Do search engines pay any attention to the depth of a website, or are they more concerned about how site pages are internally linked as well as the ease of its navigation?
Let's say a website, has the following path:
- Sport > Football > Football Teams > Team Name > Player Name Profile
Such a long path, would typically generate the following URL:
Personally, I would say, this is a fairly deep path; although very logical. As far as I am aware, search engines prefer URLs to be kept as short as possible. Even if this is not the case, I guess it would be good practice, even if to help users remember the URL, for future reference.
Firstly, would such a long path/URL, potentially have a negative impact on SEO efforts?
Secondly, would it be ok to structure URLs, so they only contain the domain name and the last URL directory? So the above URL would be shortened to:
In shortening the URL, using the above approach, would this 'counter' any negative SEO impacts or would it have zero effect? Also, would it take away any context of the page, since the former directories have been removed from the URL?
Thirdly, should the primary focus be placed on site navigation, regardless of site depth? In other words, utilise the site wide navigation, as well as page specific navigation (sidebars etc), in order to help a visitor get to any page, in the shortest amount of clicks possible; of course, with user experience in mind. i.e ... Don't just put every link on one page. Unless, it is a sitemap of course ;-)