1

Imagine a hypothetical website with all user generated content of single page articles. Here are some ways to structuring such a website:

  1. Putting up more than one article in one page and creating an infinite scroll or a pager. The fact that the articles may not be on the same topic makes this a less search engine friendly way.

  2. Giving a unique page to each article and putting up a list of links/titles in the front page with or without a teaser and a thumbnail. This might make the home page look unprofessional.

  3. Keeping the front page clean, without direct links to internal pages.

Which method would be a search engine friendly and user friendly way to do this? How about combining 1 and 2, as in blog.codinghorror.com? Is there an advantage to it?

2

For your site architecture, you can take inspiration from famous newspapers websites. In general, articles on these websites are categorized by theme (all economics articles in the same category, all sport articles in the same category, etc.). If your site has many articles, you can also create subcategories like for example football, tennis, golf, etc. in your sport category.

However, if articles are created by users, think about checking the category (or subcategory) before publishing to be sure all articles will be well categorized.

The idea is to think like a visitor. Imagine you visit a news site and you want to be enquired on sport in general, you naturally go to sport category to read the news and if you're a fan of golf, you can directly go to golf subcategory.

Therefore, a good architecture for your site will be:

  • a homepage with a list of all new articles (for example 15 non categorized articles - it's not a problem for SEO) and no infinite scroll
  • each article can be presented with a teaser and a thumbnail with a link to the article page
  • a navigation menu like this:

    • economics
    • sport
      • football
      • tennis
      • golf
    • politics
    • etc.

That way, your site is user friendly and thus search engines friendly.

1

Infinite scroll is not SEO friendly. Google and other search engines will have trouble indexing the content that is not loaded into the page when it is first fetched.

To get referrals from search engines to specific articles, you need have a page for each article. Search engines won't recommend specific articles from your site to their users if their only option is to send that user to your home page. Users might have to scroll down a long way to actually find that content if there is no deep link for each article.

Once you have a page per article, you need a list of articles on your site so that they can all be found.

  • There are websites that give a unique page to each article and display the whole article in the front page(such as blog.codinghorror.com, combining methods 1 and 2 I mentioned). Won't that generate duplicate content? Is this search engine friendly? – Rana Prathap Jun 6 '14 at 9:50
  • 1
    Duplicate content within your own site won't hurt you in moderation. See What is duplicate content and how can I avoid being penalized for it on my site? – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 6 '14 at 9:59
  • That says internal duplication of content is possible. That would also mean answers to this question are wrong: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/63562/… – Rana Prathap Jun 6 '14 at 10:05
  • Wrong? zigojacko says that duplicating bios will only be a problem if the rest of the content is thin. Zistolen says that you won't be penalized for it. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 6 '14 at 10:32
  • 1
    It is possible that internal duplication can hurt, especially if there is so much of it that Googlebot can't crawl the site effectively. Using too much boilerplate when the content is thin can also lead to user dissatisfaction and possible penalty from Google. Normally, small amounts of duplication within your site won't hurt you. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 6 '14 at 10:55

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