Website navigation techniques have existed since the begining of the net. Delivering simple to use navigation for your site viewers is a critical attribute of almost any website design. Over the years there have been many advancements relevant to website navigation solutions yet some of these have actually had a negative impact in terms of Website positioning because they have made it tougher for search engines to naturally crawl your website.

Among the most well-known menu system types are the simple html menu (1 level only), horizontal drop down menu, vertical menu (aka: side navigation), tabbed navigation and floating navigation. Each type of navigation has its own set of positives and negatives. Figuring out which style is best for a particular website is based on the overall site design and the hierarchy of the website.

There are also several technologies required to accommodate these various menu system types such as standard HTML, CSS (cascading style sheets), Javascript, jQuery and Flash. From an SEO perspective, building your navigation with simple HTML and CSS is the safest option. However with the debute of jQuery into the mix, many of the impressive effects only doable with Javascript can now be applied to a standard HTML unordered list, which is definitely totally SEO-friendly. As far as Flash goes, there are a few ways to get your navigation menu to be reasonably SEO friendly, but the bottom line is that flash navigation should be prevented if SEO is a number one concern.

The last aspect to keep in mind is where should the navigation be located? The obvious leading 2 standards are along the top and the left side. However many blog sites have their navigation positioned to the right side. There are also numerous sites that use a mixture of both. For example, their top navigation represents the 1st level of their site and the sub navigation is displayed in the form of left or right nav.

With all this in mind, the determination to use a very simple html menu system over a more elaborate jQuery menu system really comes down to the amount of time you are willing to invest towards the refinement of your navigation. jQuery is an awesome new technology, but defintely has a significant learning curve. If you do prefer a more advanced navigation system and don’t have experience with jQuery, it’s best to make use of an online jquery menu generator. This way, you get the rewards of having a very SEO-freindly navigation system and the exceptional user experience provided by jQuery’s capabilities.