This is an important post in the grand scheme of things, certainly compared to the level at which we are normally posting
Advanced SEOs have all known this for a long while, but it’s not often anyone important will come out and say it, effectively contradicting the Google mantra of “Content is King”- but in our opinion (and finally some high profile others) it’s not.
We think a website’s (keyword) structure, taking into account URL structures, category structure (which partly defines URLs) navigation structure (basic internal linking) and body text linking (overlaid internal linking) is the real king.
If all else were equal (assume same inbound links) a correctly [keyword] structured site, from domain name, through URL & keyword structure, the correct semantic sub categories and good internal linking, will always outperform sites with the same content in less optimal structures. This is the whole basis of the “Sniper” approach, of Silo-ing, even the old Pagerank sculpting tactics via nofollow was looking to correct errors of less than optimal structures.
It should come as no surprise then to anyone claiming advanced SEO knowledge that with a good site structure, sharp pagetitles and decent inbound links to a site, a virtually empty inner page will rank for terms, whilst many pages on other sites with much better content on them are far below, due to lesser site structure and inbound links.
In this scenario it’s hard to keep saying “content is king” with a straight face. So when a senior SEO architect from Microsoft comes out and says it’s not true, that’s noteworthy.
And when Tedster from WMW agrees with him (and us) that’s good too.
They are discussing SEO for mega-sites, but in our opinion this is fundamental at all levels of website, get it wrong and you will always have to work harder than those who get it right.