloak or legit change on the page??? makes you wonder.
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    ok the answer you're looking for on your #2 question is the robots.txt file
    # Allow all
    User-agent: *
    Disallow:

    You can put robots.txt in the folder you don't want to allow in.
    Get what I mean?
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    Very, very good explaintion , thank you! You are reinforcing what I stumbled accross in a some search I did an hour ago. Vertical themed linking and cross linking within the theme. I am all mixed up right now, and the funniest part is that my category pages are PR6 and my home page is PR5 ! ahhaa, must be because I don't have any deep themed cross links, all the 3d level "deepest level" point back to the category pages/jumbled site maps/home page, but not to the other themed pages.

    My plan is to get rid of my jumbled site maps, and removed the links to the jumbled site maps off all the pages. Next I will replace the footer on the home page which links to the 12 sites maps and replace these links to the the "list all products for category on one page link" that exists as an option on the main category pages. Linking to this off the home page would actually make for perfectly themed site maps! duh why didn't I think of that before, the only bad part is that some of the pages have 115 links to products then, Maybe I can split them in half somehow, so the theme container running down the levels will just have two parallel themes running down side by side and cross linked togther.

    I'll removed the generic site maps that are currently on the main category pages, and the newly used "show all products/site map" and also the product details pages. and make new footers with many themed cross links and a link back to the home page. I'll removed any non-themed links on the 3d level product detail pages, and only have a link to the home page and a "Back to main category" link and some themed cross links between the product detail pages.

    I'm thinking too since my "show all" category pages can be big from all the preview pictures, I'll code it so that the links are only text so that spiders won't be annoyed about the page not being fast cause of all the little graphics. I'm hoping users will kind of understand why the small preview pictures disappear when the click the "show all" link in the category. Might work better from them too if they have dialup?

    hummm, do spiders get affected by having lots of graphics on a page? or do they not even load graphics when the crawl? Well they at least cache the page, which might annoy them and slow them down on, not what I want them to do on my themed "site maps"/"Show all category" pages. There are only a 3 categories out of 24 that have more then 100 products, so I will code it so that no preview images show up on for these categories "show all pages/new site map" pages.

    Now here's a thought, if a user clicks on a category from the home page they will get to the first page of the product listings, for sections with more then 25 products they have a "next" page link and a "showall" link. Since I'm using the "show all" links as my new themed site maps, won't then the user's list of 1st page results for a category be considered as duplicate content against my list of products on my "show all" pages??? I'm thinking to but a robots no index/follow code into the dynamic code for the user's 1st 25 page so there wouldn't be two pages listing the products twice, one partially and one listing the same plus the rest of the category. My fear is that my themed site map/show all pages would be PR0'd for having the same list of product names on it as the user's 1st page of category links???

    Also, I'll be blocking the spiders from our "about us" and "FAQ" ect pages with the robots.txt file so that no PR/PW is going to these pages.

    I might also use some javascript on some of the pages that have hot spots image maps so that the link is javascripted and not able to be read by the spideres, so on the showAll/site map themed pages won't have any cross section links visible to the spiders, either that or just make some new site map pages like the "showAll" pages and remove the cross navigation tabs? I' would just be worried about visitors landing on these theme site maps and not having the ablity to teleport of to another main category of our site.

    Also, do you think that the restructuring of the site will screw up out current rankings negativily and lose PR since there will be a major change to the link pattern on the site? For example, our "ShowAll" pages are PR4 while or 1st page of category pages are PR6's and home page is PR5.

    I just check, only one "showall" page is a PR0 out of 25 cateogories? I wonder why? All the other pages, the next pages and the show all pages are all PR4, except for one where the category only has 20 products bother the 1st page of category and showall are both PR6??? And exactly the same looking page except the page name is different and I don't link to the "showall" pages from and footer link maps etc? Strange.

    For now that is my plan, organize and get rid of off topic cross links, and increase on topics internal links.
    Last edited by nagual; Nov 14th, 2004 at 05:20 AM.
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    EGOL
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    Very good posts gchaney and nagual. I am thinking about this - deeply. You spent a lot of time writing these long posts and I appreciate your ideas. Thank you!
    Last edited by EGOL; Nov 14th, 2004 at 07:35 AM.
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    Just wanted to let you guys know I did an experiment today and confirmed 100% that google and msn both follow hot spots. I made two new pages that had no other link that a small hot spot on the page, I put a control link next to it. When the page is read it fires off an email to me with the user-agent etc. MSN came by an hour after I set it up and both new pages got hits. A couple hours later googolebot came around and strangely hit the hot spotted page but not the new standard control link I made huh? Anyway I'm going to try some other tests now.
    Last edited by nagual; Nov 17th, 2004 at 09:31 PM.

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