Site Architecture is very close to Search Usability.
Search Usability - The ease with which site users are able to find their desired data in a website.
Web site usability: - Measures the ability of users to complete a desired task, It is not a set of focus-group opinions. - Web site usability is a BALANCE between business goals and user expectations - Successful site architecture addresses all search behaviors, not only querying behaviorTypes of search behaviors: - Querying o Refining o Expanding - Browsing/Surfing - Foraging - Scanning (eye tracking) - Reading - Pogo sticking - Berrypicking - "The design of browsing and berrypicking techniques for the online search interface" (Marcia Bates)
Architecture is the organization of site pages into groups - how is the content arranged. "Sense of place" is crucial - On each page try to put a logo, breadcrumbs, navigation signals and verify that the page visitors can easily understand where they are.
Shari repeats a lot from the first session (http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/012845.html), the room is full now and many attendees weren't here in the morning.
Page Layout - Most important information should appear above the fold, (also from 1st session). Shari says she probably the whitest hat ever and recommends:
- Don't put all your text in <h1> - Don't use hidden layers - Don't use z coordinates - Don't cloak - Don't use same color for background and text - Don't use CSS positioning
URL structure is part of the interface, Hyphens is better than non hyphens in URL. Problematic characters: &, ?, =, $, +, % - avoid using these in URL. Avoid duplicate content Issues (don't says how so I will - use robots.txt or the Meta robots tag)
Pages all web sites should have:
- Homepage - About us - Products (If you sell something) - Services (If you serve) - Help, FAQ, customer service - Links and resources - Contact us - Site map - Custom 404 page - shows Apple's 404 as a good example and Google's 404 as a bad implementation. - Robots.txt - shows samples
Other issues that don't affect ranking: - Server response time - Server Type (MS, Apache) - SSI implementation (I believe bad implementation COULD affect) - Type - File type (.asp, .php, .aspx, .htm, .html, .zgiio) - Static IP vs. virtual hosting (as long as you're a snow-white hat and didn't burn the IP...) - Advertising with SE - What is site architecture?
Similar Session from Chicago:http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/006895.html