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Site Architecture

A site’s architecture refers to the structure of pages on a website and how they are linked together. Site architecture affects how search engine’s crawl a website and how users navigate through a site. As an important factor for SEO, our Hangout Notes cover best practice guidance and advice to ensure your site architecture is optimally structured. To learn more about the ins and outs of this topic, make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to Site Architecture Optimisation.

Noindex Search Results Pages and Nofollow Search Navigation

You should noindex your own search results pages as they are generally lower quality, but you can disallow them if they are causing a problem with the server load from being crawled. You can nofollow links on the search navigation to prevent crawling but you should probably have followed links on the results pages which can be useful for finding new pages if they are crawled.

7 Oct 2016

URLs Are Only Used to Identify Pages

Google uses URLs mainly to identify pages, so grouping pages by path structure doesn’t make a difference.

8 Jul 2016

Depth of Content Affects Crawl Rates

If content is buried deep in the site, it might take longer for Google to discover it, or changes. so improving internal linking from higher levels will help pages be crawled faster.

28 Jun 2016

High Volume of Sitewide Links Make It Harder To Understand Connections Between Pages

John recommends against high volumes of sitewide navigation links which make it harder for for Google to understand the connections between the pages.

17 May 2016

Google Identifies Boilerplate Content

John discusses how Google tries to understand the structure of pages to understand the standard boiler-plate elements of a page.

8 Mar 2016

Use Separate Pages per Language

It’s best to use a separate page for each language than combine multiple languages on a single page.

26 Feb 2016

Content Behind Search Forms May Not Be Seen

Google will have trouble finding all the content on sites with a large number of pages which can only be reached through a search form. John recommends some kind of sensible linking structure.

1 Dec 2015

Migrate Replaced Products to New URLs

If a product is replaced, you can move the old product content to a new archive URL, then put the latest product on the existing URL. This allows the same URL to rank over time, and always serve the latest version of the product, and allow the historical product content to be kept.

27 Mar 2015

Click Depth Will Affect PageRank

The higher the number of clicks from the home page (crawl depth), the lower the pagerank and crawl rate which could affect rankings.

24 Oct 2014

Canonicalised Pages Stay in Google’s Index

Canonicalised pages may remain showing as indexed for site: searches depending on the ‘site structure’. They are no considered as hard as a redirect, and the page can still surface for unique content. Canonical URLs are not crawled immediately, like a redirect would be. John suggests that if you have a large number of incorrect canonical tags, such as many pages canonicalising to a single page, they might ignore all canonical tags across the site. Google makes a clear recommendation that cleaning up broken canonical tags is a good idea.

29 Aug 2014

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