The next major On-The-Page group in the Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors is site architecture. The right site structure can help your SEO efforts flourish while the wrong one can cripple them.
Ac: Site Crawlability
Search engines “crawl” websites, going from one page to another incredibly quickly, acting like hyperactive speed-readers. They make copies of your pages that get stored in what’s called an “index,” which is like a massive book of the web.
When someone searches, the search engine flips through this big book, finds all the relevant pages and then picks out what it thinks are the very best ones to show first. To be found, you have to be in the book. To be in the book, you have to be crawled.
Each site is given a crawl budget, an approximate amount of time or pages a search engine will crawl each day, based on the relative trust and authority of a site. Larger sites may seek to improve their crawl efficiency to ensure that the ‘right’ pages are being crawled more often. The use of robots.txt, internal link structures and specifically telling search engines not to crawl pages with certain URL parameters can all improve crawl efficiency.
However, for most, crawl problems can be easily avoided. In addition, it’s good practice to use sitemaps, both HTML and XML, to make it easy for search engines to crawl your site. You’ll find more about sitemaps and dealing with potential crawling issues in the Search Engine Land categories below:
- SEO: Submitting Sitemaps
- SEO: Crawling and Robots
Remember, “search engine friendly design” is also “human friendly design!”