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What's the best SEO site structure/architechture? Please share your knowledge and exp.

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Efex1.0, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Hello,

    I have been searching for this in the forum but haven't been able to find anything on this topic. At least nothing really detailed and well explained.

    I have read several IM "courses" and any of them have different ways to structure the website that someone is supposed to build to rank for. That's why I come here to ask to the most experienced IM'rs about what would be the best way (for search engines) to structure a site.

    I'm actually not a newby but my experience is more in the small niche sites targeting 4 or 5 keywords with a simple structure optimized to get the best Adsense CTR. (Like variations from Xfactor method)

    Now I want to start building bigger sites targeting mroe keywords and I'm not really sure what's the best way to do it. (Always meaning the best way for SE optimization and getting SE rankings).

    It's common to find backlinks discussions or on-page SEO optimization, but not how to actually structure the site.

    I mean, I've read one source saying that it's best to make pages to place the content for your keywords. For example, let's assume the keyword is "mini golf game" and so the domain is www*minigolfgame*com and the keywords are

    mini golf game
    how to play mini golf
    mini golf rules
    mini golf balls
    mini golf balls dimensions
    custom mini golf balls

    This guy said that it's best to make pages (not posts) for the targeted kw's as that will avoid the duplicate content issues (I know you can make category and date archives no index, no follow). He said then you just use posts only to add aditional content to your site.

    What do you think about this?
    I think is a simple structure that could work, but how do you categorize thw kw's? I mean how can you structure the site for the visitor with this technique?

    And so we enter to the categories discussion.
    There was another "expert" pdf I read that was saying that it's best to use the targetted kw as the category name and make 2 or 3 posts about that kw to have the category page ranked or to get double listings in SERPS
    This will give a structure like
    www*minigolfgame*com/mini-golf-game ------> the category page with a few posts about mini golf game
    www*minigolfgame*com/mini-golf-game/something-about-mini-golf-game -----> a post inside mini golf category also targetting the kw

    I see a problem here when the targetted kw is not too general to write 2 or 3 posts about it, ike for example the "how to play mini golf"
    In this case one should make the category www*minigolfsite*com/how-to-play-mini-golf
    And the posts would be www*minigolfsite*com/how-to-play-mini-golf/something-about-how-to-play-minigolf
    It would be somehow difficult to come up with 2 or 3 articles for the "how to play minigolf" don't you think?

    And what about the kws that are somehow related? for example the
    mini golf balls
    mini golf balls dimensions
    custom mini golf balls

    You could easily make the forst one the category and the other be part of that category right? Or if we follow tha previous logic we should make "mini golf balls" the category and then build 2 or 3 posts about tha kw and make the other kws a subcategory of the "mini golf balls" category???


    Well, I don't want to get this any longer to start the discussion and not get everything mixed up or confused.

    I'm a little confused myself as I can't see what would be the best logic and architechture of the site.

    Please share your knowlege on this topic and let me know what have worked for you or what you think is the best approach on this??

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    tl;dr;

    KISS and stay as close to root as possible unless it's a massive site with equally massive backlinks. One subdirectory deep max. Keep the crosslinking partly on topic (ie between related subcategory pages) and partly random to keep the spiders happy.
     
  3. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Thanks for your fast reply.

    So, in order to "KISS and stay as close to root as possible" the fisrt approach would be the best right?
    I mean building single pages (not posts) for each one of the kw's (to avoid duplicate content) and use posts only for additional content??

    How would I structure the site for the VISITOR in this case?

    NOTE:

    Btw, I didn't specify that this site will be built with WP
    And it will target like 12 to 15 keywords initially
     
  4. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    For a 15 page site you should have all the pages straight off the root.

    The main advantage of using pages rather than posts is that most themes link to your pages off every page.

    You can put your posts straight off root by editing the URL structure in the wp admin.

    Most visitors wouldn't make a distinction between pages and posts or even be aware there was a difference.

    I would set the archive and category pages to just list the_excerpt() not the whole post.
     
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  5. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Ok I follow you, but somehow I got a little confused.

    Here you say that for a small site it can be an advantage to have only pages for the content targeting the kws right?

    But here you mention posts. That means you are saying that is ok to use posts either? Putting them at the root like www*minigolfgame*com/mini-golf-balls/
    So in this case if I use posts you say I should make the category and archive to show only the excerpt right? But shouldn't I make them no-follow, no-index? (to avoid having duplicate content)?

    And btw, when I mentioned the structure for the visitors I was referring to the navigation structure like having the categories as a menu, etc.
     
  6. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    It really doesn't matter whether you use pages or posts. They're all just html pages at the end of the day. One method a lot of people use is to make pages for their top keywords and then make posts to keep updating the site with fresh content and drive a few more internal links to their main keyword pages.

    The main thing by far that determines rankings is backlinks and that's what you should focus 80%+ of your time on. As long as you have a good flow of link juice through the site you'll be fine, structure isn't that important especially with a small site.

    If you edit your theme so that your main keyword pages are linked to from every page, that has the effect of driving link juice to those pages. For you supporting posts, use a random links plugin to keep the spiders cruising around in your less important posts pages.

    Personally I would edit my theme and remove links to either the category or the archive pages so they're in effect non-existent. Remove them from your sitemap as well, there's a setting for that if you're using the most common sitemap plugin. I normally follow, noindex them as well - you want the links followed if a spider happens to land there, but you don't want the pages indexed because of dupe issues.

    It's because of stuff like this that I hate working with Wordpress lol. Dupe content is a fundamental issue with WP but everyone raves about how great it is. I think it sucks personally.
     
  7. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Ok. Just as I read . Pages for main kws and posts for additional content.

    You mean like having a widget with a Blogroll but all pointing to the main kws pages? Or something like a "Featured Articles" section on the site with all the pages targeting main kws?

    In the case I use this method I can't place any of those pages into a category right? So I lose the use of categories for structuring the site to visitors?
    What would you do if you had some kws like:

    mini golf balls
    red mini golf balls
    blue mini golf balls
    cheap mini golf balls

    I mean it is easy to think of "mini golf balls" as a category where you would put all the other kws also.
    How would you do that if you are using pages for kws? I mean it's better for the user navigation of the site.
     
  8. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    How would you do that? You mean removing category and archives from showing in the theme layout, not appearing to the user.
    Or having them removed completely from the theme archives and files?
     
  9. Merlin22

    Merlin22 Regular Member

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    Are you against having silos for basic site setup and to avoid the duplicate content issue?
     
  10. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Merlin,

    Can you explain a little about silos? And how do they avoid duplicate content issue?

    Thanks
     
  11. dichotom

    dichotom Elite Member

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    Just throwing this in, I have become really fond of this permalink setup:

    /%postname%.html

    And then install the "html on pages" plugin so pages have the .html extension as well.
     
  12. Merlin22

    Merlin22 Regular Member

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    There are about 131 threads on duplicate content per google. One of the best threads I have read can be found here http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...0259-guide-duplicate-content-myths-facts.html

    I recommend you read all of the them to get a better understanding. An easy way to search is to use google and type (what I want to know (duplicant content) site:domain name here. You could also use the search function to help.

    Building Silos is a way to categorize themes into specific categories to keep things organized. It's similar to chapters in a book. Imagine you were writing about various US Presidents and wanted to build a domain about them. You could slap up a bunch of pages/content and let the spiders do their thing, but it would probably be a mess unless you planned your content around your themes based on keyword research and the goals of your site.

    I've read that in order to build a website each directory should have a minimum of 5 pages, so that is what I have used a minimum for building an authority website. I don't deal with other types of sites at the moment, so I cannot comment on them. An example hierarchy might look like this

    Homepage
    -George Washington
    -History (Childhood, family, education, etc)
    -Education
    -War Experience
    -Presidency
    -Post Presidency
    -Next President here with similar sub-pages.
    -Privacy Page
    -Blog
    -Etc.


    I think the previous information in this thread makes sense if you aren't talking about a huge website. I just wanted to get different perspectives about the actual process of designing the site for maximum effect based on the goals.

    Just imagine if you were building a website with the structure listed above for both Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. and you didn't organize content or provide proper categories. You would surely experience duplicate content issues.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  13. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    What you're describing doesn't have anything to do with duplicate content. It's just a logical way to organize a site.

    Dupe content is measured using mathematical information retrieval techniques like ngrams and vector space models. It doesn't matter where you put your pages, just what you put on them in terms of text content.

    For the example you gave, you could theoretically put everything on the root of the domain just fine. The structure and the consequent flow of link juice from page to page is determined by your linking structure, not necessarily what subdir you put the files in.
     
  14. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    So you agree that is best to use pages for the targeted kws?

    I have a couple of sites with that permalink setup and they are doing good. I guess i'm going to use it more often to observe results.
     
  15. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    There is no "best" structure. The optimal structure changes all the time with every tweak of the algo. You're much better off building all your sites with very different structures to even out fluctuations in the algo and thus in traffic, and also to reduce footprints.

    I am personally a fan of .html pages right off root like dichotom as well.

    Now stop wasting time worrying about structure, get your sites up and START BUILDING LINKS. :)
     
  16. dichotom

    dichotom Elite Member

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    As far as posts vs. pages goes I don't think it makes a bit of difference, just whatever works best for the site layout.

    I only suggest the html on pages plugin so .html will be appended to the pages as well as the posts. For some reason wordpress does not throw .html on the end of pages when you set the permalink structure to:

    /%postname%.html

    So you have to use that plugin to make the pages show up the same way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  17. Merlin22

    Merlin22 Regular Member

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    I agree with you 100%, but it appears I did not communicate that well enough. Sorry if you got that impression.

    I wasn't talking about link juice, but I appreciate the input.
     
  18. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    hi,

    sorry I couldn't get back to the thread earlier.

    I remember I read about having .HTML at the end of the post's somewhere else but I didn't know it was supposed to go on pages too.
    Does it make a difference for SEO and into the eyes of the search engines?
     
  19. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    I think you are confusing duplicate content with non-original content.

    What I guess Merlin was talking about and me too when referring to "duplicate content" is when having the same info several times on the same site. For example having the content of your home page also on the www*site*com/category/mykwcategory and www*site*com/tag/sometag and archives, etc.
     
  20. Efex1.0

    Efex1.0 Newbie

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    Ohh, and btw guys, another HUGHE doubt I have is regarding the HOMEPAGE.

    How would you make your homepage?

    I mean, for small niche sites I use to place adsense, I make my main kw article and make it sticky to the homepage so the homepage only have the article targeting the main kw.

    Is this optimal for a medium site that will be targeting more kws?
    I've seen authority sites that the homepage is not made only of one article but they show several posts (previews at least).

    Fe example, with the kwes I mentioned on my first post.
    What if my main kw is "mini golf game" and I got my exact match domain.
    But my intention is to become a medium site "authority like".

    How should I make my homepage? Just stick one post to it or make several posts about "mini golf game" and show them all in the homepage?

    I know I know Autum that you stold me to stop worrying about structure and start building the site, but I just can't continue with the task until I have all figured out about how to structure the new site and what to put on the homepage :eek::(