Silo Structure - Let's get it right...

8 replies
  • SEO
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Before I implement changes to a thousand or so pages spread across several domains, I need to make sure I get this right.

I think I understand everything for the most part, but should the linking strategy be:

A to B, B to C, C to D, D to E, and then E back to A again.

OR

The same as above, with the only difference being that you display all the other links in a category in every post either at the bottom of the post or the sidebar. For example,

Post A

Link to post B in body of text

Have links to A, C, D, E at the bottom of post/in sidebar.

I also have a bit of a dilemma. As I continually add content to my sites, I can't close the silo (link E to A again).

What would be the best way of getting around this?
#silo #structure
  • Profile picture of the author lutherlars
    As far as I know, it is not mandatory to link every child page to every child page within a silo. Honestly that can look kinda spammy. Obviously you will have certain child pages within a silo that you want to rank for also, so I simply pay more attention to linking 'said' child page with as many other child pages within the silo where it makes sense. I generally will have four or five links on a child page to other child pages within a silo of 10 or more child pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author lutherlars
    As for closing off the silo, all your child pages should link back to the landing page anyway so as long as your final child page does this, then the silo is not leaking any pr.
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  • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
    The thing is that I don't really have a specific page I want to rank for. I might point a high PR link to the most competitive term, and then link from this page to B, B to C, C to D etc. so I can rank the other pages.

    I was thinking about closing off the silo (pointing the last link to the most competitive term), and then using another high PR link to point to more posts in the same category, rinse and repeat.

    I thought it might have been a good to link to one other page in the body of text, and then have links in the sidebar or at the end of post (as they carry less weight), linking to other pages in the same category, just so a user will never be more than a click or two away to other posts in the category.
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    • Profile picture of the author rschmitz
      Do yourself a favor and download ultimate SEO. Its free. They have a feature called "deeplink Juggernaut", which solves this problem.

      You can remove your standard wordpress category widget and use their deeplink widget, which creates a sidebar of outbound links strictly to each individual page of the silo. Each child page will be linked together

      Furthermore, with that plugin you can:
      1. Remove the /category part of your url
      2. Create anchor text to link back to particular pages. This is fantastic because you can direct all of the supporting pages to link back to the parent page with a contextual link, and there is a feature to limit the links.

      For example if your category is horror movies, you can make it link all of the supporting pages (Jason/Freddy/Saw) back to the parent page with the contextual link "horror movie", automatically.

      I hoped this helped. If not, look through the search feature, there is a huge thread where Yukon goes over this in even more detail.
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      • Profile picture of the author rschmitz
        Also, pretty sure the advise of not linking the child pages together is wrong. How else is the link juice suppose to flow? But again, this can be achieved through the use of the deeplink juggernaut category widget so no need to stress out about that part.

        Also, remember to use the proper permalink url structure, although I am sure you probably already know that.
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  • Profile picture of the author lutherlars
    I did not advise against linking child pages to child pages, I said that it looks spammy to link all of your child pages to all of your child pages.
    If you have a silo with 10 supporting child pages, that would mean you have ten internal pages on any one child page, or a massive sidebar which looks horrible which is why I suggested you link to a few, mainly the ones you want to rank.
    You could mix it up, making sure that all of your child pages get links from a few other child pages to pass on link juice.
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    • Profile picture of the author rschmitz
      Originally Posted by lutherlars View Post

      I did not advise against linking child pages to child pages, I said that it looks spammy to link all of your child pages to all of your child pages.
      If you have a silo with 10 supporting child pages, that would mean you have ten internal pages on any one child page, or a massive sidebar which looks horrible which is why I suggested you link to a few, mainly the ones you want to rank.
      You could mix it up, making sure that all of your child pages get links from a few other child pages to pass on link juice.
      Sorry I misunderstood what you said. Yeah, depending on the size of the category, I wouldn't too far. If you have over 10 support pages I would tread carefully as to not hurt the user experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    If you already have a site with ranked pages you need to be extremely careful trying to overhaul the entire sites link structure. Google can be touchy about not being able to find links that once existed on a previous googlebot crawl. I would start with a small site or maybe even a single category & do your tweaking until you get everything setup like you want.

    I'm not sure what your talking about by closing the silo, a simple category based breadcrumb nav. link will take care of linking back to the category page If that's what your trying to do without it looking obvious on the page.

    I don't want to make this complicated but something else you can do to help manage a lot of links in a single category is to use the Wordpress Tags for organizing small groups of pages in a single category. If you use the WP Tags for organizing category pages I would make it a point to completely remove anything else in your theme that deals with WP Tags.

    You don't have to have a WP Tag template page in your WP theme to be able to use WP Tags for organizing other pages on the site/blog.

    Example, say you had 30 pages in a single category, you could WP-Tag those 30 pages in 3 groups of pages so that each page in those 3 individual groups only shows links on those pages for the other 9 pages in the group & so on for the other two groups of WP-tagged pages in the same category.

    On your 10 web pages in one group you would display the links based on the WP-Tag (keyword) for that one group of pages, those pages are still in the same category as the other two WP-tags.

    Using WP Tags for organizing pages isn't the same as a sub-domain, a sub-domain will nest deeper in your category creating longer URLs. Personally I don't like using sub-domains, it just makes things more complicated the deeper the URL is nested.

    I hope I described the WP Tags so it's easy to understand, really it's a simple way to manage a lot of pages/links.
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