The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important. Although Google’s search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.


All sites have a home or “root” page, which is usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting place of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing more specific content. Do you have enough pages around a specific topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing these related pages (e.g. root page -> related topic listing -> specific topic)? Do you have hundreds of different products that need to be classified under multiple category and subcategory pages?



The directory structure for our small website on baseball cards


A sitemap (lower-case) is a simple page on your site that displays the structure of your website, and

usually consists of a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site. Visitors may visit this page if they are having problems finding pages on your site. While search engines will also visit this page, getting good crawl coverage of the pages on your site, it’s mainly aimed at human visitors.


An XML Sitemap (upper-case) file, which you can submit through Google’s Webmaster Tools, makes it easier for Google to discover the pages on your site. Using a Sitemap file is also one way (though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of a URL you’d prefer as the canonical one (e.g. http://brandonsbaseballcards.com/ or http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/; more on what’s a preferred domain). Google helped create the open source Sitemap Generator script to help you create a Sitemap file for your site. To learn more about Sitemaps, the Webmaster Help Center provides a useful guide to Sitemap files.

使用Google网站管理员工具向Google提交一份XML形式的站点地图文件,可以让Google更容易地发现你网站的内容。用网站地图文件也是一种方式(但不一定能够保证)来告诉Google你更偏好哪种URL形式,(例如:你是更喜欢http://brandonsbaseballcards.com/ 还是http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/;了解更多域名偏好的信息 )。Google也提供一个开源的网站地图脚本来帮助你更容易地为你的网站制作网站地图。想要了解更多关于网站地图的信息可以去网站管理员帮助中心获取更有用的指南。


• Create a naturally flowing hierarchy - Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.

创建一个有层次的导航结构 – 使访问者更方便的从一般内容到更细专题内容,在页面中添加导航会使你的内部链接结构更加直截有效

Avoid: 避免

• creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page


• going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (it takes twenty clicks to get to deep content)

• Use mostly text for navigation - Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer this over other approaches, especially on some devices that might not handle Flash or JavaScript.

尽量使用文字链接 - 在网站的页面之间使用文字链接可以让搜索引擎更好的爬行你的网站以及了解你网站的内容 。许多用户也更喜欢与其他方法,但是在某些设备上并不支持Flash或Java语言。

Avoid: 避免

• having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus, images, or

animations (many, but not all, search engines can discover such links on a site, but if a user can reach all pages on a site via normal text links, this will improve the accessibility of your site; more on how Google deals with non-text files)

使用下拉菜单,图像或者动画方式的导航 (有一些搜索引擎可以发现并处理这样链接,但是用户可能更习惯于文字导航,这将使您的站点的更加友好; 更多信息: Google怎么应付非文本归档)

• Use “breadcrumb” navigation - A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root

page. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections out to the right.

使用“面包屑型”导航 – 在深层页面的头部或者尾部的“面包屑型”导航,能够让访问者快速返回到上级页面或者是首页。大部分的“面包屑型”导航会把首页或者是最基础的页面放在左侧,然后根据内容或者其他组织方式在右侧列出更多层次


Breadcrumb links appearing on a deeper article page on our site


• Put an HTML sitemap page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file - A simple sitemap page with links to all of the pages or the most important pages (if you have hundreds or thousands) on your site can be useful. Creating an XML Sitemap file for your site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site.

在网站中使用HTML的站点地图,并且使用一个XML的地图文件 – 一个简单的地图页面,列举了你网站的页面URL信息或者一些重要页面(如果有成百上千的)的链接是很有效的。建立一个XML的地图文件能够让搜索引擎更好的发现你的站点内容


• letting your HTML sitemap page become out of date with broken links


• creating an HTML sitemap that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject 创建HTML站点地图,只是单纯的列出页码,而不是加以组织整理,例如根据主题列出

• Consider what happens when a user removes part of your URL - Some users might navigate your site in odd ways, and you should anticipate this. For example, instead of using the breadcrumb links on the page, a user might drop off a part of the URL in the hopes of finding more general content. He or she might be visiting http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/upcoming-baseball-card-shows.htm, but then enter http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/ into the browser’s address bar, believing that this will show all news from 2008. Is your site prepared to show content in this situation or will it give the user a 404 (”page not found” error)? What about moving up a directory level to http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/?

考虑到当用户去掉你的URL的部分发生的问题 – 一些访问者可能会以一些奇怪的方式浏览你的网站,你事先应该考虑到这点。例如一些访问者会删除URL的部分为了找到更多的信息。比如说他正在浏览http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/upcoming-baseball-card-shows.htm ,但是他却在浏览器的地址栏输入了http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/ ,因为他觉得这样做可以的到2008年的新闻。你的网站回显示什么呢?是显示更多的新闻还是显示404的错误页面呢?如果是访问http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/又会出现什么情况呢?

• Have a useful 404 page - Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn’t exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user’s experience. Your 404 page should probably have a link back to your root page and could also provide links to popular or related content on your site. Google provides a 404 widget that you can embed in your 404 page to automatically populate it with many useful features. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to find the sources of URLs causing “not found” errors.




• allowing your 404 pages to be indexed in search engines (make sure that your webserver is configured to give a 404 HTTP status code when non-existent pages are requested)

允许 404 网页被 Google 及其他搜索引擎编入索引,当用户请求丢失的网页时,请确保您的网络服务器会返回实际的 404 HTTP 状态代码。

• providing only a vague message like “Not found”, “404″, or no 404 page at all

仅仅提供一些没有意义的字符,比如”页面没有找到”或者是” 404错误”,甚至没有设置404页面

• using a design for your 404 pages that isn’t consistent with the rest of your site

您 404 网页的外观和观感(包括导航)与您网站的其他网页不一致。