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L4: Architectural structure and SEO

An effective information architecture, is critical if you want search engines, to be able to find your content and serve it to users. If crawlers cannot access the content, they cannot rank it well.

From a human point of view, information architecture is important, so that users can easily find what they are looking for.

 Dr. Peter J. Meyers, well worth a follow on Google+.
Interesting chap, very good advanced SEO points.

You want to have a flat architecture where possible, as it allows the search engines to find your content in as few clicks possible.

Flat Structure

Deep Structure

As a rule, the deeper into a site a page lives, the lower the authority of that page. Typically, the home page of a website will be the most authoritative on a domain, because that’s where most people link to when referring to a website.

You can, index just sections of your website that are more important than others. This would promote the idea of Google, looking at your sitemap, as indexing only the pages you deem important. Pages not included within the sitemap, however still linked to, will still be followed to and should be indexed.

Once the sitemap has been created and uploaded to Webmaster tools, it will then show a graph of pages in the sitemap compared to the number of pages in the index.

On websites that have a small to medium level of content, its not always required that you edit out sections that are not significantly important to the optimisation of the website. This is because, websites lacking in content require as much content as possible.

Introduction to Webmaster Tools.

Maile Ohye works closely with search and Web Master Tools.
Check out her website, great tips for eCommerce websites.

Internal Linking

Internal linking, promotes to the search engines, that linked to pages are more important than other pages within the website.

Pages all have a Page Authority or PA. You also have a Domain Authority or DA.

You can see this from Pages that have high PA have more trust with the search engines. This means that they will rank higher and also at the same time links that are on these pages will carry more weight in the ranking wars.

Most of the time, its your home page that has the highest DA and PA.

We have seen direct comparisons showing the higher the DA or PA, the higher the rankings for the optimised keywords. This is also the most white hat, type of SEO, as after all, all you are doing, is making the website more of an authority in its keyword market.

Use your links from high PA pages wisely. Not every page is equal. Its a good idea to get a spreadsheet of the DA and PA of your website before optimisation to see how much it improves when optimising your website.

Advanced Internal Linking

Film from Johnny Doherty, well worth a follow on Twitter.

Main Navigation

It is not imperative to have a top navigation on your website, but you should be aware that the lack of presents a greater internal linking challenge. You must carefully consider, if you want to sacrifice the ability to drive the search crawlers and users, to these pages site-wide in return for possibly a smoother site look.

For example, do you link to every page on your website or do you link to the most important pages for a better user experience?

Relative vs Permanent URL paths

A relative URL path, uses the part of the URL after the “” section of the link. The links would look like:

<a href=”/my-page-link”>Link text</a>
instead of:

<a href=””>Link text</a>

It is best practice, to use the full URL in links as this makes the URL easier for the search engines to crawl.

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