If you are considering designing or redesigning a web site, you may want to read up on Theme Pyramids, an SEO friendly site architecture. It's not a new idea, but I've used this site architecture on a huge PR7 commercial site that 85% of US households know about, and the results were phenomenal.
It's a great way to improve rankings (especially at Google) by improving the flow of relevance around the site. It is also a great way to increase the number of indented listings on your site. Converting an old site to Theme Pyramids will mean rearchitecting your site... It's a great time to fix lots of things about a site like moving to search engine friendly URLs if you don't already use them. Regardless, it's going to mean resturcturing your site so URLs are going to change... so you'll need to familiarize yourself with how to redirect web pages with 301 redirects.
Hope you find it an interesting and useful read.
Great article. Would you say to apply in a Wordpress environment you would do something like:
Sub category AB
Sub category ABC
And keep the internal links up and down each category branch of the tree without cross linking to other categories?
Blogs are kind of already using a theme pyramid architecture... only a very shallow pyramid: home -> category (head term) -> post (long tail). You could use sub-categories to add another level if you'd like.
The pyramid navigational structure is an important concept from the perspective of the user in addition to the seo benefits a site will gain. Simply put a user is more liking to keep reading on a site that is better organized. Think of the website as a library of information. Each category in sections, bookcases and shelves with the cardcatalog as the homepage.
It used to be a rule of thumb that content shouldn't be more than two clicks away from the homepage. This was trus for the reason that more sites didn't have enough PR to flow into the child pages. As a result, the deep child pages would go into the "supplemental hell". Google has changed the way the supplemental index works. So, pages in the supplemental now are more likely to appear on the search results.
One issue that comes to mind is whether it's a good idea to use folders to organize the pages? In the examples -- i.e. example.com/mortgage/rates/new-york/ -- the folder structure in fine. I believe that Google feels that pages with more than 5 words is spammy. So, it may be too much i.e. -- example.com/mortgage/rates/california/san-francisco/home-equity-second-mortgages