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Website Taxonomy: Definition, Benefits, Examples, and Types

Last updated: Nov 22, 2022

What is Website Taxonomy?

Website taxonomy is a structure used by websites to classify content based on certain characteristics so that users can easily navigate website content and understand it. In simple terms, a taxonomy is a section or page on a website or a category on a blog.

An SEO specialist's responsibilities include good planning and implementation of website taxonomies. A website with a good taxonomy will make it easier for visitors or web crawlers to explore the contents of the website.

URL structure and taxonomy are two things that are interrelated. URLs must have an organized structure based on the website's taxonomy. This means that the URL will reflect the page's position in the website's taxonomy structure.

For example, an article page has the following URL: example.com/blog/article. Based on this example, you can tell that this URL structure has the domain address example.com/, is in a subfolder /blog/, and the slug that identifies the page specifically is /article.

Apart from the URL structure, another way to build a taxonomy is to use internal links.

Benefits of Website Taxonomy for SEO

Website taxonomy is an important part of SEO. This is because planning the taxonomic structure is the first step before optimizing the website. With a good taxonomy, it will not be difficult for users or search engines to understand and navigate websites.

Visitors will find it easier to find any content on the website, so their level of interaction will be higher. Web crawlers will also find it easier to crawl because each page is connected neatly.

This, of course, affects the indexing process. The more indexed pages, the better for the website.

Website Taxonomy Examples

If you want to know how taxonomy structure can affect SEO, you can see examples of website taxonomies that you should avoid and examples that you should implement:

Example of a Bad Taxonomy

The URL used by a bad website can reveal its taxonomic structure. Usually, URLs like this have too many subfolders in their structure. For example:

  • https://example.com/2022/11/18/article-about-things
  • https://www.example.com/home/shop/category/product/p/88465


Both URLs have too many subfolders. This makes the website structure too deep, so visitors or web crawlers will find it difficult to reach content from that URL.

Example of a Good Taxonomy

So, what is a good taxonomy? You can see it in the following example:

  • https://example.com/blog/article-about-things
  • https://www.example.com/shop/product


You can see that both URLs are classified under the same topic. The relationship between one page and another is also clearer. In addition, the number of subfolders is not very large, so the website structure is not too deep.

Website Taxonomy Types

When you want to plan the website structure, make sure you define the taxonomy type that suits your website. Let's find out what types of website taxonomies you can choose from:

Flat Taxonomy

Flat taxonomy is a simple website structure and only consists of several top-level categories. All categories on the website have the same hierarchical level. This taxonomy type is perfect for small websites that don't have a lot of content.

For example, a company profile website only has four categories, namely About Us, Services, Contacts, and Addresses. 

Facet Taxonomy

The facet taxonomy is used on websites whose content can be assigned to different categories. Websites that usually use this type are e-commerce websites.

This is because the product pages on the e-commerce website have various attributes that can be sorted to make it easier for users to find the product they are looking for.

Hierarchical Taxonomy

Hierarchical taxonomies organize the website's categories from the most general to the most specific. Typically, large-scale websites such as media, online stores, or blogs use this taxonomy type.

The deeper the website's taxonomy structure is, the more specific the content on that page. This can assist the audience in identifying each page's relationships and navigating them.

Remember that you can use this type of taxonomy as long as the structure isn't too deep and there aren't too many subfolders that make it difficult for users and crawlers to navigate.

Network Taxonomy

The network taxonomy groups content based on relationships or associations between categories. This means that the categorization system on the website's taxonomy can be basic or random, but it must be meaningful to the audience.

For example, an online shop website has the categories "Shoes", "Clothing", and "Jackets". The content in each of these categories has the same type of product. Even so, there is a "Popular" category, which contains the most popular products from various categories.

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