Search engines are programmed to assess content regions above the fold and place less emphasis on elements such as recurring or duplicate code (links such as navigation, server side includes, etc.) while elevating relevance for the body area on the page.
The need for creating multiple templates for your tiered navigation structures within a website become more prominent when you are sculpting link-flow distribution throughout a website.
The simple method naturally is to selectively link when appropriate or use select (dynamic) link blocks which you could insert on a page specific basis.
In other words, if you have one template in use throughout a site, with the same breadcrumbs, same main navigation, same footer links, and lack of sufficient content (in the body area), then the on page footprint that page leaves behind is clunky and replete with duplicate content – resulting in a lower relevance score for the desired market focus (the topic of the page).
Monitoring the degree of link–loss you experience as a result of having excessive link blocks or contextual links must also be taken into consideration, as the more links leaving a page, the more load that page has as a hub, which must be offset by additional internal links or deep links from other sites to increase topical relevance and search engine result page buoyancy for select keywords.
For example, if you are trying to rank a page for a competitive keyword, the last thing you want is for that page to hemorrhage link flow (from excessive outbound links), have inconsistent internal links, lack sufficient shingles (content or groups of relevant words) or lack sufficient deep links from other pages.
However, without even taking off page ranking factor into consideration, there are enough on page elements you can shift to salvage lackluster rankings just from managing link-loss and spending the link equity you have within your site/ template’s in a more suitable fashion.
Circling back to the premise which inspired this post, if a search engine cannot effectively parse a page, or once it does crawl it and discovers a high frequency of recurring elements, then the degree of relevance associated with those overlapping elements diminishes the uniqueness and subsequent rankings for any keywords targeted on that page.
Effectively you can counter theme diffusion from implementing:
- Custom Dynamic Server Side Includes (to link themed pages to themed pages rather than generic similar link blocks linking from all / non specific or non themed pages).
- Using enough unique/ themed content with prominence above the fold and adding editorial content to offset similarities in code and other prominent on page factors.
For additional resources on this topic, please visit:
- Andy Beard – WordPress SEO Master Class
- Leslie Rohde – Dynamic linking
- Joost De Valk – Affiliate Links and SEO
For the record, SEO Design Solutions is currently developing a WordPress theme with flexible optimized templates to work in Tandem with SEO Ultimate integrating these types of features into push-button functionality for on page link sculpting, and control over templates and server side includes as the antithesis of our plugin.
Keep your eyes peeled in the following weeks for our new, feature-rich SEO WordPress theme coming soon.