Speed bumps and walls

Certain types of website navigation can affect the way in which search engines crawl through websites content. The search engine spiders rely on a user friendly navigation system to find all of the content on each and every website.

If you put it in layman’s terms, let say you have a two page website, but from page one there is know way to get to page two either through a navigation system or hyper links. So in essence, pages that can not be crawled by the spiders are classed as ‘walls’.

Bumps are pages that are very deep within the hierarchy of a website and may not be accessible by the spiders. It is recommended that pages must be no more than 3 sections deep.

Possible Bumps

1) URLs with random extensions i.e. http://www.websiteone.com/?id=quota5/35m. Spiders very rarely crawl through pages with these types of extensions as they normally result in errors and possible cloaked pages.

2) Web pages with more than 200 links on one page, A few years ago it was quote to be at 100, but from my experience if you can link to unique and quality content you should have know problems.

3) Pages that are more than 3 sections deep, or in other words pages that are more than 3 clicks away from the homepage based on the hierarchy.

Possible Walls

1) Pages only accessible via a form, subscription service or login.

2) Pages that are blocked using the robot file or are not linked from anywhere on a website.

3) Pages that can only be found using a search function.

The main thing to do with any website is to ensure that you hire or have a good web designer on you team to make sure the site structure is in the best possible format making sure you have accessible pages available to the search engines. A good web designer will also use full links to point to a web page, for example, http://www.websiteone.com/about-us.php instead of about-us.php. This then tells the spiders you’re full URL, and makes it a lot easier to crawl your site.

You need to remember you have to show Google and the other search engines where to go, basically the same way you would use a map reader in the car, they are telling you where to go and this is what you have to do with the search engines, tell them where to go on your website.

Credit: Speed image from SXC.hu

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