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SEO and Click Distance

SEO and Click Distance

Click distance is the number of clicks it takes to get to a web page or document from the homepage of the site. Essentially, the lower the click distance, the more value given to the document – if one looks at a site’s navigation as a hierarchical web structure.

So, it page A is five clicks from the homepage and page B is 1 click away, page B should obtain a higher Click Distance score in search engine algorithms.

Similarly, some search engines, Yahoo for instance, may also take into account the distance of a document’s file directory from the site’s root index. For example, should be more valuable than, which is burried in the site’s file system.

Today SEOBlackhat, which has been host to some amazing blogging of late, published the results of a Click Distance makeover of their WordPress template which did away with categorical listing pages and Google Sitemap, while setting up their own basic Sitemap which is a list of links to each blog post.

Quadzilla posts :

It’s time for some observations about the experiment.

For the month of September, SEO Black Hat had these search referral numbers:
Google 24889
Yahoo 1047
MSN 503
Ask Jeeves 91
Google Images 82

and these numbers in July
11995 – Google
1145 – MSN
828 – Yahoo
514 – Google Images
34 – Ask Jeeves

There was a 74% climb in the number of Google search referrals. MSN switched to live – and live hated my old layout because it was ugly (let’s see if that picks up any with the new design).. Yahoo was down slightly and Ask Jeeves up slightly.

Also of interest is that SEO black hat had gone supplemental after 182 results prior to the experiment. Today, SEO Black hat does not go supplemental until 554 results (which is pretty good considering this is only my 334th blog post.)

Cleaner site with less click distance = better Google rankings. Now you all realize why Search Engine Journal also does not link to our WordPress powered category pages and has a sitemap of sorts at /news.php. Less click distance and less supplemental results due to content duplication.

Bill Slawski also looked at Click Distance last month on his blog, SEO by the SEA, by reading up on a Microsoft Search patent application:

In addition to the number of clicks away from the main page of a site, this may also consider a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) depth property, to refine results. The URL depth property measures the number of levels in the URL and is compared to the click distance function to adjust a page’s ranking score.

The use of this ranking factor may have more of an impact on an intranet site than an internet site, because link popularity based measures can be limited on intranet sites. The document appears to apply to both internet and intranet pages, though it is described within an intranet setting.

System and method for ranking search results using click distance
Invented by Dmitriy Meyerzon, and Hugo Zaragoza
Assigned to Microsoft Corporation
US Patent Application 20060074903
Published April 6, 2006

Filed on September 30, 2004

How’s your site’s click distance?

Category SEO
SEJ STAFF Loren Baker Founder at Foundation Digital

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ...

SEO and Click Distance

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