Website Structure - How Google Friendly Is Your Architecture?
Webmasters are at the mercy of and the beck and call of the infamous Google guidelines. While it may drive us crazy at times, there is a method to their madness, and yes, most of their guidelines are in place for good reasons. In short, you want Google to be your BFF. One way to ensure that you're best buds with Google is with your website structure. The methodology behind good site structure will not only put a smile on the Google spiders, it will also make your life easier, particularly when it comes to content management and growth.
The best way to structure your site is by using the 'tree structure'. This structure is very simple, you have your Home page, which links to your main categories or topics, which in turn link to your sub pages, and so forth. Your goal is to keep relevant content together in specific sections. For example, if you had a site on Texas Holdem Poker, your home page would introduce visitors to your site and your topic, you would then have main categories, such as Strategy, Reviews of Poker Sites, Poker News, and so forth, You would create a folder for each of these main categories in your root directory. Pages of content for these topics would be placed inside the folder for that main category. For example all content related to poker strategy would be placed in your strategy folder, and all pages reviewing poker sites would be placed in your reviews folder.
The artificial intelligence that drives Google crawling and indexing is themed relevance focused. A theme in the case of our examples would be established with each of the main category folders and their related content. Google gives great consideration to a well organized site with well established themed relevance. The more content you have on a particular theme, the more relevant Google will consider you when it comes to that topic. Your site would be given priority in the SERPS over another site with only one page on a given topic as they have not established strong theme relevance.
Along with pleasing Google, a well structured and organized site also provides a better experience for your visitors. It makes for more effective navigation, and an intuitive and user friendly experience, which will make your visitors more likely to stay longer and come back for more. The tree structure also makes life easier for you when you expand your site's content or update your content. It is very much worth your effort to take the time to really think through your site structure and systematically map out relevant content sections. We recommend you create a visual map of your site prior to beginning work on it. A simplified example would be this:
Google is the one place where the popularity contest is not only alive and well, but its the key to survival. Following good site structure practices will help improve your popularity status with Google, please your visitors, make life easier for you to manage content, and improve your chances at ranking well in the SERPS. All good payouts for simply using solid, common sense practices.