I'm working on a site that has around 150 static pages within the site structure. It has eight top-level sections linked to from the global navigation.

However, having scraped the links from the site, it shows that there are 88 subdirectory folders right next to the root domain (I hope I'm expressing that correctly - I mean example.com/subdirectory). And the subdirectories do not reflect the apparent structure of content conveyed by the global navigation.

Can the number of subdirectories next to the root domain have a negative impact on SEO? Or can the proportion of top-level pages compared to the site overall (i.e. 88 top-level pages compared to ca. 150 pages overall) have a negative impact on SEO?

  • Software like WordPress often structures URLs like example.com/name-of-article/ such that each article appears to be a directory in the URL. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 20 '17 at 13:10
  • Thanks for your reply. It's not a WordPress site, but I take your point. So the URL in an XML sitemap may not actually reflect the position of a page or folder in a directory? On this website, there's a page with the URL example.com/our-farms/ and pages beneath it in the site architecture URL example.com/farm/name-of-farm. To me, that looks like there are two different subdirectories being used, but are you saying that that may not be the case? – Hamspray Jun 20 '17 at 14:27
  • It may or not be the case. It is certainly possible that it isn't. WordPress and other content management systems use the front controller design pattern They route all the URLs of the site to a central processing script that decides what content to show. Those decisions are rarely based on a physical file structure. Most often the content is in a database. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 20 '17 at 14:47

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