Brett_Tabke - 11:30 pm on Mar 20, 2001 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the thread Debra. I've started on a reply to this about a dozen times. I always try to read the first message, make a reply, and then read the rest of the replies after the face (helps keep things on topic). However, I couldn't get going on this one until I read Oils short but sweet response. After that, I couldn't stop thinking about it. There is so much here, it was hard to know where to begin. (also posted over at search engine world) > I've always thought of themes as pyramids Not only is it a good analogy Oil, but an inspiration as well. Theme Pyramid # Seo Value No value Low value
Primary single kw's
On index pages
Secondary 1-2 word kw's
2-3 word kw phrases
on high content pages
2-4 word kw phrases
on prime targeted pages
The whole Themes theory is to look at the site as a whole and compartmentalize it. Start with broad content (1 keyword) and work your way down to the specific keywords you want to target. Then link to the topics above and below, but not across, to reinforce the pages with link text and insite link popularity.
Level 1 : Index Page It may be a shock to some, but the index page has very little SEO rankings value. They rarely rank well -- you will rarely get them to rank well -- there is very little that you can do to change it's ranking. The best you can hope for is if a couple good directory listings come through a engine or two may take notice of your root page. A well ranking root index page is the exception rather than the rule. When one does rank well, it is usually as a result of external off-the-page factors.
If that is the case, then your best course of action for the index page, is to focus it towards the users, usability, and speed. Users that hit the home page are sniffing around for other content, not your home page. Don't try to make it something it isn't. It is a beatified site map - *sniff* - deal with it. I think there is no greater challenge in the SEO industry today, than getting a client over the "I want my home page top ten under my keywords" myth. (tip: I find it helpful to meditate with "I'm not CNN" as a mantra) The index page has two limited SEO roles: 1) as a pretty picture for directory editors reviewing your site, and 2) as spider food to lead to your sub content. Try to link to as much deep content on your index page as possible - yes I know - it is a tall order. However; spiders like first level content. If it is linked off your root page, then many se's will tend to follow at least those links or rank those linked pages higher.
Level 2 Your prime top phrases. These are what are traditionally thought of as hallway pages. They won't necessarily be high traffic pages that you'll want user footsteps on, but are main SEO pages. Try to link to as much on topic deep content as possible. For example: if your site is about cars, and your first subtopic is about engines, then try to link to topics that target (two cycle engines, v6 engines, turbo engines, 5liter engines, rotary engines, engine theory, combustion engines). Stick to all the topic content that is related to engines only. Don't try to cross link with tires or air bags (think vertical).
The level two pages present good opportunity to define any subsection or subsite content you have. As mentioned, try to stay as close to topic with all your links off these pages. They have pretty good SEO value - not great rankings value, but they help define your sites sub-themes and major keywords. Try to link to topics above and below this subtopic, but not to other subtopics.
Level 3 This is into some traditional quality content and the line from this level to level 4/5 can be fuzzy - it is just a question of depth. These are usually thought of as doorway pages to one degree or another. Most of these pages should be linked off your home page. They often have great one or two keyword phrase ranking value. They can be tough to get ranked well because these will often be very competitive keywords.
For example, if your your third level topics are about "internal combustion engines", then target keywords such as (v6 engines, v8 engines, rotary engines, wankle engines, turbo v6 engines, etc).
Level 4 Like level 3, these are more broad but quality content pages you try to target bigger keywords with and use as loss leaders to your base quality content. For example, if your fourth level sub topic is "six cylinder engines", then link to content on your site and offsite that targets those related keywords: (slant six, inline six, straight six, v-six, v6 theory, turbo charging a v6...etc). Don't try to link to talk about tires, clutches, air bags, or any other non-engine talk in the other level 2 categories. Stick to linking with topics above and below in this level.
Level 5 Your money pages. Some site may not need to go this deep. This is your base level site content that you use for search engine food and what your users are really after. Link to all pages above or across in the same category.
Ok, so what does a site look like that uses the above? Here is an example pretty close to home: Theme Keyword Pyramid # Seo Value
(sub content categories)
No value Low value Primary single kw's On index pages (pseudo hallways) Medium value Secondary 1-2 word kw's
High value 2-3 word kw phrases on high content pages Money 2-4 word kw phrases on ultra targeted pages If we had a flat message model where individual messages were available, that would be level 5. And that, as they say, is that... Related: Discussions about Themes at WebmasterWorld: External Related Search Engine Theme Articles: