Should You Ever Have More Than 5 Clicks To Get To a Page?

Jan 8, 2010 • 8:11 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

Most search engines find new pages by crawling links from other sites. At the same time, the more links to a page and the quality of the pages linking to a page, drives the quality of the page being linked to. These are all basic SEO principles.

This is why many SEOs place links to their most important internal pages, right off of their home page. Why?

(1) They want them indexed faster and typically one's home page is indexed more often than other pages (not always). So having a link from your most popular page to other pages, help the other pages also get indexed faster.

(2) Also your home page normally has the most amount of links to it, so typically has the higher link equity of all your page (not always), so linking to pages off your home page will funnel some of that high link equity to the pages you are linking to. This may result in a higher ranking for those pages linked to from your home page.

Again, all basic SEO principles.

The myth is having pages based in the root directory of your server results in higher ranking. That is not true, it is all about the click path.

That being said, does it ever make sense to require people to click and click, five or more times to get to an internal page? Since search engines will have to do the same clicking, it might take them longer to find the page and it won't pass the majority of your home page's link popularity.

JohnMu, a Googler, in the Google Webmaster Help forums discussed just that in less than a sentence. He said:

I'd have no problem clicking through 5-6 links to get to highly specific content if I needed it and your site had it.

Google knows that there is a logical site hierarchy. Google knows that there are deeper pages on a site that is important. As an SEO, it is not just about linking to them off your home page, but also about getting external links to those pages. And it is also about utilizing your other internal pages to get the search bots to bite them.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Comments:

Ben

01/08/2010 04:32 pm

Site structure is often the most important SEO issue when working with large companies. Everyone wants their content featured on the homepage and there are heavy politics involved in the decision making. There are two techniques I've found to be effective for SEO and satisfies all the stakeholders involved: 1. Multi-level navigation - allows 2-3 levels of content to be linked site-wide without taking up too much visual space on the page 2. Feature modules - allows for timely content to be promoted and linked on more valuable pages For example, Roth IRA conversion is a hot topic in the financial space right now since the rules just changed for 2010. Normally this is the type content that would be buried very deep in the site structure. Now it can be featured on the homepage and other high-level pages.

sagive

01/08/2010 06:28 pm

my websites are truly accessible and still checking the statistics shows people like to get around. either they quit after a page or go for 5-6 pages.. i guess it depends on the content

Raul Quiroga

01/11/2010 04:54 am

If your goal is for people to be able to find your site easily, you should attempt to follow the three-click rule. You will by then stand a good chance of achieving your business objective.

Raul Quiroga

01/11/2010 05:05 am

If your goal is for people to be able to find your site easily, you should attempt to follow the three-click rule. You will by then stand a good chance of achieving your business objective.

No Name

04/26/2010 02:54 pm

Should You Ever Have More Than 5 Clicks To Get To a Page? Good point made that structure can be the best form of SEO. My opinion around this subject goes in favor of both SEO and site structure. Providing a site with quality, natural optimisation is offering a site the power to produce more traffic. Site structure is equally as important. A good website layout provides a customer on your site with trust and keeps interest within your pages. If you have too many clicks, it can cause a potential customer to look elsewhere. A good balance of both these points can really provide a company with the finest opportunity to reach its highest level.

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