Having categories within categories in a large niche...

5 replies
Hey all

I'm planning out an authority site whose main focus is to sell physical products.

Since the niche is quite broad, the more research I do on article topics and keywords, the more I find it necessary to have categories within categories.

Is it a good idea to have two layers of categories when trying to rank on Google? From the article pages, must I link to both the tier 2 AND tier 1 category pages, AS WELL AS the homepage?

I have attached a graphical representation of what I propose:

#categories #large #niche
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    This is exactly how you want to do it. From a user standpoint, one of the most useful and least intrusive ways to link is to use breadcrumb navigation. Like this:

    Home Page > Category 1 > SubCategory 1 > Article 1
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Johns
    John, I think that is a good idea, it's exactly how I would do it (and have done it) for this sort of site.

    You have to balance what Google wants with what's good for your users. You need it to be easy to navigate around. Plus in this instance, you are showing a lot of relevance because of the categories for the search engines.

    Good post - I think this is useful for anyone who is thinking of creating an authority site.

    Cheers

    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author Snow_Predator
    Thanks John, that's very helpful.

    Pretty sure I've seen this type of breadcrumb navigation on some wordpress blogs, displayed somewhere at the top of the page/post. That's definitely useful for the reader.

    Regarding internal linking however, is it necessary for each article to have one link to the 2nd tier category, one link to the 1st tier category, one link to the home page AND one link to another article?

    Seems like a bit much - what does google seem to like best?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

      Thanks John, that's very helpful.

      Pretty sure I've seen this type of breadcrumb navigation on some wordpress blogs, displayed somewhere at the top of the page/post. That's definitely useful for the reader.

      Regarding internal linking however, is it necessary for each article to have one link to the 2nd tier category, one link to the 1st tier category, one link to the home page AND one link to another article?

      Seems like a bit much - what does google seem to like best?
      Let's look at my example again, with a minor change:

      Home Page > Category 1 > SubCategory 1 > Article 1

      This would be the breadcrumb for the first article in your graphic. You would be linking to the subcategory page, the category page, and the home page. At the end of the string is simply the page title for the post (another way to work in your keywords without forcing things - if your title is good.)

      Somewhere else on the page, you would link to related articles in the same subcategory. I usually put that block below whatever offer I make after the post.

      Moving up a tier, let's look at a SubCategory page:

      Home Page > Category 1 > SubCategory 1

      Here, the subcategory page breadcrumb links to the main category and to the home page. The subcat page would also have links to the posts in that subcategory.

      And so on...

      The home page links to the category pages. The category pages link to the subcategory pages within the category and back to the home page. The subcategory pages link to the posts, the parent category, and the home page.

      It's a very strong linking structure. Google seems to love it, as it's easy to follow (spider) and keeping the structure makes establishing relevance easy. Users get easy navigation, so it's another plus.

      If it's appropriate, you can even use links within the test of your posts to link to other relevant posts in the other categories.

      Everybody wins...
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  • Profile picture of the author Snow_Predator
    Thanks for the detailed reply John. None of the many websites I have made thus far have any such category or silo structure. They have all just been a home page linking out to a string of posts, most not even interlinking.

    I think I will launch my new website with say 5 categories, each pointing out to 5 articles. Then as I grow my site by adding more articles, I will further categorize these articles into subcategories.
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