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Advice on Website Structure

     
6:24 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a very general websites about Widgets.

Part of my blog will be about:

Widget Food
Widget Food Reviews
Widget Food Recalls
Widget Food Coupons

Which would be better:

widget.com/food/
widget.com/food/reviews
widget.com/food/recalls
widget.com/food/coupons

or

widget.com/food/
widget.com/food-reviews/
widget.com/food-recalls/
widget.com/food-coupons/

Or something else?

Thanks!
9:47 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it makes all that much difference from an SEO perspective.

One consideration, though, is that if you have subdirectories like widget.com/food/recalls and you decide to move an individual page from one category to another, the URL of the page will change. That's not a huge deal, especially if you can easily do a 301 redirect, but it's something to think about.

With the flatter structure, the URL doesn't necessarily have to change when content changes category, so there's no need to do a 301 (which results in a tiny loss of link juice).

Another consideration is the effect on site management -- that's going to depend on your setup, whether you're using a CMS and which one, etc.
10:09 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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IMHO website structure is much less important for SEO reasons. The search engines are looking at so many different quality signals that url structure often does not make a significant impact to your ranking score.

I would be much more concerned about building a url structure that #1 - will be easy to maintain in the long term and #2 - will help branding and usability efforts. A very long url with special characters makes it less likely for a user to pass it along to their friends.

ps hypens have been abused by spammers for so many years that I would suggest you be overly cautious and avoid them as much as possible
10:21 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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URLs ending in a trailing slash should represent either a folder or the index page in a folder.
11:17 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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^ what he said.

Plus I agree, the actual name has pretty much zero impact on SEO these days but does help a user recognise relevance.

Personally, I'd use the trailing slash version and make sure that calls to the versions without a trailing slash resolve to add it to avoid potential duplicate URL issues.
11:27 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Do the proposed directories each represent a single article or a group of articles? One article per directory seems a bit over the top; it would then make more sense to have (with actual filenames)

widget.com/food/index.html
widget.com/food/reviews.html
widget.com/food/recalls.html
widget.com/food/coupons.html

which can be rewritten to taste. It's really two questions, not one: the "real" file structure, and what the user sees.

g1?! What are you doing here? Why aren't you whooping it up in Las Vegas?
5:31 am on Nov 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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With no doubt, go for this structure:
widget.com/food-reviews/
widget.com/food-recalls/
widget.com/food-coupons/

I'd eliminate this one:
widget.com/food/
What type of article you put in this category that you wouldn't put in the other 3?