How deep is too deep?

Developer

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OK guys, keep your thoughts and comments clean please ;) Remember,
we do have minors who frequent this forum occasionally.

Seriously though, when it comes to websites, how many levels is too deep
in terms of S.E.O. (or is that even an issue I should be concerned with)?

I am a freak when it comes to having my site as organized as possible,
even down to the link structure. So, when I have a service which is a
sub-service of a sub-service of a sub-service, are there any unwritten
(or written, lol) rules about how many levels deep is too deep for link
structures?

For example, strictly for S.E.O. purposes, which would be the method
I should be using? (Diagram A, B, Either or Neither)



Opinions, comments and knowledge from you S.E.O. experts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

savidge4

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I would be more inclined to move towards "A". I don't think there is such thing as to much depth
 

Developer

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Thank you S4. I know (or think anyway) that the URL has a lot
to do with how well a page ranks as well, so I always try to make
even the URL's as descriptive as possible as well, so that is how
I personally prefer to do them anyway.
 

SEOPub

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General rule of thumb that I use and most SEOs I know use is that there should not be any pages on a site in which it takes more than 3 clicks from the home page to get to it.

Obviously, if you really try you can think of exceptions and reasons that would not work for every single site, but that is the general rule of thumb.
 

Developer

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Developer
Right, but, say the structure is set up like that of Diagram A, but it is in
the navigation structure so that even tho the visitor is going say "5" or
more levels, there is ultimately only 1 click (unless you count hovering
over the menu items which display/open as you mouse over), that is
still acceptable? Correct? (where users actually only click 1 link its just
in a hierarchy form/format)
 

SEOPub

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SEOPub
Well, here is the other thing you have to consider in that structure... Every link on a page makes all of the other links on the same page weaker. If you are including a navigation with links to every page like that, all of those links are showing up on every single page of the site. You are making your internal links weaker.

Large sites like Amazon can get away with having tons of links on a single page because they are Amazon. There is so much linkjuice flowing around it still works.

There is a trade-off between SEO and user experience in the situation you are talking about. The SEO in me would tell you to cut down the links. You can setup a silo structure with a table of contents kind of thing within individual categories to cut down on a lot of the links.

Just something to think about.
 

savidge4

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savidge4
I would absolutely agree with this. Category linking from within your primary nav bar, and then either a customized nav bar per category that would lead to sub-categories, or some type of on page linking structure, on the cat pages.

I like to use the Responsive II theme for this type of setup. As an example if you goto ( uploadwp .com / premium ) on the main page you then click the home link at the top, you will see a new nav bar appears with sub categories. You could very easily load the primary navigation with your primary categories, and then depending on the cat page you are on customize the secondary nav bar for that particular primary category.
 

Developer

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Well, here is the other thing you have to consider in that structure... Every link on a page makes all of the other links on the same page weaker. If you are including a navigation with links to every page like that, all of those links are showing up on every single page of the site. You are making your internal links weaker.

Large sites like Amazon can get away with having tons of links on a single page because they are Amazon. There is so much linkjuice flowing around it still works.

There is a trade-off between SEO and user experience in the situation you are talking about. The SEO in me would tell you to cut down the links. You can setup a silo structure with a table of contents kind of thing within individual categories to cut down on a lot of the links.

Just something to think about.
I would absolutely agree with this. Category linking from within your primary nav bar, and then either a customized nav bar per category that would lead to sub-categories, or some type of on page linking structure, on the cat pages.

I like to use the Responsive II theme for this type of setup. As an example if you goto ( uploadwp .com / premium ) on the main page you then click the home link at the top, you will see a new nav bar appears with sub categories. You could very easily load the primary navigation with your primary categories, and then depending on the cat page you are on customize the secondary nav bar for that particular primary category.
Well, fortunately, I am using a custom theme I created and the programmer inside me always tries to plan for everything so, thankfully, I set it up to allow for sub-menus within sub-pages, so your suggestions (both of you) is duly noted and will be acted upon (assuming the client is OK with it of course, not that I will give her a choice at first, it will just be that way, lol... but, ultimately, in the end, it will be her decision of course, lol).

The menu example I used above was just an example, based on my own usage as that was the quickest way to showcase it and write it all in, lol... The site I am using this structure for is for a client's restaurant site. Does that make any difference?

(Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I admit as much as I love programming, designing and developing, I am NO seo expert in the least, LOL)...

Thank you so much guys. This place really rocks!
 

savidge4

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savidge4
In one respect I would say it does, depth and mobile is not a good mix. UNLESS you are developing a separate "mobile" site I would really look at your onsite link development. ( and just a note, Responsive, is not "mobile" )

I might suggest looking at outback .com to see the differences in the desktop site, and the mobile version. Same information, but 2 totally different presentations. The desktop version, everything is kinda all there. Look specifically at the menu section ( I think the only section with drop down nav menus ) and its all right there easy to get to. Look at the same section ( menu ) in mobile... things are different. the drop downs are now a page load, and then a selection is made. fast loading, to the point, and very mobile user friendly.

I personally do not think there is a happy medium here. I use responsive design for the most part to bridge the gap between desktop and tablets, and will use a separate "mobile" site for small screen phone users. the best presentation and user experience being the overall goal, I just don't think responsive delivers.

When dealing with stores and restaurants and the like, you have to consider more than 50% of your traffic will probably be from a mobile device. The end user intent is usually different as well. With desktop they may be doing research for later.. on mobile.. it is NOW. Again look at outback as an example... The mobile site gives you all kinds of "right now" details.. wait time, address, hours. the desktop site.. well hey join our newsletter and look at our new menu item. 2 totally different intents. ( Im preaching sorry )

anyway hope that helps
 

Miguelito203

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The fewer clicks it takes to to get your "money page," the better. This is especially true if you have written an article and posted it on an article directory site (keep them shorter but provide some info. and intrigue at the same time). When I first started online, I was told that getting a 30 to 50 percent click through rate from an article or whatever to your main page was considered good. Even as an internet browser, if I can't find what I'm looking for one a site in one or two clicks, I'm gone. If it takes more than that, I just figure the site sucks and is unorganized.

Joey
 

Developer

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I am not worried about number of clicks as EVERYTHING will be
just ONE CLICK from the home page, I just worry about the SEO
precautions, if any, with using "multiple-deep" levels.
 
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