Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank?

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Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? Friendsies 7/30/12 4:59 PM
Hello,
 
My site www.friendsies.com is not performing well in search at all.  Even if I search specific keywords we don't show up in search even well after pages that have little relevance to the keywords.  We only show up if you specifically search the domain or the exact phrase in the Title tag.
 
One question I have is that our internal links (about us, faq, etc) use overlays instead of loading new pages, and as such the content of the overlays is in hidden divs on the main page.  Do you feel that the crawlers are seeing these hidden divs as black hat seo and demoting us?
 
If not, can anyone provide any other insight on why we are performing so poorly?
 
Thanks!
Anthony
 
Re: Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? webado 7/30/12 5:15 PM
Seems that a javascript disabled browser needs also to be css disabled in order to "see" all the content.
Your "internal" pages needs js and css both enabled or both disabled.

Robots will see the content. Googlebot however might consider this a deceptive method, hiding content from visitors.

You can fix this easily by making your divs content visible by default in css and turning it invisible or hidden only with an onload even trigger in the body tag.
This will not change your page content as it is now except to introduce the extra script for onload that hides it all, and of course it changes the css.

Or you can can put the content from your current  FAQ, About US, etc. pop-up divs into separate pages (with at least a link back to the homepage)  with their own url, and you can still open them as pop-ups onclick, but they'd also be accessible as separate pages when javascript is disabled.


Re: Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? webado 7/30/12 5:39 PM
Besides those considerations, yoru site is equally accessibel by www and non-www. Yes, you do redirect non-www to www, but that's apparently by javascript which does not count.  Decide which one you want to use, stick to it and 301 redirect the other form to the one you want to keep, don't use javascript.


It's indexed:

BTW, the blog takes very long to open for me. The links on the homepage of the blog, up at the  top, go to http://friendsies.com/blog/ instead of http://blog.friendsies.com/ . More canonical problems. Decide which one you want to use, stick to it and 301 redirect the other form to the one you want to keep.
I think that if you don't have anyhting really valuable to blog about you should prevent indexing of the blog (from the WP dashboard > settings > privacy > do not make it available to robots).

So it's not indexed optimally largely due to the canonical issues.

You seem to have a separate FAQ  though you opted to do the pop-up div on the homepage. This might end up to be duplicate content now.

Hmmm... more hidden links .... links to faq.html, etc are actually present in the source code but only visible to user-agents that are   css disabled .

Not too happy about this setup. As I said you can achieve the desired functionality with separate pages opened as pop-ups by javascript, whiel still having a link to them.

Unnecessarily complicated as it is now.

Anyway what kind of searches did you expect to rank for? 



Re: Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? Friendsies 7/30/12 5:46 PM
Thanks for the input, much appreciated.
 
So I changed the CSS for the "home_overlay" class to display:block.  I then added the following jQuery:
 
$(document).ready(function())
{
     $(".home_overlay").css("display", "none");
}
Do you feel this will be more acceptable by Googlebot?
 
I also plan on adding an entire <noscript> section that basically says you can't use this site without script - in a much more polite manner of course.  Unfortunately white the home site is simple, the actual member site is very heavily dependent on jQuery.
 
Re: Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? Friendsies 7/30/12 5:52 PM
Wow, that's a lot to think about... seems like I need to rewrite the main page to be much more Google friendly.  Thanks again for the insight!
 
I would like to see searches such as "make friends online", "make new friends", "find new friends", etc. to rank us highly.
 
Anthony
Re: Are my overlay divs hurting my search rank? webado 7/30/12 6:13 PM
OK but then you'd need to delete the individual pages for faq, etc. 


Those searches result in over 401 million results. I don't see much chance.

You'll need to work very hard and long on getting the word out there.  

You need much more compelling  content to make your site interesting to people and robots.

You cannot build a community until you have a solid presence based on content.

I don't see where the interaction comes in - there's no forum even.

You don't really think  people will fill out the form first thing?