Your site's navigation has an impact on SEO, accessibility and user experience.
While secondary content (link to E-A-T) provides queues to search engines about what's important, there's no reason to link to everything from your navigation menu.
Additionally, having menus that are too large results in excessive DOM nodes, which cause the browser to spend more time rendering a page and impacts pagespeed scores.
Because of this, we recommend a very minimalist navigation menu that links to cornerstone pages and supports good site structure.
While screen readers have the ability to navigate a page by headings and sections, they also rely on links. Having dozens of links in a navigation menu makes this difficult from an accessibility standpoint.
Sighted users are able to visually scan over content and can jump over 30+ links to find what they're looking, but a screen reader would read each one out to the user, consuming time and creating a burden.
This creates a situation where the accessible user has been provided with a worse experience than a sighted one.
Finally, navigating complex menu structures is a burden on mobile.
Due to the limited screen size on phones, which make up 80% of your content, opening and closing menus leads to a lot of jumping around and uncertainty about whether the user is looking in the right place.
The solution to reducing DOM nodes, increasing pagespeed, supporting good site structure, providing an accessible experience, and developing a mobile-first experience is to limit the primary navigation menu to cornerstone navigation content.
With the Simple Recipe Index and Simple Category Index blocks, you're able to create multiple "recipe index" or "index" pages around specific topics. You can have one page for recipes, one page for travel, one page for DIY.
If you're a large recipe site, you can create an index for each "niche" within your site. For example, you may have a recipe index for courses, or diets, or cuisine.
Wherever possible, we still recommend relying on categories. These indexes should be seen as a "category of categories".
Setting up your site this way also allows for adding unique content to these indexes, increasing the quality of your pages and site as a whole.
Where to places links
You want to keep your primary navigation focused around pages that the user can use to navigate your site.