Joe Hall

Mozcon 2016: Joe Hall

This content is 6 years old. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind as SEO changes rapidly and while the past is useful to remember and reference, it often doesn't provide the best strategies to apply today.

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast-paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

After an awesome lunch (thanks Moz) Joe Hall takes the stage to chat about a subject I love … information architecture.  He outlines the problem with sites having great SEO, great links, great content but just not getting great rankings.

What makes bad IA: 

  • Increased likelihood of duplicated content
  • Poor internal linking
  • Distributed topical authority
  • Confusing or incomplete man navigation
  • Overall lower user experience

So … how do SEOs fix IA?

They tend to look at building internal links or moving content.  These are bandaids.  Even worse is buildign unnatural links to internal pages.

Designing Kick-Ass Information Architectures

He starts this by chatting about wheelchairs and the awkward shift from manual to electronic. He focused on what he was doing and so every action was deliberate and inefficient.  When he started focusing on where he was going and now what he was doing he became more efficient at getting there.  Just like IA.

Main Ideas:

  1. Define main ideas
  2. Plan supporting content (blog posts, evergreen content, targeted user intent)
  3. Develop conversion points
  4. Then we worry about our main taxonomy

Main Taxonomies can define main navigation, URL structures, hierarchy and content development. They are required for top 3 organic positions.

After that we need to look at …

Supporting Taxonomies:

  1. Defines relationship between content in separate sections
  2. Grows internal links organically
  3. Can act as a secondary navigation
  4. Can grow and change over time


He closes by noting proper AI respects the visitor, passes trust and makes a site more efficient for engines and users.

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