Blog Structure | Higher Google Rankings – Business Review Center

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On November 16, 2012
Last modified:November 27, 2012

Summary:

I think we can all agree that if the foundation sucks, the building suffers.  With your blog, that’s the same.
The fact that, the way you structure blog can make it or break it as well as getting traffic from the search engines is concerned, no matter what you believe it or not.

To a successful blog structure, there are different approaches, but, some arguably work better than others.
The point of this post is not to get you spend countless hours on restructuring things you already have. However, that seems to be the only plausible way to go in some cases, I must admit.
There’s an ideal way to structure blog, and for the rest of us the easier way.
In this instance, I am the “easier way” kind of guy and that’s what we going to talk about today.
But, there was some theory in the beginning …

Blog Structure Makes a Difference

To your search engine rankings, that is a huge difference.
According to the subject of all the pages, search engines catalog them on the web (check out how Google works for more).
The better you manage the subject to zero down, the more you outrank your competition.
Within your blog, just publish a post basing on a keyword, throw in deep linking from both, then, I am sure that other sites might not do the trick as you well know.
In other words, if you manage to organize your content in a way that is relevant to the search engines for whatever the term, you are more likely to grab coveted spot on the Google’s first page.

Blog Siloing

Siloing or themeing is the name of the game, and also the generally accepted term for this type of site organization.

blog-silos

First of all, what is siloing?

I know, you might probably think of large corn silos, which I guess kind makes sense. For example, you have two big piles, one is corn and the other is strawberries (certainly, I’m not a farmer). You might put them in silos because you probably don’t want to mix those two crops together. Then when going into each silo, the farmer knows exactly what he is going to get.

Then, treat a blog or website in the same way. Put your website or blog content into silos, or better yet, in pages/ categories.
A silo is actually a term coined by Bruce Clay, but nothing fancy. Silos are just categories or folders in which you place pages related to the topic of the silos. We can define silo in laymen’s terms as creating a particular category (a landing page), then creating nested posts within that category in order to support the themed or topic through the collective relevance and authority of the documents. In a silo blog/ website the pages link in sequence selectively to the previous post or to the next post in the series of posts or nested pages.
Siloing is a helpful way indicating how to structure a blog with the use of categories or pages in order to create a string of content themed around keyword.
Generally, successful siloing is achieved by creating several pieces of blog content (or a silo) on the same topic, interlinking the content within the silo as well as linking to the silo from other posts, but not linking out.

It can be quite confusing, right?
Then, you might go back to your website, or blog, saying to yourself… “This is impossible! Without crossing over categories, how can I link all my blog content?”
The answer is with nofollow attributes, and you still need to maintain your human organization, while showing Google bot what your content is important and where to go.
Blog siloing is a complex issue. Most of you don’t need to spend hours studying and implementing.

Some rules for silo blogs/ websites:

  1. Keep your blog/website categories separate. When linking between categories, use nofollow attributes.
  2. Link to posts, not to categories or tags.
  3. Link between posts. As I know, most people link only from new posts to older posts. However, if you go back and add updated links on older posts to your newer posts, then your older posts might have more PageRank. (Check out for more information about important off-page seo factors as well as link types)
  4. Try to keep your blog/ website categories on the same topic. Keep in mind that every page in your blog/ website should have a different title, meta tags, headers, etc. Also, make sure you have distinct keywords that follow everything in the category when organizing your silos.
    If you are blogging about cars, for example, you might set up a silo for cars, trucks and motorcycles. This is quite high level, in reality you might want to get more “niche”.
    Let’s take the car silo for instance. Then, your title should “All about cars”, your category slugs should be “cars”, your meta keywords should include “cars”, and most importantly, all the posts in this silo should contain “cars” in the title and permalink.
    Again, hopefully you can understand the strategy though this is very high level.
  5. Learn to use related tools to analyze your blog content. To understand how Google bot spiders your blog using Google webmaster tools, which shows you everything you need.
    Maintaining a silo structure for your blog might be tough, since you might blog about a wide range of topics. I can fully understand that, but it can be done.

If you flip blogs/websites, or manage targeted niche sites, then this is a must for you to learn.
Below is a great video overview by Michael Gray:

And now, you have a bit more subject knowledge behind your belt, let me explain how I learned to adopt the concept of siloing, though don’t have to control every angle and link on my personal blog.

Posts and Pages

This is what prompted me to write this post.
I think we were all curious to see how our blogs did in the last PageRank update…
However, it was not only the home page I was interested in, but also to see if I got any high rank on my interior pages.
While checking the rank for Business Review Center, I discover one interesting pattern as most of the higher ranking URLs on my personal blog are not posts at all, they are pages on my blog.

Let’s back for a few seconds.
When I first started blogging and also for a while after that actually, I couldn’t indicate the difference was between blog posts and blog pages and why I would like to use one over the other.
I assume that at the moment, there are at least a few of my readers being in the same boat, so let me show you a quick rundown on the two.

Posts are dynamic, and are displayed in chronological order on your home page, category, archives, and tag pages,…
Pages are static, are not sorted by date, and also are not classified by categories or tags.
In general, when thinking of a personal blog, we think of a website that publishes update posts regularly. If you will, it’s a short-term circuit of ever-changing information.

On the other hand, pages contain more long-term information, which is not meant to be buried in the archives.
Contact page, About Me page, etc are actually good examples of that.
In addition, pages don’t have to end with “contact me here“. Moreover, they can do wonders for your blog structure and SEO, especial for your SEO traffic when used properly.
To say in other words, to put the concept of siloing into practice on your blog, pages are considered a great way.

It requires a multi-step process of planning and implementation while siloing of a blog or a website.

  • Step 1: Determining your blog theme to begin the process of siloing. You should answer some questions:
    What subject themes are ranking for your blog/ website currently?
    What subject themes are considered legitimately relevant for your blog?
    How would a user search for your blog content in main search queries?
    How do you implement subject themes?
  • Step 2: Whether you can set a physical silo through the blog’s directory structure and apply if possible, you should consider that. We will discuss later about virtual silos where navigation and linking determine the theme.
  • Step 3: Check the link structure implemented throughout your site carefully, as well as applying linking techniques between your pages that reinforce site themes.
  • Step 4: Publish your relevant, quality content including targeted keyword phrases within appropriate silos.

For those, who do want to learn more about it, here is kind of the best resource around:

• SEO Siloing: Building a Themed Website Silo Architecture by Bruce Clay

To be honest, this blogger did a far better job explaining and developing the subject than I ever would.

how-to-structure-a-blog

How to Build Silos Using Pages

Step 1. Establish Theme Keywords

Brainstorm some relevant keywords that go with your overall blog theme.
They are 2-3 word top level keywords, but should not be long-tail.
Let’s take example that you have a blog about fruit.
This general theme should be subdivided into some subthemes:

  • oranges
  • apples
  • grapes

Those can be further subdivided into different varieties of oranges, apples, and grapes.
For instance, your oranges silo might look something like this:

  • YourFruitSite.com/oranges/valencia
  • YourFruitSite.com/oranges/red-delicious
  • YourFruitSite.com/oranges/granny-smith
  • YourFruitSite.com/oranges/lady
Step 2. Write Targeted Content Within Silo

First, writing an in-depth article on your broadest keyword, oranges for example.
Publish it as a page, but not a post.
From this article, do not link to any posts on your or any other blog.
Remember to pay close attention to your on-page SEO factors like description, title tags, header tags, etc. In addition, if you don’t know exactly what I am talking about or simply want to make sure you do it right, then grab a free copy of my SEO e-book.

Next, write an article on one of the oranges varieties, say Valencia oranges.
Then, publish it as a page, but not a post.
Link it to the first article about oranges in general with “oranges” as your anchor text. Remember to not link out other than that.
Then, rinse and repeat with each of the oranges varieties, each time linking the new page with the previous one just only with a targeted anchor text.

Step 3. Link Building

Link only within silo.
Again, I am willing to repeat that this step is very important.
This whole idea behind linking is not necessarily the potential PageRank leakage, but rather establishing the relevancy to the topic.
That does not apply to external links coming to the silo, of course.  However, you still have to build those generally like you would with your site or any of the posts you create.

Step 4. Promotion

Obviously, you need to promote your silo pages like you would any of the blog posts:

  • bookmark ‘em
  • share ‘em
  • tell your lists about ‘em
  • build links to ‘em…

Step 5. Close Comments

You can test this debatable issue either way.
As for me, comments on pages you would like to highly rank on Google page results are an impediment or, worst, an obstacle.
By adding more text that has nothing to do with your content, they dilute your theme. In addition, you open up a can of worms that is potential spamming issues.
Keep the comments open on my pages is what I used to do. However, recently I have decided to go the other way with one of them to see if that page does better in search engines without the presence of comments.

blog-structure

In with the New, out with the Old

Using pages instead of posts is the strategy that can also be applied to the highly ranking content for a nice seo keyword, but was published originally as a post, includes a bunch of links within the post body, and adds with comments of course.
What you can do with such posts:

  • update and develop your content making a new page for it;
  • change the slug of your original post to things like “post-name-original” or “post-name-part-1″
  • under the original post URL, publish the new page.

Then, you can greatly improve your chances to rank higher for your keyword by doing that, because now your page “lives” in a more controlled environment. (Check out common reasons for drop in ranking and solutions to improve your chances to rank higher)
I would certainly use this technique for content that has a good chance to attract and bring in loads of targeted search engine traffic, but would not abuse it. Plus, you might make it evergreen, prominent, and easy to update with this way.

Marketing Takeaway

Now, blog structuring for the rest of us, you have it.
This post, once again, is not meant to dot the I’s and cross the T’s on the topic. It just give you a better understanding on how you can structure your better future content to give it a much-needed push in the search engines.

Whether you love it or hate it, comment to show me that you are alive! 

About Tony Nguyen

Tony Nguyen is the founder of Business Review Center. Since 2011, he has managed a team that has collected customer feedback and complaints on digital products, then tested products, and written product reviews. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, at Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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