Internal Navigation vs Spamvigation

Aug 21st

Wikipedia can cross link just about everything and look legitimate with it because they are non profit. Independent webmasters have to be more focused if they are trying to create profitable websites. Navigation can be nearly useless and spammy looking, or with a few minor tweaks it can look legitimate and well categorized. Compare the following two examples:

navigation 1

Seen On a Farm
cows
milk
pickup trucks
etc
etc
etc

vs

navigation 2

farm animals
cows
chickens
pigs
etc

dairy products
milk
cheese
yogurt
etc

farm equipment
tractors
pickup trucks
etc

The first navigational scheme is something you might see on the common AdSense website. Each page is not connected to any of the others by any trait other than carrying AdSense ads.

The second navigational structure looks less spammy and more useful. In addition to looking more credible and being easier to use, it also has headings focused on relevant keywords, which can link to related category pages. This allows the site to focus link weight on core topical phrases and pick up on mid tier keywords not covered by a more haphazard navigational scheme that uses generic words unrelated to the way searchers search.

If you think ahead when planning out your navigation it also makes site expansion a breeze. For example, if you later add turkeys to the farm animals category it can be grouped with chicken under a poultry category.

Good internal navigation should be logical, easy to follow, and reflect your keyword theme.

Published: August 21, 2007

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Comments

August 22, 2007 - 2:16pm

thank you, but there might be pages/links that just doesn't fit into scheme. Do you feel it's better to create "category" labeled "rest" or something or just leave them as you say "spammy"?

BombDog Studios
August 22, 2007 - 2:22pm

This is a great point. I have found the having a proper information architecture helps a ton, not only with SEO, but also with the creation of the site. I think a lot of people under estimate the power of a topical IA for the search engines and it feels good to have some one as respected as you reinforce what I have always thought.

August 22, 2007 - 8:58pm

Hi Jiri
In that case, I would label them as background / faqs/ more / etc or something like that. I wouldn't leave them look like uncategorized spam, mixed in with the stuff that is categorized.

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