Cover by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Creating an Optimal Information Architecture (IA)

Making your site friendly to search engine crawlers also requires that you put some thought into your site information architecture. A well-designed architecture can bring many benefits for both users and search engines.

The Importance of a Logical, Category-Based Flow

The search engines face myriad technical challenges in understanding your site. Crawlers are not able to perceive web pages in the way that humans do, and thus significant limitations for both accessibility and indexing exist. A logical and properly constructed website architecture can help overcome these issues and bring great benefits in search traffic and usability.

At the core of website information architecture are two critical principles: usability, or making a site easy to use; and information architecture, or crafting a logical, hierarchical structure for content.

In his book Information Architects (Graphis Inc.), Richard Saul Wurman, one of the very early information architecture proponents, developed the following definition for the term:

information architect. 1) the individual who organizes the patterns inherent in data, making the complex clear. 2) a person who creates the structure or map of information that allows others to find their personal paths to knowledge. 3) the emerging 21st century professional occupation addressing the needs of the age focused upon clarity, human understanding, and the science of the organization of information.

Usability and search ...

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