So today I noticed that Trulia changed it's link structure and Realtors who are interested in SEO should most definitely take note of the change.
This change is so new, Google doesn't have it indexed yet. Well, at least for Fort Collins and a few others I checked. I didn't check every city in the U.S. though, so your results may vary. (Comment below please.)
From an SEO Standpoint, This Makes Perfect Sense
I have always been a proponent of parent-child pages. I've always thought it was a great idea to "silo" your content in this way. In WordPress, when you create a page, you have the option of choosing a "parent" page.
So, for example, I like the idea of having a page all about Arizona Real Estate.
So I would have gurueffect.com/arizona-real-estate/ as a URL.
Next, I would create a page called "Scottsdale Homes for Sale" and I would choose "Arizona Real Estate" as my parent page, which would give me this link structure:
When we do this, we are stuffing keywords in our URL, but not in a repetitive silly fashion that could harm us. Google understands that "homes for sale" and "real estate" are related terms. Google can be pretty smart that way. Using parent and child pages is a great way to organize your content.
But what Trulia did here is particularly interesting. It's very slick.
They used to have a parent-child relationship in their pages, just like I described. In other words, there was (and still is a page) here: http://www.trulia.com/CO/
However, in the new structure, there is no page at:
In other words, they dropped the parent-child relationship, for some good old fashioned keyword stuffing, and I think it's slick as all heck.
When people search, they often search for things like: Homes for Sale in Fort Collins or Homes for Sale Fort Collins CO.
Now let's take a look at that brand new link structure again:
They shifted the CO to the end, just like a searcher would do. A searcher doesn't type "CO Fort Collins", so Trulia was smart and moved the CO to a more natural position.
I'm curious why they didn't call the for_sale part of the URL to homes_for_sale, but either way, Google gets the point. Now, when you type "homes for sale fort collins" or "homes for sale in fort collins" or "homes for sale fort collins, co" -- they've got it covered in their new URL...in the same order you typed it.
I can't stress how important it is to nest your content. Whether you do it like Trulia, or do it the way I do- you will get much better results than if all of your pages are on the same "level" in your URL structure. I'm going to be watching Trulia's rankings, and if their method is better than mine, I'll switch.
Let me provide a non-real estate related example. This is a brand new website and I offered some friendly advice to my friend Jessica, who built this website. Check out her page structure:
She is a certified legal document preparer here in Arizona. She knows that people search for information on an "Arizona divorce with children", among other things.
So she created an overview page on Arizona Divorce, and then created a child page called "Arizona Divorce With Children."
However, she didn't want to keyword stuff, so she changed the "slug" or permalink from /arizona-divorce-with-children/ to simply: /with-children/
Do you see what she did there?
When you look at the URL:
You can see, with your eyes, that the URL says the keyword phrase "Arizona Divorce With Children" very clearly. Smart, right? Whether you are searching for Arizona divorce, or Arizona Divorce With Children, she has you very neatly covered. She's not ranking yet, because the site is literally only a few days old. I predict success for her though.
Bottom line: Be sure to silo your website content for maximum benefit. This technique has been used successfully for years, yet few people do it.
Important: If you do change your link structure to something more keyword friendly, be sure to redirect your old links, so you keep any rankings you've already earned. If you are using WordPress for this, there are a number of plugins, including Simple 301 Redirects.