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[Guide] How to use a silo structure on affiliate sites in 2019

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by seocrab, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. sageman

    sageman Regular Member

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    This is a good tutorial on silos.

    I prefer to use custom post types for my silos before I break them down further into categories. Then I use All In One SEO to generate sitemaps for each silo/post type. I find that they get indexed a lot faster that way when I get backlinks to each silo after submitting the sitemaps.
     
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  2. ACAjets

    ACAjets Newbie

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    I currently have all of my most valuable content silo'd in child pages, with breadcrumbs in schema, but no breadcrumbs displayed on-page to create the link to the parent.

    I have posts on the same site that seem to perform much better (with breadcrumbs on-page), and posts on similar low authority sites that are outperforming pages on my higher authority sites.

    Would it be worth moving all of this content from child/parent pages to identical post categories, and redirecting to single-level URLs? (eg instead of home.com/service/state/city, the url becomes home.com/service-state-city)

    I find that specific pages sometimes are not showing up where they should in SERPs, and I'm thinking it's because they're not getting crawled as often due to this silo not being optimized.
     
  3. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    You might be onto something there. Maybe test your theory on part of your site and track its impact before you roll out changes to the whole site.
     
  4. sageman

    sageman Regular Member

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    Well-structured silos, efficient breadcrumb structures and an effectively-segmented sitemap will definitely improve indexing of your pages. But there are many other factors that affect how the pages perform in the SERPs after they have been indexed. Some of the important points of consideration are sources and quality of backlinks to your respective pages, anchor texts being used and competition for those keywords.

    Case in point: I run a mini experiment on one of my sites where I combined the wordpress search feature with a spintax plugin. I scraped a list of long-tail keywords for my niche and performed searches with them on the site. I generated a long list of URLs that looked like:
    Code:
    https://www.thedomain.com/?s=big+houses+in+atlanta+georgia
    The title of the page reads: Search for: "Big Houses In Atlanta Georgia". I then used the spintax plugin in to generate unique 100 word excerpts with the key phrase woven in. When you combine this with the relevannci search plugin, you can generate some very unique page content and search result combinations (if you already have a lot of contents on your website). What I did next was throw a bunch of backlinks at the URLs.

    These search results pages (not siloed or included in my sitemap...and with spammy backlinks) were indexed faster and are performing better than the well-siloed content submitted to google via sitemap. Yahoo and bing are eating them up link Holloween candy. My finding from this experiment was that the rate at which your pages are crawled depends more on backlinks and on-page optimization of the respective pages than silos. Naturally, one can expect to experience great results if this is strategically combined with silos.

    @seocrab forgive me. I didn't mean to hijack your thread. :D
     
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  5. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    Nice experiment. Personally, I'm wary of using Google's crawl budget to index 'thin content' like search results pages, especially on a large site. Interested to know if/how you use this indexing method to get increased traffic/conversions for your money pages.
     
  6. BobTheSnail181999

    BobTheSnail181999 Regular Member

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    Can you answer this:
    let's say my domain is food.com

    There is a category of vegetables: food/vegetables
    Subcategory tomato: food/vegetables/tomato

    There is an article called "best tomatoes 2020"

    Should it be food/vegetable/tomato/best-tomatoes-2020
    or can it be

    food/best-tomatoes-2020 but it's under the category of vegetables->tomato and therefore can be found in food/vegetables/tomato page

    Is there a big difference between these 2?
     
  7. iBrazilian

    iBrazilian Power Member

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    1. If you do in fact have a direct keyword relationship between those two posts, and you decide to interlink between silos, would you rel="nofollow" that link? (linking from "best macbook to sync to iPhone" to to iPhone post in different cat)

    2. At what content length (if they are posts having keyword relation) do you believe makes it worth to interlink between posts from different silos? Say if it contains 2-4 paragraphs on the page (talking about X post from different category)?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  8. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    You don't need to use silos in your URL structure. You can simply use a virtual silo and have your post on:

    food.com/best-tomatoes-2020

    If you want to use silo categories in your URLs, try to keep them to the main categories only. You don't need that many categories unless you have thousands of pages or cover a very wide range of topics. Since, in your example, your domain already had your main niche in it, there's no need for an additional category for "food". So it could look like this:

    food.com/fruit/best-tomatoes-2020 (tomatoes are technically fruit :cool:)

    There's no discernible benefit to stuffing your URL with many sub-categories. Take a look around at what's ranking in your niche and see what google is happy to rank.

    1. I would never rel="nofollow" an internal link. My silo strategy is not that strict and it's ok to link to related content in other silos. In fact, in can be helpful if your site is small. "best macbook for iphone" and "best iphone" are similar enough to interlink, even if you have them in different silos (e.g. "laptops" and "phones").

    2. I don't have a rule about content length and internal links. In general, I like to build internal links high up the page and only where relevant.
     
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  9. iBrazilian

    iBrazilian Power Member

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    Last question: I currently have a silo setup like this

    [​IMG]

    I know that "Support Post" should only link up to the money article (aka "Post targeting high volume keyword"), my only question is... all those "Post targeting high volume keyword" (money articles) are post all related/under the same "CATEGORY SILO". Is it okay for me to interlink between those money articles as well?

    The "category silo" is super super NICHE, so all the money articles are related to each other.
     
  10. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    Yes, I believe it makes sense for you to interlink between those money articles, since they're under the same silo and all very related.
     
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  11. fxkool

    fxkool Regular Member

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    Hey OP many thanks for the thread! It’s being a great guide so far!

    I am planning on expanding my product review website by adding a few extra product categories. In terms of Indexing will the page-to-post change impact SEO ranking going forward? I mean I’ve never used silo before as I run a micro niche site and only have single product review pages up an running. I want to have something like site.com/review and have my transformed pages aka posts placed under the URL. Also, is it enough to create a category named Product Review instead of adding a fresh new page with the same title?

    Thanks
     
  12. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    Not sure what you mean by page-to-post change - Google doesn't distinguish between pages or posts in WordPress. It's up to you how you organize your content in WordPress. Think more about how each page/post links to other content and how the menu is structured.

    In terms of WordPress setup, each category will have its own page automatically, but it depend son what theme you're using/ your coding skills as to how much you can edit them. Ultimately, it does not matter how you build a category page, as long as you link to the right pages/posts on it.

    If you want to use a category called "product-reviews", that's up to you. Personally, I prefer to categorize silos in relation to topic, primarily because it helps me build internal links and topical relevance. From a user perspective, it could be helpful for people who choose to browse reviews to have a category for single reviews.

    If you have a micro-niche site, you don't necessarily need a silo structure; focus on making sure the site is easy to navigate and all content is no more than 1 to 2 clicks from the homepage (note: the homepage of a micro-niche site is effectively a category page).
     
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  13. jani

    jani Power Member

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    Good info mate
     
  14. sfnet

    sfnet Registered Member

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    Thanks for the well written info on silos.

    My question is, what do you have displayed on your homepage? Is it just the categories (eg silo 1, silo 2 etc) of your niche or do you also show a few posts like "best x for x" on the homepage too?
     
  15. Myst3ry

    Myst3ry Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    OP, what about category description?

    How many words is okay? The more the better?

    What keywords to use?
     
  16. seocrab

    seocrab Elite Member

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    How you organize your homepage is up to you - the main principle is to make sure all content is within a couple of clicks. There's nothing wrong with linking to categories and your top posts on the homepage, or even all posts if you don't have a lot. Take a look at what other successful sites in your niche are doing for ideas.

    If you have a lot of posts across a variety of silos, you can try linking to the categories and top posts. The Wirecutter uses a magazine-style layout on its homepage, with links to all major categories, sub-categories and the latest posts in each. They even pack affiliate external links on there. I counted 334 internal links (169 unique) at the time of writing this.

    There's no rule about word counts or keywords. The main goal of category pages (aka silos) is to make links to relevant posts.

    If you're trying to get your category pages to rank on their own, you will need to SEO them accordingly, but it's not necessary. Usually, category pages are too broad in scope to rank for anything useful, so focus on using them to structure your site and just add the words that make sense.
     
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  17. sfnet

    sfnet Registered Member

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    Ok got it! Thank you
     
  18. imonboss

    imonboss Senior Member

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    Hey OP, Thanks for this thorough guide.
    I always love nice a simple guide and hate those with exaggeration. Anyway, i have a few pointers to make. I would like to know how you think about that.

    In my silo, i categorize them alright. But i have done 3 things in my wp admin panel.
    1. I have hid the categories from url
    2. I have tagged them as noindex
    3. I have disabled breadceumb

    Meanwhile, here is what i am going to do:
    I am going to put categories in the navbar instead of individual posts(thats what i am doing now) and that should fulfill the 2-clicks away criteria for most audiences. And, i agree with most People, pageview will be increased significantly.

    So, Do you have any dispute/better version of what i am doing with my categories? If so, how can i improve it?

    Thanks,
    imonboss
     
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  19. iBrazilian

    iBrazilian Power Member

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    Obviously not OP, but...

    1. That's fine, as far as I remember you're following the virtual silo pattern.

    2. You want google to follow and be able rank your SILO's when you have a fuckton of articles on them... why would you noindex a silo? (category page in this case)

    It's also fine to link to the silos in the navigation.
     
  20. javadth

    javadth Senior Member

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    i wish dear op could talk about menus and breadcrumbs about category siloing

    also about paginations , if you have more than one page in category pages what should we do about siloing