Content And Structure Optimization

To meticulously organize web content, one of the main questions to ask yourself is, "Is this site easy to navigate and can users find the information they seek?"

In order to improve the chances of your website to rank higher in the search engines, it is important to ensure that your website is easy to navigate. This is accomplished by gathering information in a logical pattern, by thematically arranging content silos through URL structures and by internally linking appropriate keywords for page theme when applied.

This gives structure as opposed to disperse random articles and unorganized on the website. The purpose of a well-organized website is to ensure solid foundations and consolidation of content in a logical pattern; so as to be straight forward to navigate, both for users and search engines as they crawl and index your page(s).

Topic Scattering Analysis

Topic Scattering Analysis is the process of analyzing the content on your website to identify areas where content for specific topics is scattered across multiple pages/sections, and purposefully organizing that content into larger coherent units of information. The analysis begins by checking whether or not the content is being covered in multiple silos or sections of the site. Then organizing the information and content in a way that makes sense and is easy to digest. Topic Scattering Analysis is fundamental for consolidating the information and content on your website and providing search engine spiders analytically structured information to digest.

Content Consolidation

As you evaluate topics on each page, analysis must be made to see if there is any opportunity to merge the information onto one location. For example, if you have a page covering details on a car repair, and on another page details about the engine repair, it might be helpful to combine and consolidate the information into one place. Best practices would be not having two distinct pages containing fairly similar information. Combining content enables Google to consolidate ranking signals on important pages and can crawl your site more efficiently.

Theme Evaluation (Silo)

To correct a theme commonly called siloing refers to the organization of a website's content by gathering related topics within a well-thought-out directory structure which houses content that targets keywords with progressive order.

  • // : A section which would target top level and generic keywords about widgets.
  • // : A section that would target secondary keywords having to do only with counterfeit widgets.
  • // A very specific page targeting keywords that have to do with learning how to identify counterfeit widgets.

Content Separation

This is the same concept as to logically reorganizing information on your website, except that instead of consolidating data onto one page, it analyzes where separation of content can be made. In case there were too much information being packed onto one page. You need to evaluate the content distribution and see if there might be a better placement on the website. Analyze what topics might be expandable, which subject you could separate onto different pages, for a more user-friendly website.

Duplicate Content

Search engines consider every URL to be a unique object or page. Every instance of duplicated content, regardless of the purpose of the page, will have negative effect rankings if it is allowed to be crawled by a search engine. From time to time it is required to have two or more pages with the same content; even if the content is helpful to users and makes sense. Its presence in the search engine indicator will cause ranking penalty problems. It is recommended to exclude exact (or even similar) copies of any content from the search engines, or if possible to avoid having duplicate content to begin with.

Duplicate content can be caused by a number of thing: including URL parameters, printer-friendly pages, session IDs, and sorting functions. These kinds of pages tend to be a normal, helpful part of a website but they still need to be addressed in order to avoid serving a duplicated page to the search engines. There are several recommended methods one can go about in fixing duplicate content: 301 redirects, the rel="canonical" tag, robots.txt exclusions, and noindex meta tag.

A 301 redirect for example, or permanent redirect, sends both users and spiders who land on a duplicate page directly to the original content page. These redirects can be used across subfolders, subdomains and entire domains as well.

The rel="canonical" attribute acts similarly to a 301 redirect, with a few key differences. The first being that while the 301 redirect points both spiders and humans to a different page, the canonical attribute is strictly for search engines. With this method, webmasters can still track visitors to unique URLs without incurring any penalty. The tag which can carry the canonical attribute is structured as follows:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

The tag would be placed in the <head> of the HTML document which needs to assign attribution to the page while the search engines could deem the original. Webmasters can also exclude pages from search engines through the use of a noindex meta tag, on specific pages. Using the noindex meta tag, would allow webmasters to ensure that the content of that page will not be indexed and displayed in the search result pages.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow" />

The final recommendation method involves using a robots.txt file. By using robots.txt, webmasters can provide primitive directives to search engine spiders to keep them from indexing certain zones of the website. The URL of these pages would still show up in some search engine indexes before they get tossed, but only if the URL of the page is specifically search for.
Tip: While official search engine bots (spiders) will follow " robots.txt " protocol, malicious bots often ignore them completely.

If placed within the robots.txt file, the below directive would prohibit the Microsoft spiders from crawling and indexing the 'Theme Customizer' directory

Thin Content

Thin content draws both pages which have very minimal content, as well as pages that may have a lot of content of insignificant value. Creating accurate descriptions can be more useful that having large content that do not produce rankings (i.e., if a topic only takes a few sentences to cover/describe, then it is unnecessary to generate an encyclopedic volumes of content).
According to Former Head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, thin content contributes either very little to no new information for a given search. This problem is particularly common for e-commerce sites that may have hundreds or thousands of pages for different products with only minimal product details and information.
The best long-term solution to this problem is simply to create unique content for every web page which could possibly contain duplicate or dull information. Supplementing repeated information with sections of unique text, like a thorough description, review, opinion, video, or brief editorial, webmasters can increase their website's relevance to search engines.


The canonical can be used to help avoid creating duplicate content by specifying the original publication page of a portion of the content. One specific use for the canonical tag would be on a page which lists products, and that has sorting functions which produce different URLs depending on how the products are being sorted. In that case, any sorting variation from the default presentation can use a canonical tag to show that the original URL is the only one that should be indexed.

For example, if a webpage is listing a variety menu and has a URL;

  • //, and offers a sorting link like (// to allow for the services to be sorted based on price, then it will become necessary to utilize the canonical tag on // to indicate that the original content is housed at:

  • //, and that // should not be indexed.
  • The canonical tag on // would look like this and be placed in at the end of the document.