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Removing navigation - simplifying UI for better rankings. Is less information good?

     
1:10 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm noticing a massive trend of key sites removing filter navigation from their SEO landing pages as part of a clean up and simplifycation of their SEO landing pages.

The tendency is to direct the user to an in depth search page, and/or using HTML navigation links to allow users to drill down.

In replacement, sites are simplifying their screens, removing a lot of content, adding back more space , putting up large photos.

Matt Cutts mentions navigation very briefly here as a potential consideration in his video about Google evaluation raters : [youtube.com...]

What are SEO's and site owner's preferring, and why? Is it producing desired and measureable quality improvements?
6:06 pm on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I imagine the type of navigation considered webspam is likely to be those with many repetitions of keywords.

Information hierarchy, and applying that to website navigation is complex, but I've always found a good structure to pay dividends. The planning stage is where a lot of navigation menus fall down. In terms of usability, the user needs to know "where am I?" and "what can I do next?". Not "what is every possible choice I might make?".

In terms of drilling down, I think it depends what sort of page you have in terms of usability concerns. But getting every combination of filters indexed as unique items of content has never been a good idea for SEO, so perhaps some of the sites you're seeing have finally realised that.
10:57 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That sounds like LP optimization - it's probably not so much about quality as conversion metrics. I can recommend heading over to Marketing Experiments for some tips and hints.