Using Expandable Menus for Content
July 24, 2013
Quite serendipitously, Google’s head of web spam Matt Cutts addressed this concern in his latest video:
As Cutts points out, expandable menus are very common on the web and are a perfectly acceptable practice, as long as they aren’t hiding text in a deceptive or spammy way. An example of a deceptive or spammy practice would be a hard-to-find button on a webpage that opens up an expandable menu that has pages upon pages of keyword stuffed content. In other words, as with all things Google, content should be geared towards users and providing a quality user experience. Make sure your content sounds natural and is not stuffed to the gills with keywords.
There are several benefits to having expandable menus or sections. On an aesthetic level, expandable menus can add to the visual appeal of a website by not overwhelming the user with too much text. Another benefit is expandable sections allow you to conserve space and make onsite navigation easier. For example, entries on Wikipedia’s mobile site have a lot of content and expandable menus allow users to go to the sections they want without having to scroll through a ton of content.
According to Cutts, expandable menus are not something to stress out about and as long as you adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines, “you’ll be in good shape.”