Does A Virtual Silo Work?

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After my research, I have 2 questions that Warriors may be able to answer.

First question: Am I correct in that:

With a physical silo you have:
domain/topic-page/article1-on-topic
domain/topic-page/article2-on-topic
domain/topic-page/article3-on-topic
domain/topic-page/article4-on-topic
and all articles under topic-page are inter-linked.

With a virtual silo, you can have all articles in the same directory such as:
domain/article1-on-topic-1
domain/article2-on-topic-1
domain/article3-on-topic-1
domain/article4-on-topic-1
domain/article1-on-topic-2
domain/article2-on-topic-2
domain/article3-on-topic-2
domain/article4-on-topic-2

The silo is created by inter-linking all topic 1 articles together and all topic 2 articles together, but not linking any topic 1 articles to topic 2 articles.

With a virtual silo, the silo is created by links and not by url structure.

Second question: Does a virtual silo work as well as a physical silo? Is either one better for SEO than the other?

Thanks!
#silo #virtual #work
  • Both are good. For more refer to this link - http://www.themezoom.com/info/What_t..._is_a_Silo.pdf
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    Lance Bachmann

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

    With a virtual silo, the silo is created by links and not by url structure.

    Second question: Does a virtual silo work as well as a physical silo? Is either one better for SEO than the other?
    When it comes to SEO it doesn't matter If it's a physical silo or a virtual silo both will help rank pages.

    The advantage with a virtual silo is site maintenance, it's far easier to pump out pages on a CMS than building HTML pages in folders. Both will rank, the HTML/folders would be brutal to maintain for a large site (ex: 100s/1000s of pages) but very doable on a small site (ex: 50 pages).
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    • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
      Thanks lance and yukon.

      Since a virtual silo does not have the directory or folder name to help identify the silo to a search engine, are there things I can do other than linking that will help id a virtual silo?

      Thanks again!
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

        Thanks lance and yukon.

        Since a virtual silo does not have the directory or folder name to help identify the silo to a search engine, are there things I can do other than linking that will help id a virtual silo?

        Thanks again!
        A virtual silo still has parent/child pages the same as a physical folder structure.

        Example, Google knows the ford page is the parent of the mustang page:
        • hxxp://cars.com/ford/mustang

        The ford LSI keyword tells Google that mustang is a car & not a horse.

        Relevant internal links are key to a good silo. Removing clutter links is also key to a good silo.
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        • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
          Thanks yukon.

          I am apparently getting confused on the real difference between physical and virtual silos.

          As I understand it, with a physical silo, you may have:
          hxxp://cars.com/ford/mustang
          hxxp://cars.com/ford/focus
          hxxp://cars.com/ford/escape
          in one silo with ford being subject of the silo, and
          hxxp://cars.com/nissan/sentra
          hxxp://cars.com/nissan/maxima
          hxxp://cars.com/nissan/altima
          in a second silo with nissan being the subject of the silo.

          With a virtual silo, you may have:
          hxxp://cars.com/mustang
          hxxp://cars.com/focus
          hxxp://cars.com/escape
          hxxp://cars.com/sentra
          hxxp://cars.com/maxima
          hxxp://cars.com/altima
          The first 3 would be linked together with ford being the subject of the silo and the second 3 would be linked together with nissan being the subject of that silo.

          If my understanding is correct, then with the physical silo, because of the directory or folder name, it is clear that the subject of the silo is either ford or nissan.

          But with a virtual silo, the subject of the silo is less clear even though ford would be mentioned in the first silo and nissan would be mentioned in the second silo.

          Is my understanding correct?
          If it is correct, is there anything more that I can do to show a virtual silo other than inter-linking only within the silo and mentioning the subject of the silo in each supporting page?

          Thanks!
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          • Profile picture of the author yukon
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            Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

            Thanks yukon.

            I am apparently getting confused on the real difference between physical and virtual silos.

            As I understand it, with a physical silo, you may have:
            hxxp://cars.com/ford/mustang
            hxxp://cars.com/ford/focus
            hxxp://cars.com/ford/escape
            in one silo with ford being subject of the silo, and
            hxxp://cars.com/nissan/sentra
            hxxp://cars.com/nissan/maxima
            hxxp://cars.com/nissan/altima
            in a second silo with nissan being the subject of the silo.

            With a virtual silo, you may have:
            hxxp://cars.com/mustang
            hxxp://cars.com/focus
            hxxp://cars.com/escape
            hxxp://cars.com/sentra
            hxxp://cars.com/maxima
            hxxp://cars.com/altima
            The first 3 would be linked together with ford being the subject of the silo and the second 3 would be linked together with nissan being the subject of that silo.

            If my understanding is correct, then with the physical silo, because of the directory or folder name, it is clear that the subject of the silo is either ford or nissan.

            But with a virtual silo, the subject of the silo is less clear even though ford would be mentioned in the first silo and nissan would be mentioned in the second silo.

            Is my understanding correct?
            If it is correct, is there anything more that I can do to show a virtual silo other than inter-linking only within the silo and mentioning the subject of the silo in each supporting page?

            Thanks!
            There's not really any difference between a physical silo or virtual silo, except with a physical silo you create a parent folder/page & a virtual silo you create a parent page. You end up with the exact same URL.

            Your leaving out the parent page (.../ford/...) in your example because that's what you've chosen to do, not because the parent page can't be created with a CMS (ex: Wordpress).

            This example URL below can be done in both HTML or a CMS:
            • hxxp://cars.com/ford/mustang

            That example URL above includes 3 individual pages on a CMS.












            Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

            is there anything more that I can do to show a virtual silo other than inter-linking only within the silo and mentioning the subject of the silo in each supporting page?
            You could build category specific xml sitemaps for helping to group related pages, add the sitemap.xml to the robots.txt file & submit each category sitemap to Webmaster Tools. That's optional but every little bit helps.

            The majority of silo work is relevant internal links.
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    • Profile picture of the author deezn
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      When it comes to SEO it doesn't matter If it's a physical silo or a virtual silo both will help rank pages.

      The advantage with a virtual silo is site maintenance, it's far easier to pump out pages on a CMS than building HTML pages in folders. Both will rank, the HTML/folders would be brutal to maintain for a large site (ex: 100s/1000s of pages) but very doable on a small site (ex: 50 pages).
      I was thinking from the original post what he thought was a physical silo, is not what you know as a physical silo (html pages in folders).

      Looks like he's asking the difference between a wordpress site where you change the permalinks to /%category%/%postname%/ vs one that just has a postname and relies on linking for the silo.

      If you go the second route you need your linking structure really tight IMO.
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  • This is called being organized in the web development world. Where did the word silo come from?
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    I would have invented Google and Microsoft if I was born earlier.

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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by ProfitFromMyDomain View Post

      This is called being organized in the web development world. Where did the word silo come from?
      Web developers are usually horrible at site structure.

      Look at Themeforest, thousands of web developers making pretty themes but horrible at SEO.

      Originally Posted by ProfitFromMyDomain View Post

      Where did the word silo come from?
      • hxxp://www.bruceclay.com
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      • Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Web developers are usually horrible at site structure.

        Look at Themeforest, thousands of web developers making pretty themes but horrible at SEO.


        • hxxp://www.bruceclay.com
        It's because it's wordpress, hard coders are very different. I hate having to edit themes. I have yet to come across well organized code or site structure.
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        I would have invented Google and Microsoft if I was born earlier.

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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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          Originally Posted by ProfitFromMyDomain View Post

          It's because it's wordpress, hard coders are very different. I hate having to edit themes. I have yet to come across well organized code or site structure.
          It's not just Wordpress, all major CMS have the same pretty theme problem.

          Sites like Themforest build their entire business model on pretty because that's what buyers want 1st (pretty sells).

          Most buyers only worry about SEO after they've already bought a theme/template, by then it's too late, they do a few weeks worth of content creation get the site running, then figure out they don't have any traffic & try to SEO a jumbled mess (pretty theme/template).

          That's where virtual silos come in, it's basically HTML tree structure for modern CMS.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Yukon, I really appreciate your help. I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but I am really trying to understand silos.

    As I understand it, my second example of:
    hxxp://cars.com/mustang
    hxxp://cars.com/focus
    hxxp://cars.com/escape
    hxxp://cars.com/sentra
    hxxp://cars.com/maxima
    hxxp://cars.com/altima
    really isn't 2 virtual silos because neither has a parent page or a directory or folder even though the first 3 are inter-linked and not linked to the second 3 (which are also inter-linked to themselves). Rather, they would be considered to be 6 individual pages.

    Have I finally got it right?

    Thanks very much.
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    • Profile picture of the author deezn
      Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

      Yukon, I really appreciate your help. I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but I am really trying to understand silos.

      As I understand it, my second example of:
      hxxp://cars.com/mustang
      hxxp://cars.com/focus
      hxxp://cars.com/escape
      hxxp://cars.com/sentra
      hxxp://cars.com/maxima
      hxxp://cars.com/altima
      really isn't 2 virtual silos because neither has a parent page or a directory or folder even though the first 3 are inter-linked and not linked to the second 3 (which are also inter-linked to themselves). Rather, they would be considered to be 6 individual pages.

      Have I finally got it right?

      Thanks very much.
      Pretty much. If you created two pages, /ford and /nissan, that were linked to on the homepage. And on /ford there were links to the 3 cars (and on Nissan links to those 3 cars), and all the supporting car pages were links back to the /ford or /nissan page, it'd be a silo too probably. But the links need to be really tight.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Thanks, deezn!

    My confusion comes from reading that physical silos have a directory or folder name with support pages linked to it and virtual silos are silos where same topic pages are linked together, but where there is not a directory or folder name.

    Apparently, for a silo, both physical and virtual, you need the url structure with a directory, folder, or parent page name and then the supporting pages linked to it. Basically, physical and virtual silos are the same thing and both require more than linking same topic pages together.
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