Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:28 PM
With one of my wordpress blogs the URLs get rewritten and they look something like:
I would advice people not to go this deep but here I am not quite sure if I should go through the effort of changing it.
Does a good internal linking structure dilute negative effects of a deep folder structure?
Would you change this? (Id say its about 2-3 days solid work making sure all the backlinks are notified/changed and 301's are set up.)
All the best - Sascha
Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:32 PM
I am sure that the major search engines understand the architecture of blogs, and realise that there will be some with many apparent directories.
Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:23 PM
The idea also used to be (actually still is to a surprising number ) a favourite of SEOs who misunderstood PR and thought everything flowed from the home page. Of course those same folks only wanted external links to their home pages (again a surprising number still do) and thought deeplinking copyright infringement.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:03 AM
Less meaningless folders is better.
But if you have site structure with categories, product/content types and such, perhaps, having a depth of one or two folders might be beneficial for the user, because the visitors often consult the URL to see where they are and to navigate around the site (for example, from http://www.cre8asite...showtopic=68821 the visitor might as well navigate to http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/forums/).
Google guide in HTML, PDF.
Create a simple directory structure - Use a directory structure that organizes your content
well and is easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site. Try using your directory
structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.
- having deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/
- using directory names that have no relation to the content in them
However, link weight matters much more, than URL structure, thus having great internal linking and having a huge amount of links from topical external sites is more helpful, than fiddling with the URL folder structure.
Edited by A.N.Onym, 25 November 2008 - 12:06 AM.
Posted 21 November 2009 - 07:00 AM
For a new resource site, I'm supposed to determine what's better for SEO and judging from what Google and Matt say, less folders is better.
So my client's developer insists on using a single file name (using hyphens instead of folders), if it makes any meaningful difference.
My argument is that 5-6 folders that I propose won't make it worse at most, while 15 might make a small dent. Especially, when people do use folders for navigation (what percentage is that? I remember 10-15% [no source]. Is it even important) and read the URL to determine where they are (won't the same keywords in a single folder do the same? why not?)
Currently, the proposed URL structure is
Are there any reasons we should stick to the 3-6 folder structure instead of a single, long file name (widgets.com/size-brightness-buzziness) or visa versa?
Edited by A.N.Onym, 24 November 2009 - 08:48 AM.
Posted 23 November 2009 - 02:34 PM
The Google SEO Starter Guide only says:
Create a simple directory structure - Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and is easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.
• having deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/
• using directory names that have no relation to the content in them
To infer or argue that a Website should limit itself to 2-3 folders' depth on the basis of these kinds of recommendations is equivalent to saying you should feed all animals in your care only 1 pound of food per day. What if you have a Gerbil in a cage and an elephant in the compound outside your office at the zoo?
Website structure cannot be so easily formulated. You have to look at the content and understand that structure is more about managing your disk space efficiently (you really don't want thousands of static HTML files in a directory). If you're using a CMS that stores all the content in a database then "folders" are just a virtual organizational structure -- they don't exist, except within the page addressing scheme. They won't have any real impact on anything.
Google was recommending that Webmasters anticipate what people might do (chop off URLs to find more content).
Fewer folders is not better. It's just that pluralization of folders through laziness is bad for the user experience (and in very rare situations may impact server performance).
Posted 23 November 2009 - 04:27 PM
But I think that folder depth should be natural. On my main site I think it is 3 or 4 at most. Certainly 3 for "category" listings on WP, i.e. section-name/category/subsection/subsubsection.
But on most pages just 2 (counting root as 1).
If you have a lot of info to categorize then use more folders (if that is how your CMS likes to work).
But then look at Wikipedia, the most successful information site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chow_Gar
Just one directory, and that is wiki!
Maybe we should all follow in wikipedias footsteps?
Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:21 PM
URL construction is only one part of the big picture. It can be helpful to drill down to the details and look at each one closely by itself, but then you still have to put the big picture together again.
Edited by Michael_Martinez, 25 November 2009 - 05:21 PM.
Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:06 AM
I did mention that people might chop off the URLs, but the counter-argument is how much people? I said 10-15% (as that's what I remember), but is there a real number or a real guideline written somewhere? I didn't find it in a quick search.
By the way, do you know if Google does chop the URLs itself to crawl and index the parent folders? It seems like a natural thing to do for a curious spider.
That's a good point you brought up about a number of files in a folder. To my knowledge, we have static files, so that'd make a difference, considering the site is going to be huge. The same point was brought up by a developer on Twitter, so, it appears, we'll rule single folder out here.
That people say 2-3 folders is better, is because Matt did say somewhere that less folders is better. But people take it to the extreme and forget the context that was about it (simply avoid useless, extraneous stuff).
Jon, I reckon Wikipedia does use a MediaWiki CMS, so it doesn't have a nightmare of processing all the static files in a single folder. That being said, it'd still be convenient, if Wiki showed a definitive category of a notion in the URL, as I'm always guessing, what kind of topic the notion relates to (and this info can only be found at the bottom of the page in a list of categories).
Thanks for the tips, Michael
Edited by A.N.Onym, 24 November 2009 - 08:49 AM.
Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:15 AM
By constructing the site with a logical structure you can use that structure for your breadcrumb trail if required.
There is also the fact that the URL is a ranking factor: http://searchenginel...n-the-url-16976
I'm here's the video by Matt as well about site structures.
Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:42 AM
Is this question, or rather: the problem, not really about "click levels" rather than folders? A two-or-three-clicks-away-from-the-homepage sorta thing?
Or am I missing something?
P.S.: Kudos for the in-depth stuff posted so far BTW.
Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:46 AM
What we are talking about is URL structure, not site structure.
We can have any kind of URL structure with a proper site structure and it'd work, more or less, but it'd help to have a solid, once-and-for-all, URL structure as well.
The very discussion is between
both variants serving as category pages, nothing more, nothing less (for now, at least).
Graham, I did listen to those videos and find them (or rather Matt) saying all the known stuff without the tips that would specifically support one choice or the other. Except that he and the guide do talk about subfolders for URL structure, not file names and I've only once encountered anyone sticking to file-names on a site with a tree-like content hierarchy (that was a competitor ).
I totally get SearchEngineLand.com using hyphens in blog posts, but that's what they are: blog headlines. I intend to use hyphens for long categories/headlines, too: but what I'm arguing for now is using subfolders, where there are numerous categories with simple, one or two word phrases.
Where they do mention file names is in relation to using extensions or not.
(This link to the 2nd video that Graham shared works, btw).
Edited by A.N.Onym, 24 November 2009 - 09:02 AM.
Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:39 PM
In our practice we seek the client comfort level and work with that. Sometimes when clients get frustrated with the lack of progress we'll carefully revisit old issues where they were adamant about certain technical points. Sometimes they change their minds.
Self-imposed failure can often be your ally as long as you don't turn yourself into the client's enemy. If you cannot focus on and strengthen the common ground with your client, persuading them to do anything becomes more and more challenging.
I hate doing it, but I have long since learned to live with off-site SEO. Sometimes, clients leave you no choice but to do things in the hardest, least efficient way possible.
And you may quote me on that.
Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:48 AM
The thing about URLs is that they should rather be done right from the start to avoid any possible problems since launch and after changing them and redirecting. In contrast, title tags, HTML template and content can be easily changed afterwards without significant crawling/ranking losses (except time spent on redoing things, I guess).
At least all the data I found from Google, Matt and others is to do what's best for the users with a folder structure: something I've been a proponent for.
Whether to agree to disagree or not, largely depends on your goals and how much you want to work with the client. If the client wants the best results, I think it makes sense to explain all the benefits of the choices, so the right choice is made, even if by the client him/herself.
Also, I think that it makes sense to enjoy your work, so you
- actually enjoy working, partly by getting your ideas implemented, partly by working for great people and useful projects
- get better results by implementing all of your ideas
- have happier clients, who get more results
But I guess it's a topic for another discussion.
Reply to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users