Silo Structure Internal Linking

silo structure internal linking

Last Modified: Dec 3, 2018 @ 10:38 am

It is absolutely crucial that you implement your Silo Structure Internal Linking strategy because too many SEO agencies are generating backlinks to their websites and not passing the power throughout their web pages.

A silo structure refers to the way you organise your website content and internally link throughout the pages. This is good for user experience and allowing people to access the information they need, but it’s also a great way of improving website SEO.

Siloing Design

In silo design (a.k.a. “siloing”), a site follows a very strict internal linking structure that connects subcategories with larger categories above them. There are many other wording explanations of this and here is several so you understand the terminology others might use for siloing design:

  • Category > Subcategory
  • Folder > Subfolder
  • Pillar Page > Foundation Page
  • Hubs > Spokes
  • Parent Page > Child Page
  • Main Topic Url > Supporting Document
  • Branch > Sub Branch
  • Root > Branches

The technique and linking pattern are critical to achieving high search engine results page (SERP) ranking.

If done correctly, there should be substantially fewer cross-links for a web spider to crawl on a silo site than a standard site (sometimes there are 90% fewer cross-links) – Check out this video for a more detailed description of the strategy.

Making sure you internal link from your homepage to the category pages, then category pages to your post articles are key.

From the article submissions, linking that back to the homepage is great. This is because it can trigger the bots to crawl your whole site again and again very easily.

Silo Meaning

What does Silo mean? Silo basically means to isolate a specific thing or system from others. Why is this important for onpage SEO? You need to isolate particular keywords to ensure you don’t rank more than one page for the same thing.

Silo structures are very important when thinking about onpage search engine optimisation, so make certain you incorporate the structure within each page. This will then help your website to progress and can actually help pages to rank better!

What is a Silo?

The definition of silo is to isolate a department from others.

So in SEO, a silo structure is used to cluster a set of documents together and isolate into topics.

This builds up topical relevancy and is stacking silo into topics and subtopics to gain expert status from the search engines.

What is a Virtual Silo?

A virtual silo is where you create and make an interlink between pages that are topically relevant in the main body.

This manual made silo is great for showing search engines which posts or pages are topically relevant.

These should all link back up to the parent money page and a silo is created to only really link within it’s own topical node.

Disclaimer: At times I personally link into multiple categories (i.s. into different silos) as long as it makes sense. I do this because I build websites not solely for the search engines but for my visitors and at times if it makes sense to do so I will link to what is known as cousin pages and cross-linking.

What is a Physical Silo?

A physical silo is where the CRM system creates a url structure with parent pages and child pages. Here is a couple of examples of a physical silo:-

  1. domain.com/tag/post/
  2. domain.com/category/post/

The tag and category can be called whatever your parent money term is and the posts are generally long tail questions or information on that topic. This is great because build topical seo which is key to showing Google you are an expert in that particular topic.

*It is very important when creating a silo to internal link only where it makes sense to do so and you see a relevance between the articles to add onto the topical relevancy”

What is a URL Silo?

A URL silo is when you organise your content creating precise topic groupings.

Google dislikes onorganized content and each url should really be part of a topical node so it is easy to distinguish the topical relevance.

The URL silo also allows extra juice when internal linking if you utilise the reverse sink or swim method that links received from other pages which have the keywords in the url or title pass more power than those without.

Here is an example of a URL silo:

  • fatrank.com/james-z-dooley-seo-enthusiast-introduction/
  • fatrank.com/james-z-dooley-seo-enthusiast-introduction/2019/
  • fatrank.com/james-z-dooley-seo-enthusiast-introduction/2018/
  • fatrank.com/james-z-dooley-seo-enthusiast-introduction/2017/
  • fatrank.com/james-z-dooley-seo-enthusiast-introduction/2016/

As you can see from this example above then the url structure all follows the same sequence where it is a parent page with child pages (the urls with the year in) supporting the parent page.

The benefits of this method are it is building topical authority in SEO and also utilises the reverse sink or swim methods with internal links.

What is a Link Silo?

A link silo is internal linking documents to cluster articles together to build relevancy.

The more stacking of silo you can do within a topic the more expert the search engines give you in that particular field.

Being an expert within the topic is key and Google are trying to move away from ranking pages from websites that only have one document on the subject matter.

Building content depth and document frequency up that are then internally linked as a topical node is key to success.

Why Create a Silo Structure?

Well, first of all, it’s easy to maintain, easy for your audience to follow, and lastly, it’s great for spreading link juice around the site.

Imagine if every link you build just goes to the page at the top of the silo. Over time, the link juice will flow down to each page and post in the silo. Therefore this makes them rank in turn.

So you want your top silo to be the most competitive page, and the bottom posts to be weaker.

Most of them should rank on their own or after building just one or two links. As you build more links, the second tier pages and finally the first page will rank as well.

So it’s great for your users, and great for SEO and search engines.

If you’re planning to build an authority site with a lot of posts and pages, it makes sense to use this structure. Be sure to read this article on creating silo structures which includes case studies and helpful examples.

The video shows a standard Silo Structure Internal Linking design. The clip is going over on-page factors which every SEO specialist needs to look at properly.

You should implement the infamous SEO Silos of WordPress or whatever content management system you use. This is hugely beneficial to strengthen all your pages and rank for multiple keywords.

Siloing is one of the most undervalued technique being used by the white hat SEO companies in the UK.

Make sure you educate yourself on this technique and apply it to your site. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment if you have any questions about internal linking structures for your site.

Key Takeaway – Advantages Of Silo

The main reason I love silo so much is that it allows me to create comprehensive pages of content specifically to an individual topic.

This allows me to create an indepth article specifically to do with the title of the page. I’ll then internal link with silo to supporting articles of this on the website.

As the new pieces of content are tailor specific to the title of the page then the user experience is so much better and stacking this silo into a cluster of documents hugely helps your expertise of that given subject. In this video they call this the new semantic web which is basically clustering multiple documents on a given topic. Check it out as great video:

Previously I would write a long piece of content trying to cover too many topics. These could have been broken down in smaller blogs and then through silo interlinked.

Therefore now I can write a piece of content on the ‘History Of Old Trafford’ and create this long comprehensive article solely on this topic. I’ll then internal link this to Man Utd sports betting page.

However previously if someone was searching for historical data on Old Trafford and were sent to a page on sports betting for Man Utd then this would have been a bad user experience and caused high bounce rates and low time on site.

internal links help search engines

Creating a topical trust with content depth allows us to leverage low bounce to the website and quality time on site.

Then utilising silo internal linking if they want to check the odds on Manchester United to win at the weekend while playing at that stadium they can choose to or not. But in googles eyes, the visit and user has had a good experience with your site.

SEO Silo December 2018

SEO silo is ever changing and it can be difficult to keep up to date with the correct silo structure. The main thing to keep in mind is to link pages that are related.

You do not want to create content cannibalization when you are adding fresh content to your site. In order to avoid this, you will need to carry out internal linking and create a strong SEO silo structure.

This process is not as difficult as it seems. Basically, whenever there is a crossover (when you mention something that you have another page for) you will use an anchor text link to internal link to that page.

This basically shows Google you do not want to rank this page for that keywords. You are also showing Google the page you do want to rank for that particular keyword.

If you have any questions about silo structure internal linking, make certain to leave a comment at the bottom of this article. I would be happy to assist you and provide more detail.

James Dooley

About James Dooley

Digital Nomad who loves travelling the world networking while working on my laptop. Life is a perception of your own reality. You have no excuses and should be making memories every single day #LearnSomethingNew #Develop #Synergy #Network

6 Comments

  • ChrisHayes1 says:

    Thanks for the helpful article! I’ve been working on getting my silo structure setup.. it’s my first one and it’s going to be 4 tiers deep (I’m a bit scared lol).

    PS – please get rid of that Charles Floate video.. you guys shouldn’t be promoting that dork he was caught with under aged porn on his computer.

    • James Dooley says:

      If you actually knew the information on Charles Floate then he never got charged for this. He and his mrs (at the time was 15 years) so that is what they tried to get him done for having pictures of a 15 year old but the girl was his mrs and they was the same age. I would 100% if he was convicted but if you check that was never the case. His material he produces is solid for seo!!

  • Jason says:

    You said “Basically whenever there is a cross over (when you mention something that you have another page for) you will use an anchor text link to internal link to that page.”

    I thought the purpose is to keep everything in one silo and not cross link to another silo right? Thank you!

    • James Dooley says:

      All SEO training and consultants tell you to cluster pages together and never cross link. I personally (if it makes sense to do so as i am mentioning something on the matter) cross link because I feel the visitor is having a better user experience. It needs to make sense to cross link and be mentioned in the article. But there is hundreds of times someone looking to buy one thing might also want something completely in a different cluster also and be interested in that internal link. So my answer to this is do what is best for the visitor / user experience as opposed to always listening to the seo gurus. Hope that answers your question mate?

  • Mika says:

    Hi James, thanks for the great article. What would you do if the ‘master article’ on top of the silo is f.e. About times tables and another article is about times tables grade 3. You want borh articles to rank well. The same keyword is in both articles. How would you go about the internal linking?

    • James Dooley says:

      Thanks for the comment Mika. In this case, the ‘times tables grade 3’ page would be a supporting article to the main ‘times tables’ page so you’d link from the supporting article to the main topic page. You can also link from other pages on the site to the grade 3 page to help strengthen that page as well.

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