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We are developing a website where there will be two distinct types of content: galleries and photos.

It makes little sense to use URL paths like /gallery/photo as some photos can appear in more than one gallery (and duplication of content is bad); so the current logic is to have a single depth on the site (/photo1, /photo2, /photo3, /gallery1, etc).

Will this impact upon SEO as the number of single depth pages increases?, is it better for Search Engines in general to see a more RESTful interface (/galleries/gallery, /photos/photo1, etc)?, or is there a better way to handle this?

P.S.: The photos will have a landing page of their own with deep textual content (as will the galleries).

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I've read this a few times and I'm still kind of unclear .. you kind of lost me at 'tier'. –  Tim Post Jul 20 '10 at 8:00
    
This should be easier to read. –  Metalshark Jul 20 '10 at 8:01
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Not a duplicate, but this question has good complementary information webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/162/… –  HoLyVieR Jul 20 '10 at 14:10
    
Thank you HoLyVieR that was quite informative. –  Metalshark Jul 20 '10 at 15:00
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, it shouldn't matter if you have thousands of pages at the same "level". I've seen sites that have all their content at the root level because they are under the impression it makes a big difference for SEO. (Incidentally the sites do rank well but I don't think the lack of organization has any bearing on that.)

I think the structure you are proposing is good, if I have it correctly:

  • A set of category pages at /galleries/rabbits
  • All image landing pages appearing to be in one folder like /photos/bunny1

A good alternative would be to have a main category along with the other categories/tags. You get the added benefit of an extra keyword in the URL, plus it may be easier for users to understand the site structure.

With the above example, "bunny1" might be under the "rabbits" and "fluffy" categories but the main category would be "rabbits". You might then have this structure:

  • Category pages of /gallery/rabbits/ and /gallery/fluffy/, both showing the "bunny1" image.
  • Image page of /gallery/rabbits/bunny1
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Does the use of the words "gallery" & "photos" distract from the other keywords in your example or are they beneficial for conveying information to the Search Engine crawler? –  Metalshark Jul 20 '10 at 10:25
    
No, there shouldn't be any problem including those words - in fact it could be quite beneficial since many users will include "photo" or "image" in their search terms. Just do whatever feels most logical and helpful for users. –  DisgruntledGoat Jul 21 '10 at 0:35
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URLs are URLs - it doesn't really matter how they're structured for search engines. The main element I would recommend working on is to make sure that your images (and the pages they're on) are as much as possible on a single URL, so that you don't have /gallery1/image124 and /gallery3/image124 with the same image on them. Depending on how you build your site, that might be hard, so at the very least I would recommend working to have one chosen preferred URL for them and using something like the rel=canonical link element to point to it ( http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html ).

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Using canonical URLs for duplicate addresses combined with DisgruntledGoat's answer may be the best of both worlds. So there would be /gallery/rabbits/bunny1, /gallery/fluffy/bunny1 and /photos/bunny1, with the gallery URLs being canonical. –  Metalshark Jul 20 '10 at 10:36
    
@Metalshark: I would try to avoid the duplicate content in the first place, if that's possible. In my answer I meant if you have a main category of "rabbits", then the URL would always be "/gallery/rabbits/bunny1" and that URL linked from the other categories. "/gallery/fluffy/bunny1" should not exist. –  DisgruntledGoat Jul 21 '10 at 0:38
    
Missed the word don't in "so that you don't have ... with the same image on them". Turned out to be pretty important re-reading your answer. –  Metalshark Jul 21 '10 at 5:22
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