I'm getting good indexing at www.[domain].co.uk/two/three/four/page.html on my hobby site. Top hit for certain abstruse keywords.
Directory level doesn't make any difference. All that matters is the linking.
The links follow the directory structure, and as far as I know there are no deep links from outside.
If you want to wander about the site (it's a hobby site without commercial links except to other suppliers) you can search on "audi quattro wiring". There's a single link to the quattro directory from the root, and one from there to wiring, and one from there to the model.
When I first started worrying about PageRank a couple of years back, it was rigid. I had PR 6 at the root, 5 next level down, and so on. Then Google dropped PageRanks across the board - everyone seemed to drop around PR 2 - and more recently I'm quietly convincing myself that it has very little bearing at all.
It's because its young.
The Google spider works into a site in iterations. It takes the top page and maybe its links. It then verifies these by repeatedly downloading over a few weeks. When the links have been verified, their links are harvested and the cycle repeated.
Thanks for the info. Guess I'm impatient. I'll keep waiting...
>Directory level doesn't make any difference. All that matters is the linking.
Yup, this is the bottom line.
Get numerous links to the lower levels and GoogleBot will find them and index.
I suspect at the moment you are getting GoogleBot confused about where it should go next!
Many links, especially external ones, to the lower levels will help :)
I absolutely agree with percentages.
Recently I had same problem on my site - Google very hardly screwed deeper into directory structure (4 levels), but when I added additional links from root page to 3 pages of level2 of the directory and added cross-linking between neighbor pages of level3 (i.e. just Next/Previous links) and level4 - everything turns out well!
And now I'm working on additional good external links to level3 pages.
I started doing something similar by adding links to new articles on my home page to get them picked up more quickly.
My other site has a lot of TrustRank and I'm in the first few results within days. I guess I'm spoiled and I forgot how patient you have to be.
I think it depends on the PR, and the inbound links to individual categories. For example, if you link all of them from the front page, it is more likely to have all of them indexed.
As far as the /, I would leave it, and be consistent throughout the site