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Internal Linking For Large Catalogs


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5 replies to this topic

#1 seotiger

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 06:05 PM

I know a link from the home page is going to be a strong link to a product page, but if you have a large amount of products like say 100K then that is not very aesthetically pleasing. I am wanting to get my users to the product page in three clicks. Actually, to be honest our users will not click to find products they will search. Most importantly I want to get spiders to the product pages in three clicks.
My concern is whether google will consider a web page at the root of the site as being the same number of clicks as if it was coming from the home page.

This scenario would be 4 hops from the home page, but only three from the new page I would build. All these pages would be at the root accept the final product page. It is within a sub folder.

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:23 PM

For spiders you need tiered, highly structured HTML sitemaps (that the users can also get to). You also need to cross-link product sibling pages to help the spiders move around the site. My rule of thumb is build at least 3 types of internal links to every page.

For the users, you really need an excellent search tool. No one wants to walk a tree with 100,000 nodes. Don't even hope you're doing yourself a favor by driving visitors to click through links to get to products.




#3 Randy

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:14 PM

Just to note it, the entry point is the entry point. Usually this means the home page since it tends to attract the most links from external sites.

But just because a page is at the root folder level doesn't mean it's going to be seen as an entry point. Most times this is going to be an extra click, assuming it's linked to from the home page. Unless you can get a lot of links pointing directly to that page from other sites.

#4 adibranch

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:11 AM

^^^ what he said.. and you're trying to find a (bad) solution to a problem which really shouldnt be there.

For an ecommerce site nav is VERY important.. dont assume your users will search (what makes you so sure they will?) many will also head straight for nav, it depends on their conditioning.. we're all different. I have one site with around 600-800 visitors a day, of which only around TEN use the site search. The nav is so intuitive they simply dont need to use search.
ALWAYS build nav for visitors.. not search engines. And you're right, you should get to your product within three clicks, but four is acceptable.

Regarding your product being spiderable.. dont worry, they should be easily. The use of infoboxes such as 'new products' bestsellers', or cross selling products all make the product pages easily spiderable. It may of course take time for the search engines to index all product pages. Also, bear in mind that if you DONT see a product in the index, it may be because it's simply sandboxed, there's too may e-commerce sites out there with internal duplicate product page issues.

#5 seotiger

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:52 AM

The nature of the products we sell doesn't warrant a person using site navigation to locate what they want. We have millions of items over 6000 categories. A person knows what they want when they reach us. They actually have no intention of finding the product by looking via navigation. It's the nature of the industry. They can only find the product within a reasonable time by doing a search for exactly the item number they want. I have a lot of cross linking going on currently, but I think because the product pages are linked to from within pages that take a few clicks to reach, the spiders are not deeply crawling. So I am considering putting together some root level pages that link directly to the pages that list all the products we sell. Almost like another site map. Right now my site map just links to the main pages that have links to all the pages that have all the product links. I will just now be providing a page that has less clicks to the final product page.



#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:55 PM

QUOTE(seotiger @ Nov 12 2009, 07:52 AM) View Post
...They can only find the product within a reasonable time by doing a search for exactly the item number they want. I have a lot of cross linking going on currently, but I think because the product pages are linked to from within pages that take a few clicks to reach, the spiders are not deeply crawling. So I am considering putting together some root level pages that link directly to the pages that list all the products we sell. Almost like another site map. Right now my site map just links to the main pages that have links to all the pages that have all the product links. I will just now be providing a page that has less clicks to the final product page.


Alternative site map structures are very beneficial. I've seen them used with success in several industries.

However, relying on third-party search engines to obtain the majority of your traffic may be cutting off potential business. If your site has sufficient brand value, how do you handle on-site search?

Amazon and Hewlett-Packard both have internal search tools (and teams to manage those tools), for example. They don't rely just on the search engines.

How strong is your brand? How thorough is your site search? How easy is it to use?

Do you have an affiliate program? Do you make a search box available through your affiliate program?





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