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Site Map Depth Question
Posted 10 November 2005 - 05:23 PM
When creating a site map for my site, should the site map be only 1 level deep - meaning that the link on the site map should take the user directly to the destination page? What if the site structure is so big that there is no way that the link from the site map can go directly to the destination page?
As an example, if I were searching a website on the state of California and I wanted to link to all of the cities within the state, I wouldn't be able to do so directly on the site map since there are > 100 cities in the state (according to everything I've read here, it is best to limit the # of links to 100).
In this situation, would it make sense to link to each county within the state (since there are probably < 100 counties within the state) from the site map, and then have each county page link to the cities within the county?
My concern is that this structure would make the spiders crawl one additional level to find the destination page. I'm not sure if the structure described above is efficient or 'proper' in SEO.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Posted 10 November 2005 - 05:35 PM
I always try and limit the number of links on any given page to <100, I run several sites with 10,000's of pages and the SE have no problem spidering their content.
Posted 10 November 2005 - 05:39 PM
Posted 10 November 2005 - 06:47 PM
Now this may sound funny, but set up your site map exactly as you would like to see it if you removed your Webmaster hat and put on your Never-been-here-before Visitor hat.
Your example was a really good one. A site map that had every city in the state of California would be nuts from the user perspective. So solving this by listing the counties, the the cities and other services in each county would make complete sense. From the users perspective.
Posted 10 November 2005 - 07:37 PM
Posted 10 November 2005 - 07:46 PM
Posted 11 November 2005 - 12:30 AM
Also, a page that dynamically displays and hides the information/links is much slicker, from a user perspective, but really it's just icing on the cake. All the suggestions given here are as excellent as usual.
Posted 11 November 2005 - 08:50 AM
Posted 20 November 2005 - 05:33 PM
If a visitor were looking at your site map trying to find a particular city, but they didn't know what county the city was in...wouldn't a site map set up this way be pretty useless to them.
If searching for info on cities in California without knowing the county, wouldn't it be easier if they were set up by the part of the state they are in first, then county. This could be on the same page but with counties separated by area rather than just listed by name alphabetically.
Everyone is used to hearing about "Northern California", "Southern California" or "Central California". If you assume people are going to know the county a particular city is located in, you just might leave a lot of people out in the cold.
This is especially true when you get into "Central California". They have so many counties packed into one tiny area, you drive a few miles and you are entering a new one. If searching for El Cerrito, Los Gatos, Berkeley or even Surfside California (which could be anywhere along the coast), which counties will they be in?
The visuals of a map might help figure it out. You might think about showing an actual map of the state, helping the human visitors using your site map so they can see where the various counties are located.
This would make it much easier to find the correct county quickly if they know the general area of the state where the cities they are ultimately looking for are located.
Posted 21 November 2005 - 11:19 AM
Perhaps even an alphatebetical towns listings may be the answer then as i agree that people are more likely to know the town as oppose to the county. We have counties in Uk but most of us only know our home towns county.
Posted 23 November 2005 - 09:35 AM
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