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I have a website where the front-end developer has added 3 times the menu in the markup, e.g.:

div.menu>home+about+news+contact us"

Update 1: The HTML markup is repeated 3 times

<div class="menu">
   <span>home.html</span>
   <span>about.html</span>
   <span>news.html</span>
   <span>contact-us.html</span>
</div>

One is for responsive, one for desktop and another one when you scroll, a bit crazy.

As far as I know this is not a good practice as you have three times the same content on your markup.

But my question then is: Do search engines like Google penalise this or get confused for SEO?

  • What do you mean with this code? John Conde assumed that you’ve only repeated the CSS (probably because it looks like a CSS selector), but I guess you have the menu actually repeated in the HTML, right? – unor Mar 23 '15 at 15:53
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    Yes the menu is actually repeated in the HTML 3 times. – Miguel Garrido Mar 23 '15 at 21:49
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While this isn't an ideal practice Google is able to now detect the CSS used in a page to detect when elements are being hidden and when elements are visible as long as the robots.txt file isn't blocking access to the CSS and javascript files which control which version of the menus is visible. You shouldn't see any issues with SERP ranking.

Having said that however from a manageability standpoint this is far from ideal and if possible should be addressed so you have a single menu instantiation and you use javascript to define the styles and location based on your needs (IE: is the menu needed for above the fold display, scrolling display, or mobile display).

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There is not a SEO issue or a Google penalty for repeating the menu. Menu are links to your other pages, and generally they are used to improve navigation and user experience. Actually, many many sites may display more than one their menus in various locations on the same page.

However the way it has been developed in your site is not the ideal and can be considered excessive. As the menu is repeated 3 times in the same place, while 2 of the 3 remain hidden. Unless there were specific conditions that resulted in this implementation, there should be another more efficient way.

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