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Best Category Structuring 4 Seo?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 superdevo

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:06 AM

Hello everyone,

Here is what I know (traditionally) about the best way to structure the categories, for SEO purposes, in a website:

1) Broad to Narrow
2) On-Topic category names such as www.website.com/artist/van-gogh.html
3) The flatter the website structure (or closer each web page is to the homepage) while still being relevant, the better. This means that www.website.com/van-gogh.html may be better than www.website.com/artist/van-gogh.html , at least for indexing purposes

With all of this in mind, I have noticed that <site references removed per [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?act=boardrules]Forum Rules[/url]> ranks very high for 1000's of their keywords and products. One example would be to type the keyword phrase "almond branches in bloom" (a Van Gogh Painting) into Google, you will see them ranked number one with the URL "www.theirdomain.com/-sp/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm"

You will notice that instead of using "van-gogh/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm", they chose to use "-sp/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm". They use this "-sp" structure for all of their work that is ranking highly. Their category pages uses "-st" instead of "-sp", such as the Van Gogh category page URL is "www.theirdomain.com/-st/Vincent-van-Gogh-Posters_c28945_.htm".

I understand that "-sp" and "-st" are probably both arbitrary letter combinations they chose, but why use "-sp/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm" instead of "van-gogh/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm"???

Do you think this is a mistake by AllPosters or a lazy way to dealing with the sheer volume of the products they have, OR is there ACTUALLY something to this as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned?

I would love to hear your opinion or assessment?


Thanks,

Superdevo

#2 Jill

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:13 AM

How they rank has nothing to do with what words/letters are in their URL. It's how the pages are all linked together. So whether they have -sp or no -sp doesn't matter.

#3 superdevo

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:18 AM

Thanks Jill for the quick response.

Do you think it make any difference if they were to use a more relevant structure such as "van-gogh/Almond-Branches-in-Bloom-San-Remy-c1890-Posters_i2539604_.htm"?



#4 Randy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:22 AM

Nope, it wouldn't.

There are a couple of errors is in your assumptions/beliefs.

First, as you've seen from your own example, keyword stuffing the url doesn't really give any ranking advantage. Their pages rank highly because they've got other things going for them, probably anchor text in links that mention the artists name, or even the fact that they may come from a category page that is about the artist and mentions them by name prominently.

Keywording up urls is one of those myths that just won't die because others have made the same faulty assumption without actually testing to see if it's true or not, then see one example where the keyword in the url isn't helping but there are a lot others things going on that helps a page rank well and starts writing articles about how important it is to have your keywords in all of your urls.

FTR another statement you made is also false the way you have it stated. When comparing urls like www.website.com/van-gogh.html against www.website.com/artist/van-gogh.html neither has an inherent advantage. It's the click depth from the home page that makes a difference, not the directory structure. So if both pages were linked to from the home page, or whatever level, they'd be equal.

Where you could see an advantage or disadvantage is if www.website.com/van-gogh.html was linked to directly from the home page and www.website.com/artist/van-gogh.html wasn't. This however can also be overcome by targeting some links from your own or other sites to a 2nd or 3rd level page. You may have meant the question to be such an example, but it wasn't spelled out that way.

#5 Jill

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE(Randy)
It's the click depth from the home page that makes a difference, not the directory structure. So if both pages were linked to from the home page, or whatever level, they'd be equal.


Randy, don't you mean not that it's linked from the home page, but that it's linked within the main navigation which is on every page?

IMO, one link from the home page isn't what's helpful to pages, it's the totality of the internal link juice a page gets when it's linked to/from every other page.

I do believe that Google puts weight in the keywords in URLs these days (for many reasons). But having a superflous -sp also in the URL won't take away from the words they already have in there.

#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 04:17 PM

QUOTE(superdevo @ Sep 28 2009, 06:06 AM) View Post
-gogh.html
3) The flatter the website structure (or closer each web page is to the homepage) while still being relevant, the better. This means that www.website.com/van-gogh.html may be better than www.website.com/artist/van-gogh.html , at least for indexing purposes


That is an SEO myth. In fact, it's absolute utter nonsense.

Indexing depends on linking relationships, not on how you organize documents on your server.

QUOTE
Do you think this is a mistake by AllPosters or a lazy way to dealing with the sheer volume of the products they have, OR is there ACTUALLY something to this as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned?


AllPosters has to deal with dynamic content -- the pages may be there for a few months, maybe even a year or longer, but eventually they go away. It takes a very different kind of SEO thinking to manage that kind of inventory efficiently.



#7 superdevo

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 09:26 PM

Thanks for everyone's replies.

Based on what everyone has said so far, it sounds like the focusing on the internal linking structure is probably more important than worrying about the categories for optimization purposes. I can still see the categories being important since they may be BOLDED if they are related to the keyword focused page and would catch the web searchers attention.

I did get the flat architecture information from SEOMOZ advice, and I think it had more to do with getting indexed than with increasing rank.

Thanks guys

#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 02:52 PM

Flat architecture really has no impact on indexing, except in the psychology of how one approaches building links, internal navigation, and managing crawl.

In other words, some people will do better with a flat architecture because that suits their way of thinking better than a hierarchical architecture.

All the search engines really care about is whether they find links to pages, how many links to those pages they find, and how much they should trust those links.





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