I'm designing a website with a hidden menu like this http://themeforest.net/item/metis-creative-portfolio-agency-template/full_screen_preview/10282106

Do I need to hav a sitemap/menu e.g. in the footer so this content is visible when searching on Google?


2 Answers 2


This type of menu is perfectly fine - Google do not punish menu links that is a user experience decision (they wouldn't be doing their job properly if they were).

Hidden links are specifically for deceptive structural links that a user isn't likely to use but a robot would still crawl.

As this menu is within the website's head as navigation it should be fine and not meet Google's criteria for deceptive link penalty.

To further clarify your navigational items are semantically read as navigation:

  • Ensure that navigational elements are wrapped in a <nav> element.
  • Include role="navigation" for your navigation
  • Microdata using http://schema.org/SiteNavigationElement.

The content will still be visible when searching on Google since it's part of them homepage code. That being said you might consider using a sitemap in the footer for usability reasons, but that depends on the target market of your site.

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