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Can a silo ever be counter-productive? (dilute power?)

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I have a site in the legal services niche. I started the website without a silo and I'm thinking about re-structuring the site with a silo. 

 

I have a few concerns about doing this. Namely the following:

 

Is there any risk of dilution?

Would changing URLs harm each page indefinitely due to re-indexing by google? 

 

 

Thanks

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I have a site in the legal services niche. I started the website without a silo and I'm thinking about re-structuring the site with a silo. 

 

I have a few concerns about doing this. Namely the following:

 

Is there any risk of dilution?

Would changing URLs harm each page indefinitely due to re-indexing by google? 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

If the pages are already ranked for your keywords then leave it alone because messing with ranked pages is always a gamble.

 

If the pages aren't already ranked then you have nothing to lose switching over to silos.

 

Keep in mind the way silos are setup still allows you to add silos to an existing site while keeping the existing site intact, that way If you do have some pages already ranked you can still build silos with new pages. My point is technically the entire site doesn't have to be silos.

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Keep in mind the way silos are setup still allows you to add silos to an existing site while keeping the existing site intact, that way If you do have some pages already ranked you can still build silos with new pages. My point is technically the entire site doesn't have to be silos.

Speaking of this, if you wanted to do a silo site, but maybe tack a blog on for the opportunity to have somewhere for people to comment (not necessarily to rank the blog area itself), would you just add the blog area as a link off the home page or would you stick it in a separate subdomain all together?

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Speaking of this, if you wanted to do a silo site, but maybe tack a blog on for the opportunity to have somewhere for people to comment (not necessarily to rank the blog area itself), would you just add the blog area as a link off the home page or would you stick it in a separate subdomain all together?

 

Either way would work but you would be building a sub-domain from the ground up while an existing site would already be established.

 

It's also not as simple as one size fits all, If I had an eCommerce site built on something like Magento and If I wanted to add a blog (ex: Wordpress) to the same domain then I would create either a sub-directory or a sub-domain for the blog so it's not interfering with the rest of the site.

 

As far as URLs, it doesn't matter how deep the silo is nested, just try & keep it as simple as possible so it's easier to manage.

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Speaking of this, if you wanted to do a silo site, but maybe tack a blog on for the opportunity to have somewhere for people to comment (not necessarily to rank the blog area itself), would you just add the blog area as a link off the home page or would you stick it in a separate subdomain all together?

Creating the blog in a separate sub-directory will be a good option.

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Expmrb,

 

I have just done exactly this with an existing site, using advice provided by Mike and Yukon in this forum (plus a bit of supplementary reading of Bruce Clay etc).

 

I don't think you're going to 'dilute' your site in anyway, and the worst case scenario (if you get it completely wrong) is that Google looks at your site and goes "well that was a big jumbled mess and . . . now it's a big jumbled mess but in a different order".

 

Here are some observations based on my own experience:

 

  • Be prepared for a drop in organic traffic, and a recover time of maybe a month or so, as Google's initial reaction to any kind of fundamental change to a site seems to be to hit the panic button and stop sending traffic until it becomes comfortable with the new architecture.
  • Expect a substantial improvement in organic rankings for your main keywords (i.e. your parent silos), coupled with a loss of rank for previously high-ranking long tail keywords as they become buried deeper in your site's structure and get less linkk juice. My traffic for a number of these keywords was greatly diminished - as I wasn't able to monetize this traffic anyway, it doesn't really matter unless visitor stats are more important to you than making sales.
  • The whole point of the silo structure is reinforce 'meaning' within your site and help search engines understand your content better. For me, this meant shedding a load of good content. I took a look and saw that although the content might have been great, it didn't belong in any silo and would only cause semantic dilution wherever I tried to place it. So . . . Have a plan for what you're going to do with any content you jetison. I didn't, and now this is sitting on my hard drive until I come up with a plan to 're-purpose' it on other sites.
  • Sounds obvious, but make sure you have a very clear plan for how you're going to implement the silo architecture before you begin. What I did was went to my sitemap, copied and pasted a list of all page/post URLs into word, double spaced this and printed it. I then sliced up the paper so that I ended up with lots of strips with the current URL at the top and space to write a new URL below. I then set everything out on a large kitchen table to create an entire map of how my site would look and how the URLs would be structured.
  • Once you've overhauled your site, visit your sitemap again. Copy and paste a list of every URL into a new, blank page on your site. Ensure that this new blank page is orphaned (nothing links to it) and publish it. In webmaster tools, fetch this new page and then request that Google crawl the page and all linked pages. This seems to ensure that your entire new site structure gets crawled much quicker than submitting a fresh sitemap (any ideas why, anyone?). You can delete this orphaned page after a few weeks.

 

Overall, most of what really ranks a site (once again, I'm not an expert and speak purely from experience) are inbound links. So all the silo structure will do is tell the search engines how you'd lie your incoming link juice to be spread around your site. For every page whose rank you improve, you'll downgrade the rank of another page because at the end of the day there's only a finite amount of link juice to go around. At least you get to send an unequivocal message too Google about exactly what you'd like to rank for, right? I'm sure there may be some much smaller benefit in terms of Google understanding your content better, but don't expect anything magical to happen unless you're going to build plenty of quality links in to your new silo structure.

 

Hope that helps!

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 What I did was went to my sitemap, copied and pasted a list of all page/post URLs into word, double spaced this and printed it. I then sliced up the paper so that I ended up with lots of strips with the current URL at the top and space to write a new URL below. I then set everything out on a large kitchen table to create an entire map of how my site would look and how the URLs would be structured.

After my own heart.

 

While some like using a software thing to create these kinds of things, sometimes good old paper is easier to visualize, and gives a real physical sense of things.

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After my own heart.

 

While some like using a software thing to create these kinds of things, sometimes good old paper is easier to visualize, and gives a real physical sense of things.

 

I did look at a few software options, but I couldn't find anything that I felt wouldn't just end up as a distraction from getting on with actually building the siloed site. I'm terrible for getting distracted by processes rather than focusing on the outcome I want to achieve, so in this instance I went down the paper-and-pens route and got it done in about an hour.

 

I've also looked for stuff to create a visual (tree) sort of map of my site after the changes, and wasn't able to find anything. I hoped there would be an online tool where I could simply type in the url of my sitemap and it would fetch this and create a visual map to download, but I couldn't spot anything that would do this.

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