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In wordpress I have several empty parent menu items which simply serve as something to click to access a dropdown sub items menu showing actual pages.

I can't have these parent menu items link to a page because in mobiles they simply show the dropdown sub menu items on the first press and then collapse it again on the second press.

The question is - how do Google / search engines treat empty parent menu items? I can give them a wordpress page and even SEO titles & metadata, but the actual content will never be shown. What is the best approach here?

Thanks

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Using a empty menu button is more common than you think

It's rather common to see nowadays websites using empty parents due to responsive design and frameworks such as Bootstrap and Zurb foundation, both use similar design where you can't access the parent while viewing on a mobile or small tablet device.

What's the best HREF to use?

Most webmasters will use <a href="#" title=""></a> which of course won't harm your rankings with the likes of Google or Bing. However there is a better way using JavaScript to use <li class="dropdown"></li> without a href, this will satisfy W3C and won't give the impression to Google and other search engines that its a link, but again.... using a href="#" with no anchor will not hurt your rankings one tiny bit.

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    Cool - thanks for helping to put my mind at rest. Will try to +1 when I've earned 15 points! :) – speedypancake Aug 26 '14 at 8:40

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