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Retrofit silo structure into an exsisting site?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by christianbed, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I have a site with decent traffic in a good niche, but haven't done too much with it until lately. Now, I'm finding that it is gaining traction, so I want to flesh it out a bit because I think it has the potential to be an authority site.

    Unfortunately, it isn't siloed, and I think it would benefit user's experience to have a silo structure...anyone ever do this with a WP site? I know WP isn't the best platform for this, but I'm wondering how you managed to pull it off and whether you saw any effects on traffic/keywords once you siloed it?

    My guess is that I'll have to start by changing the permalink structure to category/postname, and since the site doesn't have many links to posts, I'm not too bothered by whether or not linkjuice passes through the 301, but there may be other complications with making the change that I'm not aware of.

    Any advice would be helpful in making this move....worth it?
     
  2. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Bumping this question
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  3. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    Hey man,

    This is hard to give you a short answer for.

    Let me put it this way. I have a site exactly like yours and I'm in the process of doing the same exact thing. I use to backlink the site, but haven't backlinked it in years. These past few months I've made a lot of changes to keep users from bouncing off and increase CTR. THEN I slowly started to silo the site.

    Problem is, in the middle of all these changes the site jumped up to pages 1 & 2. But I it's only about 25% silo'd.

    So now I'm very afraid to change the order of the pages. I don't know what specific action I did that made the site jump up over 800+ positions in the SERPS. At the same time, I know those backpages don't have links, and if I do NOT finish silo'n the site, I'm never gonna stand a chance for the top 3 when I start backlinking again.

    So one day, I wound up reading an article about "Service Magic" now "Home Advisor". I hate them with a passion but I was very curious HOW they rebranded their entire site, and successfully passed all their SEO authority from 1 million + pages to their new domain. This was an extremely risky decision for a company of their size... but they simply followed the basics, and it worked perfectly for them.

    Reading that article made me realize, "I just need to follow the basics".

    And I think you know exactly what you need to do. If not, just look at your top 1-2 competitors. In my industry, their sites are extremely well organized. One of my competitors has over 40+ links on his home page (broken up in categories). So the minute someone lands on his site, all they gotta do is scan through the links and immediately find what they need.

    His internal linking his awesome. But his navigation menu is pretty weak. So my plan is to do something similar. I'm gonna drop around 30-40 links on the home page. However, I'm gonna use those little drop down / expandable boxes so it looks neater. And I'm going to silo my menu much better. That way people don't have to click back to the home page if their first click didn't get them the info they needed.

    I'm still afraid that Google will drop my ranks. And that's why I'm doing it slowly. Every other day I reorganize about 4-5 pages. That way Google can slowly index all the new urls, and *ideally* the site won't lose rank. That was 1 thing I noticed about Home Advisor. When they rebranded their entire site, they didn't plan to execute it in 1 day. The owner actually said "we planned these changes to happen very slowly, between 6-12 months". My site is NOWHERE near as big, so I think 2-3 months should be a good time frame to finish moving all the pages.

    Either way I'll find out.

    -BB
     
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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  4. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks BB, that was a great read. I'm in the same place, but the site is already ranking well for a fair number of the keywords, it is just that it is in a VERY competitive niche, and will probably get negative SEO'd once I get it to pg 1 for more competitive kws because this space is pretty cutthroat...still, I hate the way it is currently set up with a mish-mash of related topics all under the 'blog' page, instead of neatly organized.

    So, what method did you find that allows you to retro-silo (I'm coining that term!)? Are you just making new topic (parent) pages on your menu, then making related articles as the children? How are you handling categories and the like?

    By the way, good tip on moving slowly...I hadn't considered that, but will definitely roll it out at a snail's pace....also want to make sure it gets crawled after each step, I think.

    Anyone else care to chime in? I have a hunch that more members should be thinking along these lines.