• http://briantercero.com Brian Tercero

    Great article. I believe we still need to strive to find that happy medium. If you write 100% for Google, you lose your human readers. If you write 100% for your readers, Google may not find you.

    Focusing on Information Architecture that Google will love and that people will find easy to understand and use is important. Once the information architecture is set in place, the graphical user interface can be built so people will find it intuitive to move around the site and find what they are looking for.

    I think you you have to do your best to please both. I guess the tricky part is doing both sides well since there is such a wide gap between the two approaches.

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    If we only had industry standards ….

  • Jon DeLaurie

    I am guilty!! I use the words PR Sculpting and Siloing. I am a huge believer in using both thought processes of what’s good for search and what’s good for end user. I don’t really understand the disliking of PR sculpting and silo. I think you can use PR as a way to see if there is a drastic problem with the original architecture of the site. Wouldn’t you have to look into a PR drop of lets say a 5 to a 0 and you only went down one root directory (i.e. wouldn’t that tell you there may be something wrong?). I also don’t see how flattening your content and putting it in silos would be a bad thing for end-user experience. Depending on the branding and conversion strategy wouldn’t it provide a better user experience if the content they are looking for stays consistent throughout the site and layered in silos? If you properly set up these silos and match them against site analytic s and rankings you can see the correlation between themes and how to adjust for better end user experience and rankings. Your article definitely got me thinking, am I doing something wrong?

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Hi Jon-

    If I can be so bold…yes, you are doing something wrong, IMHO. It appears that you are architecting websites based on your mental model, not user mental models, and claiming that you are doing it in the name of “user experience.” (See http://searchengineland.com/findability-seo-and-the-searcher-experience-61038).

    Information architect Peter Morville wrote in his most recent book, Search Patterns, “When content is scattered into silos, users don’t know where to search.”

    PR sculpting is poor information architecture because with PR sculpting, again, the SEO is not considering the user/searcher perspective. Searchers/users don’t find website content based an arbitrary number between 1 and 10. I’ve done plenty of card sorting usability tests. No user/searcher has grouped content based on this Google Toolbar number.

    (PR sculpting doesn’t work, anyway. Please see: http://searchengineland.com/youd-be-wise-to-nofollow-this-dubious-seo-advice-13524).

    I highly recommend taking some information architecture classes. I can’t possibly go deeply into a response in a blog comment.

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Hi Mr. Martinez-

    I would LOVE industry standards as well, but the SEO industry has no barrier to entry. And my standards have always been high and somewhat controversial at times.

    –Shari

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow
  • Jon DeLaurie

    Shari, wow thanks for sharing, I see you are quite passionate on the subject. I hope I didn’t offend you. I read your other articles, thanks. I suppose I didn’t frame my question properly although you did provide me with great information. I wasn’t implying that endusers would qualify the quality of a page by PR, I was simply using PR score to evaluate problematic areas of a site (I suppose its not the practice of sculpting I was reffering to, but merely the flow of links from one page to the next) I can see your point as well as what I have studied about site IA and siloing and I don’t disagree with what you are saying, especially if it is presupposed that “content is scattered” and not organized into silos (and it would also need to be discussed what type of siloing it is directory or virtual and where graphically the content appears and the actual relevance and quality of that said content). I don’t believe in absolutes especially when technology changes so quickly and there are so many changing variables. My question would be why do most digital marketers not incorporate brand or brand messaging into the architecture and instead market pr
    imarily to search results for generic keywords. I suppose that would be a different discussion for a different day.

  • http://www.faceHOOK.com Sai-en

    This article is absolutely fascinating. I’m a newborn in my SEO journey. I must admit that while I am excited about all of the new information I am soaking up, I am a bit overwhelmed.

    My greatest concern is not getting started with SEO, it’s how do I strategically approach learning the about the ins and outs of SEO. With so many variables to consider before even applying the many SEO methods, it can be a bit confusing.

    Shari, if a newbie like myself was to ask, “Where in the heck do I begin to learn, and how do I map out some sort of curriculum for myself?” What advice would you offer?

    Thanks in advance
    Sai
    Twitter.com/FollowSaien