Question on Silo Structure

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Hi everyone, I'm slowly fleshing out the silo structure on my site and I've got a question.

Here's how my silos are built:
Main Post: Best X Product
Sub Post: Best X Product for Y (This post links to Best X Product)
Sub Post2: Product X Review (This post links to Best X Product for Y and Best X Product)

My question is about the "main post", Best X Product. Would it be wise SEO-wise to link it to the Sub Post and Sub Post2 or would doing that dilute the power I'm trying to build into it?

For the Best X Product, I am basically providing a list of 10 products and a short overview of them, rather than a full review. After the overview, I'm doing something like "click here to read the full review" and then linking to Sub Post or Sub Post 2 that has the full review.

I've been thinking that perhaps I should not link out to the sub posts and just provide in-depth reviews for the products I'm recommending on the Best X Product page. My concern is that going this route will make the article quite long (I'm estimating 20K to 30K words), which I think could impact user experience and conversions. I mean, who has time to read a 30K words article reviewing 10 different curtains?

What are your thoughts? Should I link to the sub pages that provide a comprehensive review of the products or would reviewing the products on the Best X Product page be better since I won't have to link out to subpages and end up diluting the power I'm trying to build?
 

Ryuzaki

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You have to determine what's more powerful at the moment. Is giving out a little bit of extra page rank to the sub-pages worse for you than the gain you get by creating relevant anchors and linking to relevant pages?

In my opinion, no, I'd link around. Your structure isn't bad, especially because you're creating a funnel for users who narrow down to one or two options but want more information. You're serving it to them right then and there. You may increase conversions this way, especially for expensive or technical products.

You're leaking page rank all over the place anyways through navigation and supplemental content. I'm guessing main content flows more page rank out, but still... you're not going to get a perfect silo these days any more. That concept came from Bruce Clay from back in 2002, before the web design industry had really matured into what it is now. To pull off a true silo would be to cripple your usability. But you can still build "relevancy nets" as I like to call them.
 

Calamari

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Worry about your users more than pagerank. If you have a more detailed page that people on your site will benefit from then show it to them. The improved user metrics will help you more than conserving some magical pagerank that we really don't know all that much about.
 

turbin3

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Ryuzaki and Calamari are on point. The structure you outlined is pretty good, and I probably would link to the sub posts, at least to the degree that makes sense.

My question is, what kind of post volume are we talking about for these types of posts? A few dozen posts? Few hundred? Or more?

Also, what type of post volume is it for the entire site?

With most smaller sites, like say a few dozen or few hundred total posts on site, I wouldn't worry. Had this been something more like thousands of posts, perhaps geographic-based (e.g. Best Y in X City), that's when this sort of thing becomes a very real concern and may need to be handled with extra care.

I can go into more detail on that, for large sites, but I'll hold off for now since I'm sure that won't apply to most people here.

As far as why the structure you outlined is probably a good idea, let me refer to what the Baymard Institute calls "intermediary category pages". Here's an example:

intermediary category page

Courtesy Baymard Institute

Basically, think about the intent of a user at that point in the "funnel". They don't necessarily know yet exactly what they're looking for. So their focus is probably more to do with seeing what options there are and maybe choosing to "drill down" into a few more specific options.

If you look at the example category page from Amazon, above, it shows an implementation of what you described. Not only do they link the general categories of types of guitars, but they also have a few examples linked underneath.

That gives different users at different stages of their search experience the level of specificity they need to get to what they're looking for.

Do keep in mind, most of what comes out of Baymard is targeted specifically to e-commerce sites, so YMMV. Generally, though, I find the concept to work for most sites.
 

Cash Builder

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I just wanted to revisit this topic as it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I try to create virtual silos on my site, and they all follow the same structure.

I have my main money page and in this example its “best brand product” where I review 6 of the best products from a single brand. I then have individual reviews for each of the products, and then 5 supporting articles all focused on the brand.

Originally I had the supporting articles internally linking to the reviews and the buyers guide. Then I had the reviews all linking to the buyers guide. The buyers guide didn't link out to the reviews or supporting content, and the reviews didn't link out to the supporting content.

A few months ago I wanted to see how important relevancy was, so I changed it and now every page in this mini silo links to every other page. The buyer guide links out to all product reviews and all supporting content, and vice versa.

Fast forward to now, and the buyers guide is ranking number 1 for its main keyword, and all of the product reviews are in the top 3. I’ve only built a handful of links to the main page so I believe relevancy plays a big role. Plus as others have said, improving user experience can only do good things for your site.

I think this ranking graph pretty much shows how all of these related pages have grown 'as one':


The next step is to go through all of my silos and make sure they are set up this way.
 

turbin3

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Nice results! That's a good, consistent trend over a noteworthy amount of time, which is great. :-)