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To whit: I run a men's lifestyle Q&A site. I have a total of 25 categories in which questions are submitted. Currently, however, these "categories" are in fact sub-categories, such that Bodybuilding, Cardio, Nutrition, Health and Sports for example, all belong to the "Health & Body" meta category, of which there are 5 in total.

Is this the best structure for the site, or would it be better for SEO to upgrade the sub-categories (since there are - and probably always will be - only 25...) into full-blown categories?

Thanks very much in advance for any light you're able to shed on this.

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Exactly what structure are you referring to? The way you organize your categories doesn't inherently have anything to do with SEO, unless what you're actually asking about has something to do with the categories affecting your URLs, for example. That's my suspicion, so responded based on that below, but you might want to explain a bit more. –  Su' Oct 2 '11 at 0:26

1 Answer 1

I'm going to guess you've created a 1:1 relationship between your category structure and your URL structure. This is not necessary, unless your CMS somehow enforces it, in which case I'd argue the actual problem here is the CMS.

Nested directories do tell the search engines a little about how your site's organized, though, and only going two deep isn't going to be a significant problem. It's only really going to become a consideration if you have a very convoluted structure.

Going back to my first point, I manage a site in which the categories are structured, eg.:

  • Fruit
    • Apple
    • etc.
  • Vegetable
    • Carrot
    • etc.

...but the urls for all of them are all "top" level, for quick access:

  • /fruit/
  • /apple/
  • /vegetable/
  • /carrot/

We do this because the various "sub" sections can stand on their own and are only sub-categories for internal organizational purposes. If your categories really are sub-topics, then you might want to leave things as is.

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Thanks, this was really helpful. In terms of SEO, I'm referring to the fact that if a user clicks on the "Power & Money" category, for example, the meta-description will affect how that page is ranked, will it not? So if I have "Career" as a sub-section, then my dilemma is whether to display content within that sub-section as belonging to /career/, /power-and-money/career/, or just, say, /power-and-money/. I'm wondering which of those to add robots.txt to, or whether I should remove the higher-level category altogether. –  zakgottlieb Oct 2 '11 at 2:35
    
By meta description, above, I actually meant meta keywords tag. Sorry about that. –  zakgottlieb Oct 2 '11 at 3:13

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