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Say we have two identical websites, one with backlinks and traffic on the homepage which has categories x y z and one with a category which includes the x y z subcategories. The navigation sidebar shows the subcategories under the category. Would the first case get more views? A SEO setup that I'm working on requires me to do something like the second case and I'm not entirely sure whether it'll work or not.

I wonder whether or not google would deem subcategories somehow less important and related to their respective categories as compared to homepage in relation to categories, therefore lowering SERP results of these subcategories.

  • To be clear, you are linking to both categories and subcategories in the site wide navigation sidebar? – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 13 at 11:42
  • Yes, I stated clearly that bot categories and subcategories are listed, with subcategories being shown under categories themselves – georgegershwin Jan 13 at 11:49
  • So is the only difference between categories and subcategories the visual appearance of how they look in the menu? – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 13 at 11:57
  • that and the breadcrumbs, it appears in the url as domain_name/x in one case and domain_name/category/x in the other – georgegershwin Jan 13 at 12:43
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It won't matter at all for SEO whether you make them as full categories or as sub-categories of another category.

Appearance of your menu doesn't affect SEO

Google doesn't pay attention to how your menu is structured. A separate visual representation of subcategories can be helpful for users, but won't change SEO. As long as the sub-categories appear in the menu, your pages are passing as much link juice to them as to regular categories.

URLs don't matter much for SEO

Google doesn't care much about the structure of your URLs. As long as your URLs are descriptive and stable over time, they are fine for SEO. Having a parent category in the URL or not is not going to change the SEO for that page significantly.

Breadcrumbs don't matter much for SEO

You can get Google to show breadcrumbs in the search results instead of the page URL. That can be helpful for users and increase click through rates. Breadcrumbs don't, however, directly affect rankings much.

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