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I'm guessing (hoping) there is a good reason that the DIVs in the Zen theme are in reverse order.

In "Main", the natural order should be Banner, Navigation, Content. Instead the template is rendering them backwards and then using CSS to re-order them in the correct position.

Why? It is causing me massive grief.

I should point out that the "Banner" DIV is my own customization of the theme. It actually shows up in the correct natural order. So - really the issue is why is Content rendered BEFORE Navigation? Doesn't make logical sense; is there a technical reason?

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I'd guess it has mainly to do with SEO.

From SEO Tutorial:

In the HTML code for the page, the body text should be as close to the beginning of the code as possible, because there is a limit to how far down into a page a search engine spider will go to try to find text. So make sure your text comes before some really long JavaScript menu in the code for the page, or else the search engine won't make it far enough into the page to index the text. The search engine spider may never see the text if it is buried way down at the end of the code.

From 27 Quick Tips to Top Search Engine Rankings:

  1. If you have a persistent (on most or all of your pages) navigation bar at the side of each page, your table is almost certainly set up in such a way that it pushes your page's body text down the HTML document. Search engines give prominence to keywords nearer the beginning of a HTML document. So, design your HTML table so that the navigation bar is placed after your main body text.

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