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Is it Best to Build Less Deep Now?

     
4:46 pm on Aug 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am looking through the google serps and am launching a new site within the next week. It seems keyword density counts alot now. More so then ever. So having a site that is 4 levels deep before you hit product, I am thinking now, I should make the site 3 levels deep and put all "grouped" category onto one page rather then running it that extra level deep. Saves PR from having to travel that one extra level and my keyword will be higher on this page. What do you all think? It looks like this is the way to do it now.. with the new results I am seeing. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
Chris

1:19 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I should make the site 3 levels deep and put all "grouped" category onto one page rather then running it that extra level deep. Saves PR from having to travel that one extra level and my keyword will be higher on this page.

Yeah, this sounds like a good idea to me. As long as your keyword/keyphrase is not too competitive. If it's very competitive, you might want to consider the tradeoff between having a more specific keyword/keyphrase and having the pages be at a higher level.

Also, I'm finding that - on my site - the pages at deeper levels are having a harder time getting into the google index. Or maybe just a longer time. I'm still waiting. (These are new pages on an old site.)

Beth

1:59 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Now there can be a difference between linking depth and path depth. It can be quite adventageous not to put any pages into subdirectories, PR wise, as this seems to knock down PR before you even start (see virtual PR) - google assumes these pages are already less relevant.

If your site is dynamic then you should not have trouble in placing all your pages at domain.com/root.htm level.

Now for the visitors - the visitors will need easy navigation - I doubt that 4 layers would be easiest for them? Or I may be very wrong. All is site dependant.

It can work very well if you can closely group products to do as you suggest and put a L3 page with the whole group of products on it - including the important info, photo, etc. - but then to also include a "More details" link on each one. You don't want visitors to have to scroll down 3 pages worth to see the product they want - they probably won't do it, sale gone.

Of course I'm sure you realise all of this, best wishes, Vince^3

5:31 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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PR depends on the link structure, not on the (physical) location. Therefore, it doesn't matter where you place the pages.

I would reorganize the site. I think 3 levels are better for the user. (Although, the answer depends on the specific site.) However, I wouldn't reduce the number of pages (by putting a category onto one page). The disadvantage of splitting PR is less important than the possibility of optimizing the different pages for different phrases/keywords (i.e. title).

Also, I would add a sitemap and some deep links from the index page to the most important content pages. Some deep links from external pages as well as some cross links (between the content pages) might help.

5:45 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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PR depends on the link structure, not on the (physical) location. Therefore, it doesn't matter where you place the pages.

I agree.

A clarification of my previous post: By "deeper level" I mean more clicks away from home page (not deeper in directory structure).

Beth

6:17 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The linking schemes change from site to site but I agree for a new site more Breadth then Depth helps initially. As far as links and PR goes these days with so hectic link exchanges going on it would not be difficult to find partners who exchange with inner pages. HTH :)
7:18 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If your site is dynamic then you should not have trouble in placing all your pages at domain.com/root.htm level.

how many files would you put into the root dir (win2k, iis) without harming performance (file access and the like)?

10:49 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>"PR depends on the link structure, not on the (physical) location. Therefore, it doesn't matter where you place the pages."

Does anyone have any evidence to support this one way or another? I've always thought that directory location probably IS taken into account in some way (it seems logical to me that a page in the root directory probably contains more relevant infomation than a page that is three directories down).

10:54 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually exactly the poosite is true.

The root page ahs something in common with all teh others. The further down the tree, the more focused is any particular page, and the more interesting and usefull to the searcher for information. the root page will only be usefull to link through to the leaf page, and therefore it will be MORE usefull for google to rank the leaf page first for the search.

SN

11:26 pm on Aug 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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how many files would you put into the root dir (win2k, iis) without harming performance (file access and the like)?

I've been wondering the same thing, but for Apache over Linux. My hosting company doesn't seem to care, but I do.

I have one site with over 200 pages in the top level, with more to be added soon. Can this be a problem?

12:11 am on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>(it seems logical to me that a page in the root directory probably contains more relevant infomation than a page that is three directories down

>>Actually exactly the poosite is true.

Natch. Neither statement is inherently true or false. Relevance isn't dictated by structure or lack of structure.

>>Saves PR from having to travel that one extra level

PageRank is calculated by page and will follow a link from the index page as easily as it will follow links from directory index pages. Problems arise when you daisy chain pages and that can be done with or without creating a hierarchical directory structure. If the majority of your inbound links are pointed at your index page then it's up to you to distribute the PR as you see fit.

5:28 am on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Keyword density is not that important.

I see no evidence that keyword density is more relevant now than it was a few months ago.

A site can place in the top ten on a keyword or phrase without even having those terms on the page.

Achor text is where the action is.

As far as your linking structure goes; Try to design your site so that it's good for the user. Does having your product 4 levels deep make sense, from a users perspective?

From a search engine stand-point, your main keywords should be targetted by the upper level pages(which usually has a higher PR), while less compititive keywords are targetted by lower level pages.

5:50 am on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey Guys,
Thanks for all the comments. I do disagree that keyword density is not more important though. As I look in my industry (very competitive ecommerce) I see keyword density is basically king at this point. The more times you can get it on a page, your set. I see link pages for this one reason for one competitor that link to his product pages from inside his site. The name of the page is even xyzlinkpage.html. I see the spacing of keywords seems more important now too.
For example, if searching for blue widgets a page named "blue widgets" will show up before "blue industrial widgets" atleast when I was checking yesterday this seems to be true.

Well the one thing is, say take a camera site. The way I have the site set up, for cannon G3 digital cameras, I have an accessories section, so I put Cannon G3 Camera Accessories, then I made a section called cases, a section for cards and a section for batteries. Well people can then click on cases and see all the cases for the Canon G3. So by eliminating the section inside the Cannon G3 section called cases, I loose that page title for plural, (which will loose me all sales for anyone who searches for "canon G3 cases) but by making one page for the Canon G3 and putting all items on it, (the customer can click on the item link which will go into the product page)seems like I will save PR from having to drop one more level and increase keyword density.

Any other thoughts on that?

Thanks!

6:57 am on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone have any evidence to support this one way or another? I've always thought that directory location probably IS taken into account in some way (it seems logical to me that a page in the root directory probably contains more relevant infomation than a page that is three directories down).

For PR calculation, the location doesn't play a role. Of course, in most of the cases the main page have higher PR than the content pages because normally most of the incoming links going to the main page.

Also, index pages might get a benefit in ranking (it depends on Google's algorithm), but there is no benefit for PR.

12:02 pm on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Does anyone have any evidence to support this one way or another?

Yes, there are many articles on page rank including the original paper by the those two guys who invented PR thing. Directory structure has nothing to do with PR. Link structure has everything to do with it.

Directory depth used to be directly related to guessed PR. It used to drop 1 point for every directory level. But guessing on the toolbar has stopped as far as I can see. It may still be going on behind the scenes and may even be contributing to the ranking until the real PR value is attributed.

With digitalghost on this one.