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I have read a lot on themes these past days and wish to implement it on a client's site. I would like to confirm as to whether themes still work for Google and would converting my site to a pyramid theme be advantageous?
I found Brett's diagram very useful <http://www.searchengineworld.com/engine/theme_pyramids.htm> and the main thing I noticed is that a themed site should consist of levels (subtopics) and should be linked vertically, and not horiontally. Brett mentions that "Then link to the topics above and below, but not across, to reinforce the pages with link text and insite link popularity."
But I am having trouble avoiding linking across levels. The site that I am working with has massive internal linking across levels (sub topics). The topic of the site is such that internal cross links prove quite useful for the users of the site.
At some of my sites this works very well. Example with rankings:
www.companyname.com #1 for company
/general_keyword #7 for general kw
//less_general_keywords #2 for less general kws
///specific_keywords #1 for specific kws
Internal linking structure as BT recommended. Some inter-level linking shouldn'd harm but I would avoid heavy horizontal interlinking.
I don't either rfgdxm1 and I believe google guy even discounted that fact once...not that it hurts to theme obviously but....I firmly believe as many of us that anchor text is KEY...i know this for a fact. I also with all of my links put a short description with my keywords in it next to that anchor text b/c if google can give relevance to what's in anchor text who's to say they can't analyze some of the text around it. This theory has me in the top 5 for all of my keywords across the board with a number of sites. I don't think it matters where a link comes from as long as it can be seen as benefitting the user. I also only link to sites with a pr of 4 or better.
Just my take...
Again I am among one of those who finds the concept of themes logical for building sites. From google point of view not so sure. HTH :)
I agree that Google doesn't seem to have become a theme driven engine yet, and as Searg points out GoogleGuy doesn't seem a huge theming fan, but some engines do and it's the easiest SE friendly site architecture I know of.
If the subject matter is competitive, then probably you'll still need deep links from outside. Also, try to keep within 100 links per page and your 'enhanced pyramid' should do just fine.