Tom Belfort's AMA about SEO/Siloing/PBNs/Link Building 2019+

I`m sure you already answer this somewhere in these 15 pages of great content (thanks, btw!) and I am sure I would`ve just browse it all but I`ll ask anyway...

How would you silo a content-heavy site, like an affiliate website? Is it even advisable to SILO an affiliate site? Is there a plugin that you use for this?

Cheers!
 
I`m sure you already answer this somewhere in these 15 pages of great content (thanks, btw!) and I am sure I would`ve just browse it all but I`ll ask anyway...

How would you silo a content-heavy site, like an affiliate website? Is it even advisable to SILO an affiliate site? Is there a plugin that you use for this?

Cheers!
Nearly whole thread is about how to SILO an affiliate site. I think you will need to be more specific :)

Anyway you should just go and read all the info here, probably will answer your questions.
 
Thank you again for all your answers!
Is it better to silo by product type or by another category.

For example, I have dog food, cat food, hamster food, and dog toys, cat toys, hamster toys, and dog clothing, cat clothing, hamster clothing.

Do I silo like this:
Toys: dogs, cats, hamsters;
Food: dogs, cats, hamsters;
Clothing: dogs, cats, hamsters.

Or like this:
Dogs: food, toys, clothing;
Cats: food, toys, clothing;
Hamsters: food, toys, clothing;

Or some other way?

Also what if I have the same product that fits several categories? For example, a dress that fits both very big hamsters and very small dogs. :D
What do I do?

Thank you!!!
 
Thanks for this great AMA! and going for so long.

I am trying to get my website architecture in line and looking for some advice before creating more content/pages.

I have an HVAC company trying to rank in 9 surrounding cities. We only have 1 location. We just got all the content rewritten for the home page and services pages using the state for the long tail. Site structure is pretty simple:
  • Home.com/Cooling/Repair
  • Home.com/Heating/Repair
My question is, to rank strong in the 9 cities I am trying to target, is this the structure I am after:
  • Home.com/Cooling/Repair
  • Home.com/Heating/Repair
  • Home.com/City/Cooling/Repair
  • Home.com/City/Heating/Repair
I have seen people even do Home/County/City/Cooling/Repair. What is the best way to approach this? Also is there a method on how not to have the pages fight each other for rank?

Of course, all content being unique. Also for interlinking between the pages. Do I only link pages between each other only if they are in the same category?

Example

Home.com/Cooling not linking to anything in Home.com/Heating
 
Thank you for your wisdom. It's a lot to think about!

Someone looked at a "power post" on my site and advised me
to put a contextual link in one of the first few paragraphs to my home page.
He said the purpose was to "power up your brand."

On my 5 city doorway pages, should I link from each city page to the Home page?

My city pages get pretty good traffic, and maybe their link equity stops at a dead end,
when the juice could be flowing to my domain.

Reason I haven't is because I don't want to pass geo-relevance to the Home page.

But I think passing the juice from each of the 5 city pages to the Home page would boost the domain power.

What I did (just now) was, on each city page I already have a link to a specific service.
For example
On buster.com/chicago-catering
and on buster.com/detroit-catering
I have a contextual link --> my /weddings page.
On each of my 5 city pages, I have a contextual link to buster.com/wedding-caterer

So on that weddings page (which is getting link juice from the 5 city pages)
what I did just now was, I put a contextual link to my Home page, buster.com.
 
Hey king. What would the links focus be on if you were had a 2-year site with 20k monthly traffic? I realize we are on whole different budget levels, but if you were to spend $1000-ish on links monthly on a site, what would you focus on (besides consistency, of course)? Would you send most of them to inner pages that actually make money or the ones with the most traffic (aka they could rank for more keywords)?

Always find myself second-guessing after buying links (no matter what kind) and I hope you'll share an idea or two. Thank you!
 
Hey there, is any issue if I am using a megamenu? I don't use anything other than links there but that "dropdown" is built with JetMenu + Elementor. I've read from various sources this isn't SEO wise since it's something related to "link stuffing" or something. What do you think?

Printscreen
 
Last edited:
Another question Tom!
Suppose you're creating a new money site..
If you have a budget of $1000 then would you invest that money in PBN links or would you buy a strong auction domain with that amount?
Thanks!
 
Learning a lot, thank you, Tom.
I'm now gonna change the URL structure for my site,
even though it will mean a lot of 301 redirects (just when I blew my wad on backlinks ~$1,000 :().

I'm a local service professional, a plumber, serving 5 cities.

I have 50 pages about plumbing,
site.com/famous-plumbers
site.com/the-7-BEST-ways-to-crap-in-toilet
site.com/why-trump-could-never-be-a-good-plumber
site.com/never-do-this-with-your-plunger-when-wife-is-home

and 50 pages about each city.
site.com/chicago-crime-sucks
site.com/chicago-traffic-blows

site.com/chicago-musical-was-pretty-good
site.com/how-to-escape-chicago-illinois

Today I learned from you that my "Chicago" pages are not in a virtual silo.
I figured they were a silo through interlinking, but I understand now that they are not.

Should my money pages (city pages) be structured like A or like B?

A. site.com/plumber/chicago
B. site.com/chicago/plumber

If A, then my "chicago plumber" will be within the plumber silo.
If B, then my "chicago plumber" will be within the chicago silo.

Most of my site is about plumbing.
I have a partial match domain, e.g. --> brainbusterplumber.com

P.S. Ahrefs says I've got ~4k keywords--100x more than any plumber in the country :).
P.P.S. I'll be doing this on Squarespace.
 
Really, if they've been tanked for that long, the best advice is to move on to other projects.

I don't know man. When my car breaks down I don't go and buy another haha

But I understand what you mean
 
Hey Tom,

A bit late to the party here but I have a question regarding the structure of a local / national services company...

Lets say we have web design as the broad topic;

I notice that most of the competitors have their site structured around the /services/ silo. (company.com/services/mobile-web-design/)

I see upthread that you've suggested instead to silo on sub-topics (company.com/mobile-web-design/blog-article-here)

Question 1: Would there be an SEO advantage to using /services/ over /sub-topic/ to tell Google that it should be ranking that silo for service buyer intent keywords, such as "mobile web design company Seattle"

Question 2: Given either scenario above, would you recommend making the S2 landing page an outline of that service ("We provide mobile web design services to the greater Seattle area etc etc") with the intention of ranking it for those local buyer keywords. OR would you recommend creating separate local buyer intent pages under the silo? eg company.com/mobile-design/responsive-web-design-seattle.html

Appreciate I may be completely overthinking this but your insight would help out a lot as I plan out a new services based website

Many thanks
 
That's a great question, croixstar (especially the 2nd question).
I'm like you, btw. A local service professional.

I think I can answer your first question. I'm not an expert on silos, but having read this thread, Tom Belfort has answered that question. He said you do NOT want to rank a silo.

Frankly, I don't fully understand the concept fully yet. I've created one silo, and I'm happy with it.

Since I already had years-old blog posts that overlapped with my service silo (let's say, "plumbing"), I didn't see a way to put those in the silo--at least not the URL.com/architecture/bricks. I did create a topic page and on that page, I linked to all topically relevant pages with a short description of each post.

Your second question, it seems even Tom finds that question challenging to answer.
Whether to put this or that:
site.com/seattle/mobile-web-design
site.com/mobile-web-design/seattle

Tom said he wasn't sure what he'd do in that scenario.
 
That's a great question, croixstar (especially the 2nd question).
I'm like you, btw. A local service professional.

I think I can answer your first question. I'm not an expert on silos, but having read this thread, Tom Belfort has answered that question. He said you do NOT want to rank a silo.

I can kind of understand the rationale behind that in the context of a large affiliate site or based on the general idea of using the silo keywords to give Google context as to what the site is about.

But for a smaller site, or a services based site, I'm not sure I understand why it would be a bad idea to build out and try to rank silo pages.

Here's an example using an SEO agency:

Home Page: www.rankone.com/, Title: "RankOne - Chicago's No.1 SEO Agency" <--- Money page targeting commercial keywords around Chicago SEO

S1: www.rankone.com/content-marketing/, Title: "Content Marketing Services Chicago" <--- Secondary money page, mid-bottom of funnel, sales page with call to action focussed on commercial intent keywords for Chicago Content Marketing

A1: www.rankone.com/content-marketing/55-reasons-your-content-not-ranking/ "Title: "55 Reasons Your Content Is Not Ranking in 2020" <--- Power page, top of funnel content, link bait article to drive traffic and rank for informational keywords around content marketing in general. Internal links will point back to the silo and possibly related content marketing pages within the silo.

So with this site structure in mind, I believe you're still giving google topical relevance using the silos to rank your informational 'top of the funnel' content, but also using the silo's themselves to go after broader keywords searched at a local level.

Where I struggle to see a benefit of using the silos solely for topical relevance, is where you'd then put your service pages in that silo. eg.

M2: (secondary money / services page): www.rankone.com/content-marketing/content-marketing-services-chicago/

Just looks spammy to me.

Anyway, this is all postulating on my behalf and I have never tried either approach so take with a pinch of salt.

Your second question, it seems even Tom finds that question challenging to answer.
Whether to put this or that:
site.com/seattle/mobile-web-design
site.com/mobile-web-design/seattle

Tom said he wasn't sure what he'd do in that scenario.

I believe Tom was replying to someone asking about how to silo a services company that operates across multiple cities and how best to target each city. For a local site that is targeting a single city, or maybe an entire state, I'm still super confused as to how you'd tie in those local keywords as articles without looking spammy or getting a slap.

Looking forward to Tom weighing in when he gets a chance!
 
Did silo sites from expired domain still have the power juice in compare to auctioned domains?
 
I think I found another site (besides Samsung) that is using silo structure like this.

allrecipes.com
 
i have a question to the permalink plugin "Permalinks Customizer"

the category structure looks fine in the "Taxonomy Permalinks" with Setup /%all_parents_slug% to animal/dog/golden-retreiver

Problem with the PostTypes Permalinks Settings: %category%/%postname%
my post get category: animal, dog, golden retreiver
but the post url is only animal/postname
not like my Taxonomy permalink animal/dog/golden-retreiver/post-name
 
Hey Tom,

A bit late to the party here but I have a question regarding the structure of a local / national services company...

Lets say we have web design as the broad topic;

I notice that most of the competitors have their site structured around the /services/ silo. (company.com/services/mobile-web-design/)

I see upthread that you've suggested instead to silo on sub-topics (company.com/mobile-web-design/blog-article-here)

Question 1: Would there be an SEO advantage to using /services/ over /sub-topic/ to tell Google that it should be ranking that silo for service buyer intent keywords, such as "mobile web design company Seattle"

Question 2: Given either scenario above, would you recommend making the S2 landing page an outline of that service ("We provide mobile web design services to the greater Seattle area etc etc") with the intention of ranking it for those local buyer keywords. OR would you recommend creating separate local buyer intent pages under the silo? eg company.com/mobile-design/responsive-web-design-seattle.html

Appreciate I may be completely overthinking this but your insight would help out a lot as I plan out a new services based website

Many thanks

Hey @splishsplash, I see you've been active again in some other threads recently. Wondering if you'd mind dropping by and giving your thoughts on this? I'm about to map out my site structure during the lock in :)

Cheers
 
Hi @splishsplash /Tom,

Hope you're keeping well.

If you had a post that was currently driving decent traffic but it contained indepth content about 2 different siloed parts of the website, where would this sit? Would you have to choose one silo and then internal link it to the other silo?

Cheers
 
I already asked this question in another thread but didn't get an answer to that yet. What is your opinion on that?
Don't change anything that is ranking page 1 or 2. Tom has already said this on several occasions.
 
Anyone noticed any serious issue with Googlebot crawling nowadays? All my pages are indexed but they are not crawled unless I manually submit to index in GSC
 
Back
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features and essential functions on BlackHatWorld and other forums. These functions are unrelated to ads, such as internal links and images. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock