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Site Navigation and Search Engine Ranking


Site Navigation Site navigation concerns the linking between pages within a Web site.

  • Navigation Path Navigation path is a sequence of page links. Good navigation design usually reflects a sequence of steps required to accomplish a task (search a product, place an order or checkout).
  • Search Search offers an option to quickly locate content on a Web site.
  • Site Map Site map is an index of all pages on a Web site. The ideas worked well in the early days of the Web when the numbers of pages on a site was not large.

PageRank Users will hit some of your pages more frequently than others dependent on the way how pages within a site are linked (navigation structure). If we think the entire Web as one gigantic Web site, some of the pages will be accessed million times more than other pages. The probability of a page will be hit by a random user can be described in a simple yet elegant mathematical formula. This is the well-known Google PageRank.

Search results in Google are ranked by relevance and PageRank. In the fact that Google powers over 80% of search traffic on the Web and most of Websites gets over 80% of their traffic from search engines, the concept of PageRank and how it works should be an integral part of your ecommerce site design. The total PageRank values generated from internal pages equals to the total numbers of pages within that Web site, but the PageRank value of an individual page are determined by four factors:

  • # of internal incoming links the more pages are linked to a page, the higher the PageRank value the page will have.
  • # of internal outgoing links the more pages a page links to, the lower the PageRank it will have.
  • # and quality of external incoming links the more external pages link to a page, the higher the PageRank the page will have. The higher the PageRank values the external incoming pages have, the higher the PageRank the page will have.
  • # of outgoing external links the more external links a page has, the lower the PageRank values of all pages within a site will have.

The explanation isn't intuitive partly because the algorithm is recursive. The easier way to design your website with optimal navigation structure is to use a Google PageRank Calculator to help your Website design.

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