homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.226.213.228
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Marketing and Biz Dev / Keyword Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

Keyword Discussion Forum

    
Building a Small-Medium Theme Site
Keywords with Similar Meaning Get Confusing
egomaniac




msg:270166
 6:21 pm on Nov 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have a few questions about implementing themes. I want to overhaul one of my sites using the theme concept to secure high rankings*. I have spent many hours reading over everything I can find here at WebmasterWorld and at other sites on the web. I appreciate all of the time and effort that many of the more senior people here have already contributed on this topic. Due to the abstract nature of this concept, I feel that I won't know if I've "got it" without some outside help.

(* I know that inbound links can have a big effect on rankings. For this discussion, I want to focus on how to implement a theme).

My site will be 50-100 pages after the overhaul. I have identified a number of medium-high-traffic, on-topic 2 word keyword phrases using Wordtracker. My content consists of articles and newsletters that I have written around my main topic (which I can break-up and reuse however I need to). I sell 3 different training products/services off of this site, and I have plans in the future to add another product line or two.

My strategy with the site has been to offer a lot of interesting content to the surfer to build credibility, and eventually lead them to a sales letters for one of the products/services. To do this effectively, most or all of the content need to have text links to these sales letters. If I create 3-keyword phrases that target these products/services, they would be "on-target", but they would be low-traffic. Yes, I know targeted is good. I believe however that I can draw people in from broader search terms, keep em on the site with good content, and then sell them a focused product with a good sales pitch (or at least get em signed up for a newsletter).

Let's say for example that I am selling products/services for management training. And let's say that the following are the top 5 terms out of the Wordtracker database followed by their "Count" number (these aren't the real terms and numbers, just an example - I have actually identified about 20 good search phrases):

1) Management Training - 800
2) Human Resources - 650
3) Management Techniques - 500
4) Executive Training - 250
5) Management Tips - 125

So here is my challenge: How do I organize my search terms into a theme hierarchy for my site?

One reason I am getting confused is my main terms are somewhat synonymous without all using the same root word (i.e. they don't all use just "management" as a root word). So while exec training and management training are similar in my mind, and perhaps the surfers mind, what about the SEs (particularly Google)? And then what at the HR term? Different, but I think people searching for it will be interested in my content and products/services.

My inclination is to pick #1) Management Training as the Level 1 overall theme of my site. Because this is the most trafficked term. It is also the major category that both ODP and Yahoo use. At this point my head starts to hurt as I try to figure out how to come up with subtopics if I use this as a overall them for the site.

My way of thinking of subtopics is to ask myself "what is an example of this?" Well tips and techniques can be examples of training. But HR is not an example of training. Both Executive and Management could be "examples" of the other one. As you can see, a lot of these terms are somewhat s

Another way to go would be to make #5) Management Tips as the Level 1 theme for the site. This would encompass everything pretty well. But this term is not as highly trafficked. Would that make my subtopics weaker? Or if I build enough pages to reinforce a strong subtheme of Management Training, will that make that term competitive?

Management Training is the term that I want to dominate long term (I know this won't happen overnight - I want to create a structure now that I can continue to build upon). I am afraid that by picking the tips theme, that I will have relegated my training pages to a lower status, hampering their rankings.

Some other things that confused me in the articles I read here:

1) Looking at Brett's pyramid, I get confused about the 2nd Level pages. He says that these aren't necessarily highly trafficked pages on your site. Yet these are supposed to be sub-indices for your primary phrases?

It seems like my 2nd level pages would be my main search terms. Yet I am supposed to look upon these as indices that only reinforce a theme, but don't attract surfer traffic?

Should I use the primary terms to define the subdirectories, and have pages targeting the 2-word terms within that as well? Something like this?
www.mydomain.com/management-training/management-training.htm

2) When do you link across pages within your site, and when do you not? Brett's article implies that you don't link across within a level. Yet, another discussion here implies that you do ( [webmasterworld.com...] ). In other words when or how do you put up walls between content to reinforce a sub-theme (or do you at all)?

3) How do I handle common navigation links without diluting a subtheme?

I have a traditional left-hand side set of navigation links using images. At leas one will go to one of sub-indices (e.g. tips or techniques), but some will go directly to deep content such as a product sales pitch.

Should I just make them cgi script links so that the spider can't follow it? Is using an image link (versus HTML text link) enough to keep from damaging the subtheme?

4) If I create sub-directories, am I hurting my page ranking? I thought pages were supposed to be close to root (maybe this is just old SEO info in my part).

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any help you can give me I really appreciate.

 

rcjordan




msg:270167
 6:54 pm on Nov 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'll pick a one-liner...

>3) How do I handle common navigation links without diluting a subtheme?

Mix your menu coding. I'm using javascript menus for human navigation, hallway pages and static links for spiders. I'm going to switch to SSI for better global and regional control the static links.

WebGuerrilla




msg:270168
 7:52 pm on Nov 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

My inclination is to pick #1) Management Training as the Level 1 overall theme of my site. Because this is the most trafficked term. It is also the major category that both ODP and Yahoo use. At this point my head starts to hurt as I try to figure out how to come up with subtopics if I use this as a overall them for the site.

That would be my choice. It very well could be your long-term phrase, but it should be the focus of the home page of your main site.

Regarding subtopics, I would focus on additional variations of your core term. The thing to remember is that there is a ton of search activity for secondary variations of most terms that quite often won't make it on the radar screen with tools like Wordtracker.

Some examples of additional top-level content might be things like

management training techniques
management training tips
management training tools
management training products

You could even expand further and come up with a management training FAQ that would enable you to create dozens of pages that reinforce your core phrase. Each would have a unique title, but every page contains the phrase management training.

Something like Management Training FAQ - How do I convince my managers they need training?

Should I use the primary terms to define the subdirectories, and have pages targeting the 2-word terms within that as well? Something like this?
www.mydomain.com/management-training/management-training.htm

I would use your subdirectories to target your secondary phrases. Something like:

www.mydomain.com
www.mydomain.com/management_techniques/index.html
www.mydomain.com/mangagement_tips/index.html
www.mydomain.com/mangement_faq/index.html

You could then title each subdirectory home page something like:

Management Training Techniques

Management Training Tips

Management Training Questions

That approach sets the stage for those pages to be returned for a fairly broad set of keyword combinations.

When do you link across pages within your site, and when do you not? Brett's article implies that you don't link across within a level. Yet, another discussion here implies that you do ( [webmasterworld.com...] ). In other words when or how do you put up walls between content to reinforce a sub-theme (or do you at all)?

They way I approach it is to create a nav structure that includes a link to the home page and subdirectory home pages on every page on the site. These links would be text links and they would include the related phrases.

Using the previous examples, the links might look something like:

mangagement training homemangement training tipsmangement training techniques

The indivdual pages within the subdirectories would only be linked within the specific diretory.

That creates a scenario where a handful of pages have a great deal of internal links, which makes an engine like Google think that those are the most important pages.

I have a traditional left-hand side set of navigation links using images. At leas one will go to one of sub-indices (e.g. tips or techniques), but some will go directly to deep content such as a product sales pitch.

Why have your sales pitch content deep in the site? I would make my product pages top level and them to the master navigation as well. Spmething like:

mydomain.com
mydomain.com/product_1.html
mydomain.com/product_2.html
mydomain.com/directory_1/
mydomain.com/directory_2/

etc....

I would also make sure that you add text link navigation so that you can get the benefit of your keywords in the hyperlinks.

Regarding the other potential topics, you'd probablly be better off going after them with a separate site or subdomain. Especially with a topic like HR.

While it's true that people in the HR field might very well be interested in your products, it is a whole different keyword niche that comes with its own directory categories and hundreds of strong, well-established sites. Putting your sales message in front of that particular crowd will probablly require a lot of time and work. Trying to do it on your main site would end up being counter productive to your core terms.

(edited by: WebGuerrilla at 5:51 pm (gmt) on Nov. 29, 2001)

egomaniac




msg:270169
 7:08 pm on Nov 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much for the detailed responses. It really helps to have people to discuss this with. Plus, my head hurts less now when I think about this :)

WebGuerilla, the gist of what you are suggesting seems to be develop the site around the highest traffic relevant term. Setting up a separate domain for another term like HR is probably the best approach. The rule of thumb seems to be here that if the phrases have no words in common, and if they have separate ODP/Yahoo categories, then do a new domain. You'll be more competitive with it, and you won't dilute the theme of your first domain.

I am still unsure on a couple of areas.

1) In your example above of setting up subdirs, your titles are different than the page urls. Was this intentional?

I see by the titles you chose how that will reinforce the main theme of the site, thus yielding lots of pages for variations of the primary search term (as well as creating a page with a lot of relevant/on-sub-theme internal links).

But what about targeting specific terms such as Management Tips or Management Techniques (which your example urls are named after, but the titles are not)? Are you expecting these index pages to capture people searching for both Management Tips and Management Training Tips? Seems like it would only rank highly for the latter term?

So where / how would I do page with a specific term like Management Tips in the title (as opposed to a page with the term Management Training Tips in the title)?

My inclination was to setup subdirs for these terms (without the word Training in the titles). But perhaps this is why I was getting confused.

2) What to do with terms like Executive Tips and Executive Techniques? The first word is different, but the second word is shared with some of my other phrases. Also, these terms are found in the same ODP/Yahoo categories (these are just example terms - the actual terms are even more similar than these two).

Would I put these terms under its synonym subdirectory (e.g. Executive Tips as ../management_tips/executive_tips.htm)? Or would I setup another subdirectory and vary it with multiple pages?

I guess what I am getting at, is in language usage, these terms are pretty similar and "reinforce" each other. But I don't understand the SEs well enough to know how they will treat it. Since the words are different, the SEs could just be dumb bots, and hence I would be diluting the subtheme by combining these terms.

3) I am also a bit confused about your suggestion on the nav structure. You suggest putting the subdir index pages as text links on every page across the site. On the plus side this will make those pages appear even more "important". But won't this dilute the focus of such a page by having more "off-topic" pages pointing at it than on topic (subtopics that is)?

I realize that I maybe totally off-base on this last one because I don't fully understand your recommended strategy that I ask about in item #1 above of this reply post.

PS - WG, I love your suggestion about setting up an FAQ, and thanks also for the reminder about all of the secondary searches around a primary term. I sort of forgot how big a deal this can be.

paynt




msg:270170
 3:06 pm on Nov 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

This is a good discussion and Iím not sure how I missed it but thanks for the invite egomaniac.

Letís see if some of my ideas can help.

My content consists of articles and newsletters that I have written around my main topic (which I can break-up and reuse however I need to).

Point 1: Perfect. Letís start here. You have the content to develop your site and I suggest this is where you want to begin. What will make your site interesting and unique in your industry is you and what you have to offer. Much of what your theme will and is about comes from this pool so much of your research can begin here. Use this content to determine what your site is about.

Break this information up into the base of what it is that your site will ultimately be about. From here you will find your most import sub-topics and keywords. As you are taking this information apart patterns will begin to emerge and youíll see gaps where you will want to develop additional content to fill.

This is where I usually start my research and from each section I begin to develop here I seek out what others are doing (competitors or industry leaders) to support their interpretation of that particular section. Sometimes itís their keywords or how they break down the individual section that I find useful in filling those gaps.

With each section I then break these down into what the individual pages need to be to support that section. These are often individual products or the specific service or an answer to a specific question. This is where I figure out what the headings will be, what text links Iíll need to use to get there, what my title and description for the page is. All of these are the features that support the theme of that section. Develop each section as a whole that can stand-alone but when attached to the other sections not only makes sense but also supports the more universal theme of what the site will be about.

My strategy with the site has been to offer a lot of interesting content to the surfer to build credibility, and eventually lead them to a sales letters for one of the products/services.
.

Point 2: Upfront is the sales pitch and support that with the content they can find a click away. Plus you will want to continue to emphasize the sales pitch along the way but thatís probably better discussed in one of the other forums, perhaps we can see what Content has to offer.

To do this effectively, most or all of the content need to have text links to these sales letters. If I create 3-keyword phrases that target these products/services, they would be "on-target", but they would be low-traffic.

Point 3: Donít even worry about low traffic at this point, although thatís always a part of the picture. What you are talking about here is how you will navigate from one part of your site to another. Text links are crucial and what text you use is the key. With the themes you want to stay on target. As I suggested in point 1 these text link issues are developed there.

Yes, I know targeted is good. I believe however that I can draw people in from broader search terms, keep em on the site with good content, and then sell them a focused product with a good sales pitch (or at least get em signed up for a newsletter).

Point 4: Targeting your market is simply a way of pre-qualifying your client before they visit. You are just making it easier for those that are looking for what you have to offer find you. This does not exclude the more universal market. All of your statement applies equally to the targeted market.

So here is my challenge: How do I organize my search terms into a theme hierarchy for my site?

Point 5: Iím not going to use the specific terms you found if they arenít your actual terms but I will address this in a more general way so it can perhaps help others not in this specific industry. This question though is what makes this discussion fit the keyword forum.

From the content (Point 1) you have broken it down to separate sections then each section breaks down to the individual parts. These are where your keywords come from. Along with the research you do industry wide and using whatever tools that work for you. Itís not the individual keywords that make the theme but the themes (developed from the content) that determine the keywords. Work from what you have to offer and not some outside force that you are trying to fit your product/services into.

If you develop each section so that it can stand alone, and I use canonicals to do this, then I determine the most effective way to tie those individual sections so that

1. They support each other and the universal theme of the site

2. They make sense. With a pet I may need a section on cats, one on dogs, and one on birds but that doesnít mean these sections should directly connect to each other. I may need a common section that can pull these together without diluting the individual parts. Such is true with any industry, at least in my experience.

Brett and many others who theme see it as a pyramid and I donít dispute that theory. My vision is different as I see themes as a solar system or a planet with revolving satellites. Some of these satellites connect to each other, not necessarily up-line. They all connect to the main planet. Itís how you go about connecting them that supports and strengthens the universal theme.

This is a long post so Iíll stop here and address the other questions when I get back from running kids around :)

paynt




msg:270171
 3:30 pm on Nov 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

Actually before I leave I need to clarify something for anyone reading my initial comments here.

Pyramid vs Solar System

I don't want anyone to think I'm looking at this in that way or that it's an either or. I believe each section or satellite is developed with the pyramid approach but the way I then connect these individual pyramids/satellites is not in and up-line fashion and I know that that has led to some confussion in the past when folks were trying to figure the whole theme thing. That's a discussion outside of the Keyword forum and perhaps I'll take it up at some further point.

Hopefully that's clear.

WebGuerrilla




msg:270172
 5:45 pm on Nov 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

I was wondering how long it would take for our Thememaster to jump into this thread. :)

But what about targeting specific terms such as Management Tips or Management Techniques (which your example urls are named after, but the titles are not)? Are you expecting these index pages to capture people searching for both Management Tips and Management Training Tips? Seems like it would only rank highly for the latter term?

The factor that I consider when determining title/descriptions for the pages is the overall level of optimization/competition for each specific phrase.

If you spend some time at a few engines searching for each of your terms, you'll be able to get a good idea about which phrases you will need to specificly target in your titles, and which ones you can get ranked for using a partial match strategy.

For example, if you do a search at AV for management training and management tips, you will see that both phrases return extremely high page counts. However, the difference between the two is that the management training results has an extremey high percentage of exact matches in the title, and the management tips results do not. In a case liket that, you probably don't need two separate pages to rank well for both terms. (Another great way to get an idea on keyword placement is to use Google's cache. The color highligting makes it very easy to see patterns).

I am also a bit confused about your suggestion on the nav structure. You suggest putting the subdir index pages as text links on every page across the site. On the plus side this will make those pages appear even more "important". But won't this dilute the focus of such a page by having more "off-topic" pages pointing at it than on topic (subtopics that is)?

My comments about the navigation structure were really more about link analysis rather than themeing. The two components are very similar, but in this day and age, I think link analysis plays a much bigger role, so my views may differ somewhat from others on the best way to structure content.

I personally don't believe that there are any negative repercussions from cross linking sub topics within the framework of a broad topic. If there is any type of penalty for doing it, it is dramatically outweighed by the added benefit in terms of link analysis.

Using Paynt's pet example, I definitely would link dogs, cats and birds together in the same manner that I outlined in my first post.

A great example of the type of structure I think works best is about.com. Their dog site is located in their House & Home section. Within the dog site you will find links to many indiviual sub directories that address all the various dog sub-topics. You will also find links to the horse, fish and cat sites on every page within the dog site.

That pattern is repeated across all the other individual pet sites, and each pet site links to the House & Home page.

Now from a pure themes perspective one could argue that cross linking exotic fish and horses would dilute their respective themes, but I think it's pretty difficult to come up with any examples that support that idea. Until someone knocks Google of the top of the mountain, I would cross-link sub-topics that tie into your main theme.

TallTroll




msg:270173
 6:25 pm on Nov 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

Classic thread. This should go in the Library already. I've flagged it and when I've re-read it about a million times, I shall begin to comprehend it as well

paynt




msg:270174
 7:37 pm on Nov 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hereís my part 2 and if youíre not too bored I will then move on to part 3.

These were some very complex questions and Iím sorry but take up a lot of room to try and respond.

Very good points on linking WebGuerrilla and itís true what you say about crosslinking. If you approach it in the purest sense of the word then you may want to take a look at it from my position. Not that mine is any better or that I donít push the envelope myself. With the pet theme though, one I have used in reality, I did on accident crosslink my cats with my dogs and I did see dilution which took several months to rectify. Since I cleaned that up the individual satellites appear stronger. That may be a tough one to prove though because of all the other variables involved. [Itís all in the playground of my mind.]

When it comes to incoming links though I am much less of a purest but thatís a discussion for another day.

Another point Iíd like to make is I am not taking other posts into consideration here with my response. WebGuerrilla makes so many fine points that Iíd get lost if I tried to respond to those along with original post I was asked to comment on. Hopefully as we digest this we will all have a chance to look at each of the parts in question.

One reason I am getting confused is my main terms are somewhat synonymous without all using the same root word (i.e. they don't all use just "management" as a root word). So while exec training and management training are similar in my mind, and perhaps the surfers mind, what about the SEs (particularly Google)?

Point 6: [I am other using points for reference purposes so I can relate back to or can be questioned on specific comments. I'd get lost otherwise :)]

Management training is a much broader term than executive training with executive management training even more specific. If I were creating a theme around this I would opt for the more specific executive management training and work back from there. Building a page around this term, leading back to the more generalized pages that act as facilitators of the more specific and focused terms.

With management training you have executives, mid management, foremen, team leaders and the list goes on. If you have the content to support each of these they can be the bottom of the pyramid or the spokes on the wheel that tie into a more generalized management training page. These act to support the theme of management training.

My inclination is to pick #1) Management Training as the Level 1 overall theme of my site. Because this is the most trafficked term. It is also the major category that both ODP and Yahoo use. At this point my head starts to hurt as I try to figure out how to come up with subtopics if I use this as a overall them for the site.

Point 7: Big question Ė Is this really what your site about or are we speaking in general terms and using Management Training as an example?

You have a good point here and one that I depend on in developing any site. I always go to the directories initially to see where my site will ultimately fit. How are the directories structuring this type of information? Take your clues from there. Many sites are attracted to getting listed in the highest level available for what they have to offer. Others follow the rule of thumb that motivates them to find the closest niche category that fits.

My way of thinking of subtopics is to ask myself "what is an example of this?"

Point 8: I will refer again to Point 1 above because this is how I determine my sub-topics. I actually get my main theme from my sub-topics not the other way around.

The questions that follow relate specifically to the terms Management this and that and I prefer to keep my comments more general. Iíll also let Brett comment on specific pyramid questions.

Should I use the primary terms to define the subdirectories, and have pages targeting the 2-word terms within that as well? Something like this?
www.mydomain.com/management-training/management-training.htm

Point 9: Everyone has their own method of structuring a site and I think each is dependent on so many variables. I can only speak for myself here. I often [not always] use canonicals and a search for that term will provide much content on many of my theories.

Basically what it comes down to for me is each satellite is a separate canonical. I try to not take it out more that three levels from my base canonical. The canonical page itself is often a general explanation of what that canonical is about with a lead into each of the support sub-topics Iím including. The next level are the pages I need to support this canonical. Pets are my favorite examples because the are so obvious.

cat.mypetsite.com/health/
cat.mypetsite.com/health/disease/
cat.mypetsite.com/health/hairball/
cat.mypetsite.com/product/
cat.mypetsite.com/product/leash/
cat.mypetsite.com/product/bowl/

If I need to then I can take bowl down to specific companies or color or whatever works to support my overall theme of cats

This is a long post again so stay tuned if youíre interested and Iíll see if I can wind this up. I hope this is of some use to you egomaniac and others as well. These are only meant to be examples and certainly doesnít come close to the level of information that Brett provided in:
Themes part 1
[webmasterworld.com...]
Themes part 2
[webmasterworld.com...]

Iíve also gathered many of the theme and canonical discussions into
[webmasterworld.com...]

paynt




msg:270175
 3:42 am on Nov 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hello egomaniac, Iím back. When I was reviewing what Iíd written here I again looked at the topic you presented originally with the sub topic ďKeywords with Similar Meaning Get ConfusingĒ. I hope I donít stray to far a field from this portion of the question because in itself I think thatís a very good question.

When do you link across pages within your site, and when do you not? Brett's article implies that you don't link across within a level. Yet, another discussion here implies that you do (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum8/229.htm ). In other words when or how do you put up walls between content to reinforce a sub-theme (or do you at all)?

Point 10: That is such a great couple of questions. This is the point where my theories deviate from the pyramid theory Brett has developed. I would prefer that Brett answer on his theory with the pyramid. I have a feeling it may be purer in theory than mine.

I do crosslink in more than a straight line and I believe the discussion you sighted reinforces my theory on this. I think linking in itself is an art form and we can give ourselves many opportunities to be creative with it.

For me this linking is all about what makes sense. I know I keep repeating this but thatís what makes this so easy. Again with the pets and WebGuerrilla I warn you this may be triggering :) because this is where we differ in our approach.

I believe if someone is looking for information on dogs then dogs is what I should give them, in its purest form. In fact, if they are really here for dogs then the more dog info I give them the better. In the long run for me thereís a good chance Iíll hook them with my incredible dog stuff. I havenít diluted their thinking by throwing a bit about cats or fish. Itís the same with themes. The folks visiting and the theme engines can trust me because I show that I can provide the content on dogs and I support that with my links (and anchor text), with my headings, with my alt tags and image names etc and so on.

Now, if one of my satellites is about dogs and one about cats, how can I possibly bring these two together and still make sense. Iíve really determined in Point 1 that my site is about pets. This is the Point 1 stuff weíve determined originally when we looked at the content we had to provide for the site and began to break it into the sub topics. The satellite or canonical about pets can act as a unifier to bring what would appear topically to be polar opposite themes together. Where I find these opportunities to combine like themes is where I link.

If by chance we have then a satellite about pet with a sub topic on health, and then one on cat health and a more general pet health I would link the cat health and dog health to the pet health, even though they are not up line from each other but are instead in separate satellites.

Again, I find myself at a stopping point. If Iím getting on any ones nerves here or itís too much then sticky me to stop. Otherwise, stay tuned because I havenít made my way yet through your first post egomaniac. Iím sure you werenít asking for a book when you suggested I visit this discussion. I think I just needed a brain buzz or something. Iíve been drinking way too much coffee :)

egomaniac




msg:270176
 4:51 am on Nov 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

This is great, thanks paynt and WG for further detailed posts. I find the more info the better.

I am getting a lot out of this, and how to theme my site is becoming clearer to me. There seem to be some different approaches that may all be valid given the unique situation of the target website.

>>>How do you divine the Sun?<<<

I like the Solar System analogy. Divining the proper sun for it seems to be key. Do this right, and life forms grow on many of the planets. Do it wrong, and you just have a mess of disorganized matter.

In my example, one could divine the sun to be about "management". Very broad and general. This would encompass all subtopics. And for a large site, this might be the appropriate thing to do. It would be a very "pure" approach.

The purity of this approach would sacrifice the impact of having a high traffic phrase on the home page such as "management training".

But then again, I guess what really matters is do I have enough material on a wide variety of subtopics that would make this truly a "management" supersite?

Currently I don't. So how do I set a framework in place so that as I build more content and fill out these other subthemes, I can chunk-up and broaden the main theme of my site?

>>>Similar but different keywords<<<

How does the SE know that dogs and cats are pets? How will it know that tips and techniques are aspects of training? I guess this is because we tell the SE so when we setup a theme page (subdirectory/canonical index page)?

I think this gets into the whole Term Vector concept, of which I am only vaguely aware. But I understand that the base TV #s are based upon the Yahoo or ODP category structure and some of the pages in it.

>>>Cross-linking at 2nd Level<<<

Perhaps the best approach depends upon overall topic, or the amount of content in the site or both. It seems that some topics could lend themselves to more of a pyramid structure, where the 2nd levels possibly closer in meaning. If so, cross-linking more could be beneficial. On the other hand, if the 2nd levels were further apart in meaning, then this would be more of a solar system approach.

This also seems to touch upon a classic Google linkage debate: Do off-theme links hurt you, or do they just count for less? I don't know if anyone knows the answer for sure on this one.

>>>Any Size minimums for canonicals<<<

If I only have 10-15 pages per canonical, will breaking my site into 4 or 5 subthemes work? Extremely subjective question I know. Maybe not even answerable here, but I thought I'd throw it out.

paynt




msg:270177
 5:27 am on Nov 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have a few questions about implementing themes.

Is that honestly how this whole thing started? Remind me to lay off coffee.

I like the Solar System analogy. Divining the proper sun for it seems to be key. Do this right, and life forms grow on many of the planets. Do it wrong, and you just have a mess of disorganized matter.

Youíre growing on me egomaniac. With the dozen of things going on in my world right now this topic has hooked me. Go figureÖ

It wonít be a mess though because there are so many paths up the mountain and it all looks the same from the top. Iím just laying out one of the paths. Ask a dozen people how they got there and youíll get a dozen answers. Such is the beauty and art of what we all do. And wouldnít you just love it if all 12 decided to opt in and tell you like it is?

The clue is to set a path and follow it. Be it themes or whatever. If itís themes then is it the pyramid path or the satellite path? Or some other theme path not yet defined? Who knows that but youíll be posting 6 months from now with a whole new approach and weíll all be waiting with baited breath for the next installment :)

This is of course a little in fun but also to gain some perspective. I am only one of many who do what we do. To share that is nothing more than a gift of our own knowledge and experience. Something that is not lacking around this place.

Iím going to let this post stand alone as a commercial or something and Iíll get back to the regular programming in a moment, once I catch my breath :)

paynt




msg:270178
 2:04 pm on Nov 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Ok, feedback shows the folks appear to be ok with me highjacking the board for a bit to ramble on. Please donít let that stop you from posting though. This is a discussion board so discuss.

How do I handle common navigation links without diluting a subtheme?


Point 11: rcjordan answered this one and I couldnít do it better. If thereís a common navigation that needs to be included on each page then java is great because humans see it but spiders donít. Others can way in on technical ways to keep spiders from following or better yet point you to discussions weíve already held on this.

To keep themes pure though I always use text links on each page and include the relevant anchor data as mentioned in Point 1. I also follow RCís recommendation with hallway pages to facilitate larger groups of links within a theme. Spider food. My first level canonical pages have links to all their downstream second level pages. Each second level includes all the third level pages and so on.

If I create sub-directories, am I hurting my page ranking? I thought pages were supposed to be close to root (maybe this is just old SEO info in my part).

Ah, PR and that takes us to Google. In spirit of trying to stay on theme with the theme of this forum on keywords Iím going to suggest thatís a perfect stand alone question for the Google forum. Thereís also a good chance you can get Chris R to weigh in as well so Iíd suggest bring that up there.

I think thatís it for your first post. Later youíve added this question

So how do I set a framework in place so that as I build more content and fill out these other subthemes, I can chunk-up and broaden the main theme of my site?

Thatís where these canonicals or satellites come into play. Every site I build develops over time. I may be adding to each a little bit here to one a little more to another. Start with the content that you do have and work on developing and building that. Give yourself room to wiggle and grow in laying out the structure of your site and continue to feed it and fill the gaps as you develop the material. I think you are a whole lot better off being the best in your smaller niche with the option to expand towards the bigger picture than taking on the whole universe and losing the expert status in the process. This is a great question and I hope others will weigh in with what the do in this situation.

How does the SE know that dogs and cats are pets? How will it know that tips and techniques are aspects of training? I guess this is because we tell the SE so when we setup a theme page (subdirectory/canonical index page)?

Ok, confess you took a class in asking great questions.

I donít think it can be said better than what Brett wrote here
[searchengineworld.com...]

If I only have 10-15 pages per canonical, will breaking my site into 4 or 5 subthemes work? Extremely subjective question I know. Maybe not even answerable here, but I thought I'd throw it out.

PageCount sent me a sticky on this one so fess up PageCount and throw it in.

My answer is yes. Some of my canonicals are only three pages because that is all I have to offer on the subject and these can be powerful three page wonders.

Ok, we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. Please discuss folks. Iíll be around today but I have a very busy weekend planned with the kids and Neil Diamond (tickets) on Sunday :)

People have asked recently why I give so much away. I love that :)
[webmasterworld.com...]

tedster




msg:270179
 11:03 am on Dec 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

4) If I create sub-directories, am I hurting my page ranking? I thought pages were supposed to be close to root (maybe this is just old SEO info in my part).

Lots of people say this, but IMO it's a red herring that comes from wrong assumptions in studying Google data. On most sites, the farther pages are from the root, the fewer links they have coming from elsewhere on the site. That's what hurts the PR ó fewer internal links, not the page's "distance" from the root.

When studying data, a strong relationship between two characteristics (such as lower Page Rank and a page's depth in the directory structure) does not necessarily indicate that a "cause and effect" has been uncovered. In this case, if you read the original PR paper, you will see that the mathematical model that PR is based on supports what I just said. The PR math has nothing to do with directory structures whatsoever.

So I'd say definitely create those subdirectories, but also create those "solar system" linking structures. I've seen pages several levels deep get a higher PR than the site's main index! It's rare, but strong internal linking can make it happen.

paynt




msg:270180
 9:53 pm on Dec 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think this is a nice tie in question to this discussion, especially as it relates to crosslinking.

Themes - Crosslinking vs. Duplicate Content [webmasterworld.com]

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Marketing and Biz Dev / Keyword Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved