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I am currently working on the Primary Navigation, of an eCommerce site. Due to its breadth and depth of product inventory, I have opted to integrate a MegaMenu style Primary Navigation.

I am aware that one of the draw backs of a MegaMenu, is the production of a greater volume of Links on the page. As a result, diluting the distribution of Link Juice. Due to this draw back, I am contemplating dropping the Parent Product Categories from the MegaMenus.

Let's say a typical URL structure would be:

www.example.com/parent-product-category/child-product-category/grandchild-product-category/

The parent-product-category directory level would be dropped from the MegaMenu, although still present within the URL structure.

I am aware that said Product Category would miss out on valuable Link Juice. That said, I feel that where there is 'Link Juice' loss, it will be made up on other pages, where I feel the site is more likely to compete and rank well for.

Prior to implementing this approach, I am wondering if this would have any detrimental impact to the Children Categories; from an SEO perspective? For example: Would search engines think there is a 'missing link' when crawling through the Navigational links, since the Parent Product Category link will not be present.

  • You are confusing two different concepts. Do not think that any PR the home page as a result of external links passes it's value through the navigation. This is not how it works. It does not matter how many links your navigation has as long as it is effective and not over bearing. Navigation should indicate important top level hierarchies. Sculpting PR using navigational links does not exist. Sculpting importance does. As a side, link juice is a horrible phrase. It should be abolished. It indicates your are being lead astray with bad online SEO content. Cheers!! – closetnoc May 22 '18 at 6:27
  • I agree with your approach. In my experience Google is most interested in your content and would rather direct link to a product page than a category page anyway. Users are seldom looking for a category either but it is just that it makes sense to organise a site into categories. Think of branches and leaves. Product pages are the leaves and is where any juice flows however you organise the site. Everything else is just how you get there - even if you are a category browser user you are still looking for the leaves that interest, not the branches. – Willtech May 22 '18 at 9:27
  • @closetnoc ... Are you saying that PageRank is not passed through any links or just not the links within the <navigation> tags? There seems to be a lot of resources, including the PageRank Doctorate Paper, which indicates that PageRank is passed. – Craig May 22 '18 at 17:46
  • @Willtech ... Thanks for your response. I agree with your structural metaphor. That said, I am not convinced on the notion that Product Category pages are not 'liked' by search engines, where actual Product Pages would be favoured. Surely, there would be a correlation between Search Query/Commercial Intent and whether the visitor would want to land on a specific product page or Product Category Page?! – Craig May 22 '18 at 17:49
  • Much has changed since that paper was written. Keep in mind that a subset of the PR model is used for internal links. I am not saying that PR does not pass through all internal links, but because of prior sculpting abuses, the behavior has changed and does not work the way you have been taught. The primary problem with online SEO advice is that so much of it is wrong and what is wrong remains out there for decades. Search has evolved but SEO advice remains behind. Think of importance signals and not PR for internal links. You will be much better off. Cheers!! – closetnoc May 22 '18 at 18:02

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