Site Architecture

A site’s architecture refers to the structure of pages on a website and how they are linked together. Site architecture affects how search engine’s crawl a website and how users navigate through a site. As an important factor for SEO, our Hangout Notes cover best practice guidance and advice to ensure your site architecture is optimally structured. To learn more about the ins and outs of this topic, make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to Site Architecture Optimisation.

Allow a Single Variation of Category Pages to be Indexed

March 17, 2020 Source

Google doesn’t currently have guidelines on indexing different versions of category pages, but is moving towards recommending allowing a single version to be indexed, such as a sort order, and the alternative variations with different filters and sort orders should be noindexed. If there are other specific versions of category pages which are important, you can allow the first page in the set to be indexed as well.


Excessively Flat Site Hierarchy May Confuse Google

March 6, 2020 Source

An excessively flat site architecture, such as having a very large sitewide navigation or linking to all pages in a paginated set from page 1, may confuse Google about the site hierarchy, which page to rank, and what to show as Sitelinks.


Sites Sharing IP Addresses Isn’t a Problem For Google

March 5, 2019 Source

It’s common practice for websites to share IP addresses and having an implementation like this won’t cause ranking drops or performance decreases.


Only Use Separate URLs For Similar Products if They Match Separate Specific Queries

February 22, 2019 Source

It’s usually better to consolidate signals for different product variations by using one URL. You might want to split them out if they match specific user search intents though, as one main product page might be too generic for certain queries.


Splitting or Merging Websites May Change Rankings

November 30, 2018 Source

If you’re moving a whole website to a different domain, Google can move the signals across for the whole site. But if you’re splitting off part of a site to a new domain, or merging multiple websites, then the rankings may change as Google has to revaluate the sites individually.


Treat Tag Pages Like Any Other Page & Only Noindex Low Quality Ones

November 16, 2018 Source

John recommends treating tag pages like any other page on your site and to differentiate between useful tag pages and low quality tag pages by noindexing the low quality ones.


When Splitting a Category Page Into Two New Ones, Redirect to One of the New URLs & Update Internal Linking

November 13, 2018 Source

When splitting a category page into two separate pages, John recommends redirecting the old URL to one of the new pages and then updating internal linking normally within your website’s structure.


Merging Internal or External Pages on One Topic Will Result in Higher Rankings

October 30, 2018 Source

If separate sites that rank well already and both focus on the same topic or service merge, then they will see an increase in rankings as Google sees an even stronger page than before.


Linking to Every Page From a Site’s Homepage Will Stop Google Understanding Site Architecture

August 24, 2018 Source

Linking to every page on a site from the homepage means that Google will lose the structure of the website as a whole, unless the site only has a small number of pages.


Related Topics

HTTPS Parameters URL Architecture Subdomains Canonical Domain Facets TLDs Site/Page Quality