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Home Page Points To Nearly All Sub Pages.


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9 replies to this topic

#1 EricCantona

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:43 AM

Hi All,

I have a few questions about internal linking:

Correct me if I am wrong, but the best practice for internal linking is the following

Home Page - links to Product A, Product B, Product C

Product A - links to A1, A2, A3

Product B - links to B1, B2, B3

etc.


On our site we have linked the following way:

Home Page - links to Product A, A1, A2, A3 Product B, B1, B2, B3, and Sub C, C1, C2, C3

So we essentially link to all product pages and product sub pages on the home page.


My boss argues that when the customer lands on the home page he or she can find anything they need immediately (one click away)


(1) Am I wrong in saying that because we link this way, it waters down all of these pages?

So if i use my main keywords on the Product A page, it is just as highly regarded as the A1 page which would have the less important keywords. (backlinks excluded)


(2) Is there a problem with this linking struture, or if I optimize the "important" pages correctly and get backlinks to the important pages (ie. Home Page, Product A, Product B landing pages), then it is ok?

(3) When one searches for our specific products, our home page ranks for them, and not the product landing pages which are optimized for those keywords. They have relatively no backlinks, which im sure is a huge reason, but could internal linking play a part in this?

#2 Jill

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:01 AM

If you're only talking about that many products as you've given as an example, then it can actually be good the way your boss wants it as you're passing lots of internal link juice to deeper pages of the site.

It gets trickier if you have too many products and not enough link juice to pass.

#3 EricCantona

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:20 AM

Thanks Jill.

Im looking at a map of our Information Architecture.

The Home page is pointing to the 10 product landing pages with 5 sub pages each, so 60 pages just for the products.

Is this ok?

In terms of link juice, our site has a pr of 5(sorry!) we have over 1000 backlinks with an avg pr 3 (sorry!), but they all point to the home page for the most part.

Each page is optimized, but the majority of the 60 pages do not show up well in the rankings.


I suppose the question I should be asking you then is... Should I be more concerned with getting backlinks to the sub pages, mainly the 10 product landing pages?

Edited by EricCantona, 16 September 2010 - 08:25 AM.


#4 Jill

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:20 AM

When you say that you home page is pointing to all these other pages, are you really saying that the main navigation on every page is pointing to all these pages? Or do you really just mean the home page?

#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:44 AM

I wouldn't worry about the PageRank so much as the user experience. Given that many options on one page, most people would probably look for a site search tool. Do you have that? If so, then don't worry about who is right, you or your boss. Focus on the user experience.

PageRank management for an eCommerce site is only important if you're trying to get search traffic directly to the product pages -- in which case, relying solely on the home page to channel PageRank deeper into the site is kind of self-defeating.

Your search optimization strategy cannot afford to focus on the home page.

#6 EricCantona

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 16 2010, 04:20 PM) View Post
When you say that you home page is pointing to all these other pages, are you really saying that the main navigation on every page is pointing to all these pages? Or do you really just mean the home page?




The main navigation points to all these pages. So if you scroll over Product A, you will seee A1, A2, A3. Product B - B1, B2, B3 etc.

On the body of the home page, we have all these links repeated. The idea is that the customers can find what they need, whether its in the top nav or in the body.

I have notice our competitors only have the product categories in their top nav, and not the sub pages.

Is it overkill having a link to every page on the main navigation, seo wise?

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 16 2010, 05:44 PM) View Post
I wouldn't worry about the PageRank so much as the user experience. Given that many options on one page, most people would probably look for a site search tool. Do you have that? If so, then don't worry about who is right, you or your boss. Focus on the user experience.

PageRank management for an eCommerce site is only important if you're trying to get search traffic directly to the product pages -- in which case, relying solely on the home page to channel PageRank deeper into the site is kind of self-defeating.

Your search optimization strategy cannot afford to focus on the home page.



Thanks Michael.

At the moment, our home page is the page that shows up for many of our search terms.

If someone is searching for Product A in Google, our home page appears, but the Home page may not be optimised for product A.

The Product A landing page is optimised, but it is not showing in the rankings.

I presume the reason for this is we have about 10 backlinks pointing to product A, as opposed to 1000+ to the home page.

So I should really be looking to get backlinks to each of the product landing pages right?

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:30 PM

QUOTE(EricCantona @ Sep 17 2010, 03:41 AM) View Post
Thanks Michael.

At the moment, our home page is the page that shows up for many of our search terms.

If someone is searching for Product A in Google, our home page appears, but the Home page may not be optimised for product A.

The Product A landing page is optimised, but it is not showing in the rankings.

I presume the reason for this is we have about 10 backlinks pointing to product A, as opposed to 1000+ to the home page.

So I should really be looking to get backlinks to each of the product landing pages right?


I think that depends on how many of those 1,000+ links use Product A-relevant anchor text for the home page. You may find you cannot compete with yourself.

Of course, many companies like to see dual listings in the search results.

What comes up if you search for "Company name" + "Product A"? If the internal linkage is correctly optimized, you should see the Product A page. If that's the case, then probably a little external link building will have a good chance of either flipping the results (putting the Product A page in place of the home page) or subsidizing the results (getting a second listing for the Product A page).

I would experiment on just a small number of pages first, rather than go out and try to fix this for all pages. You may find it's easier than expected or requires something no one has yet thought to mention.

#8 EricCantona

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:27 AM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 17 2010, 06:30 PM) View Post
I think that depends on how many of those 1,000+ links use Product A-relevant anchor text for the home page. You may find you cannot compete with yourself.

Of course, many companies like to see dual listings in the search results.

What comes up if you search for "Company name" + "Product A"? If the internal linkage is correctly optimized, you should see the Product A page. If that's the case, then probably a little external link building will have a good chance of either flipping the results (putting the Product A page in place of the home page) or subsidizing the results (getting a second listing for the Product A page).

I would experiment on just a small number of pages first, rather than go out and try to fix this for all pages. You may find it's easier than expected or requires something no one has yet thought to mention.



If I search Company name and Product B, C, D, E, F, G

The product page appears first in the rankings.

For product A, which is our most competitive search term (and most competitive in industry), the home page is 1st and then the product page is 2nd.









#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:57 AM

QUOTE(EricCantona @ Sep 20 2010, 02:27 AM) View Post
If I search Company name and Product B, C, D, E, F, G

The product page appears first in the rankings.

For product A, which is our most competitive search term (and most competitive in industry), the home page is 1st and then the product page is 2nd.


Knowing nothing about your site and nothing about your industry and nothing about your customers, any opinion I form is not going to be very enlightened.

Nonetheless, I'll share an opinion with you: based on general marketing principle, I would consider that to be a very desirable search result.

The user types in "Super Nifty Product Name" and sees:
  • HOME PAGE: Company That Makes Super Nifty Stuff
  • PRODUCT PAGE: Super Nifty Product Name

That is gold in my book. I'm not sure -- based only on what you have described in this thread -- anything is being "watered down". You may be reading too much into the situation based on what some people say on their SEO blogs.

Even the best among us have to speak in generalities. There are always exceptions to those generalities and those exceptions usually occur for very good reason.

It may be more productive for you if, instead of arguing philosophy and theory with the boss, you look at individual page performance (in terms of search referral traffic) and see if there aren't ways (outside of changing the linking strategy) to increase that traffic.

I'm not saying your boss is right -- I'm just saying that, based on what you describe, I don't see a problem.

#10 EricCantona

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 03:47 AM

Thanks Michael and Jill.

I was getting caught up with the whole internal linking thing. Thanks for the feedback.

We are about to do a redesign soon, so I'll probably be back with more questions then (if you don't mind)

Until then.

Thanks again.

Richard




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