But it was one of the few widely accepted SEO truths. Despite it being a real pain to work around at times, it was comforting to know that something about SEO was immutably true. Many elements of search engine optimization are rather nebulous. The lines of what works/doesn’t work are often rather gray and at times the engines seem to operate more on exceptions than on rules. So it was kind of nice to have something you could rely on to be forever true. But alas – the rules to the game have been changed.
Google changes the rules of the game
We’ve observed Google crawling
- drop down menus
- fly out menus
- on-page window elements
- form element embedded links
- form submission results
Duplicate content issues
While it’s great to see Google break though one of the staple obstacles to search engine accessibility, it’s also opening the doors to completely new problems – primarily the indexing of content not intended to be indexed and specifically the indexing of duplicated content.
Pop-ups whose content were essentially invisible to search engines and generally neglected by optimizers are suddenly flung into the content mix. Form drop down elements can now potentially lead search engines to nearly duplicated content.
The buzz has already worked it’s way through the community and is the subject of discussion on many of the industries forums & blog comment sections.
So heads up SEO community, no time to slack off – go check your clients sites and make sure all your ducks are in a row.
How has this effected your optimization?
Share your experience – discuss your observation & opinions in the comments below.
Resources related to Google’s aggressive crawling
Google Webmaster Blog – Google crawls HTML forms - April, 11 2008 Googlebot can fill and process HTML forms - select options from drop down menus, radio buttons and select boxes – to reach deeper content
on Google crawling HTML forms 2006 - as far back as mid 2006 Matt was giving us hints on how to fend off the ever zealous Googlebot,
on Google crawling HTML forms today – today we have several other tools SiteMaps.org Protocol and robots.txt sitemap: declarations to help corral the aggressive bot, and with that added control Google loosens the leash on it’s Googlebot to dig a little deeper heare and there
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Round Table
Web Master World