Comment on SEO Silo Theme by SEO Dave.

SEO Silo Structure After I wrote the silo SEO article decided I should make the changes to this site I discussed above. Thought it would take longer, but only took about 20 minutes to fully Silo SEO the popular posts widget and create a new navigation menu: because I siloed the popular posts widgets decided to reduce the menu in size sitewide, but not completely happy with it, still want the option to have unique menus for different sections of the site (next update).

What I did was break the site into 6 niches based on categories.

Niche 6 didn’t use categories, it was anything that didn’t fit into the other 5 silo niches like the home page, archive sections of the site (not categories), search results, some static pages like the Recent Discussion page, Sitemap and the Privacy page.

For these I set a Popular Posts widget that shows the 10 most popular posts (by comment count from all 200+ posts) on the site.

The remaining 5 silos covered the following categories

Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 1
AdSense Blogger Templates
AdSense WordPress Themes
Google AdSense Tips
31 posts in these categories

Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 2
Business Entrepreneurship
Make Money Online
Off Topic Blogging
Product Reviews
55 posts in these categories

Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 3
How to Search Engine Optimization
SEO Tests
SEO Training
33 posts in these categories

Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 4
WordPress SEO
WordPress SEO Plugins
WordPress SEO Tips
25 posts in these categories

Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 5
Stallion Responsive Tutorials
SEO Tutorial
WordPress SEO Tutorial
Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial
62 posts in these categories

The popular Posts widgets are identical other than which posts pool they can grab the 10 most popular posts from and where the widget is loaded.

The post this comment is on is under the “WordPress SEO Tutorial” category, so this post falls under “Popular Posts Widget Silo Niche 5”. See the output on the left menu.

The widget only loads for categories and posts under these four categories

Stallion Responsive Tutorials
SEO Tutorial
WordPress SEO Tutorial
Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial

and only pulls posts from those four categories.

I could have gone further on siloing this widget, but with 200 posts on this site there’s some categories that alone wouldn’t have enough posts to warrant it’s own popular posts widget. If I get to a point where there’s a 1,000 posts I might be able to increase the number of silo niches to above 10.

I might add another silo now for just the “Stallion Responsive Tutorials” posts (34 posts) and remove that category from niche 5. There’s going to be a lot more posts added the the themes tutorial category and it will damage the theming of the SEO Tutorial niche.

Helps writing this sort of stuff down so you can see the number of posts a siloed widget covers.

If you go to two posts from different silo niches you’ll see the Popular Posts widget loads different popular posts. The popular posts for this webpage currently include 3 links with anchor text about SEO and 4 links with WordPress as anchor text. Compare to a post in silo niche 2 like and there are no links with anchor text SEO or WordPress.

With no further input on my part 10 links on each webpage are far more likely to support a webpages SEO SERPs. To do this even better would require manually creating a unique set of links for every post and manually editing them whenever you add new posts! Sort of defeats the whole point of using a CMS like WordPress if you can’t automate a lot of SEO stuff.

One caveat on what I’ve setup, this works without a lot of hassle if your posts are added to only one category each, if you have posts in two or more categories you’ll find 2 or more popular posts widgets loaded, there’s a messy fix for this, but I wouldn’t use it.

How I achieved this.

Under “Appearance” >> “Widgets” I added 6 Stallion SEO Posts widgets (this is the best SEO widget you will ever use, it is SEO fantastic :-)) with almost identical settings.

Below is a screenshot of most of my Right Sidebar widget area, you can see the 3 Popular Posts widget with one open showing the settings I used: the one open is for Silo niche 4.

WordPress Silo SEO

As you can see from the image to limit this widget to only load posts from the categories

WordPress SEO
WordPress SEO Plugins
WordPress SEO Tips

And only grab posts from those categories was a case of ticking the right boxes. The rest is a standard Stallion SEO Posts widget without those settings would be loaded sitewide.

Note: for the Stallion display widget features to be available turn it on under “Stallion Theme” >> “Layout Options” : “Widget Display ON”.

Each of the 6 widgets have different categories ticked, this only works because all my posts are in one category each, if I had put the silo SEO article in multiple categories that fell into two or more silo niches more than one popular posts widget would load.

Had I added the silo article to the category “SEO Training” as well for example the Silo niche 3 widget would load as well.

The messy fix for this is rather than set which categories to load a widget on, you set which categories NOT to load the widget. This is messy because when you create new categories you have to go add them to all these widgets to NOT load.

To do this change

Show/Hide Widget to “Hide on Checked”

and tick all categories except the ones you want the widget to load on.

Before improving the widget display feature (in Stallion 8.1) I was using this messy fix to load custom widgets on categories for adding links to other sites (a way to add unique links from the sidebar of a category) and each time I added a new category to a site it meant editing all the display settings to not load the widgets on those new categories!

I considered making a similar change to the Recent Posts widget, the recent posts widget is another Stallion SEO Posts widget with the option at the top set to Recent Posts rather than Popular Posts: so same widget as above, but different settings. With only 200 odd posts showing a recent posts widget sitewide makes sense for users now, if the site gets to 1,000+ posts might change my mind and create niches. If I used the same silo niches discussed above because each niche is averaging around 30 posts each there would be overlap between the recent and the popular posts widgets on some of the silos.

Few days ago when I changed the sitewide category widget to no longer load sitewide I also moved the Stallion Recent Comments widget (used to be sitewide) to it’s own page and added a Recent Discussions page on the navigation menu.

This means I no longer have sitewide recent comments links (used to have it set to 5 recent comments) and because it’s on it’s own page now can load as many as I want (set to 40 comments) without a huge performance hit on every page of the site: if I had the widget with that many comments sitewide would add at least 40 database queries on every page!


Update: I added a 7th silo niche just for the Stallion Responsive Tutorial category and makes a big difference to the anchor text for silo niche 5. Before we had the popular posts for this webpage had 3 links with anchor text about SEO and 4 links with WordPress as anchor text. Now it’s SEO 8 times and WordPress 3 times as anchor text, the anchor text is better niched to SEO SERPs. The new silo for the Stallion Theme Tutorials uses Stallion 3 times, WordPress 5 times and Theme 5 times as anchor text, far more niched to WordPress Theme SERPs.

Will be very interesting to see how this impacts traffic medium term.