A picture is a thousand words, and seeing the forest from the trees are both phrases that apply to SEO Visualizations. When we’re considering the SEO value of a site we often get so entranced in on page ranking signals that we may forget that internal linking is a relatively more powerful factor in a page’s ability to rank. We lose sight of that simply because all we see is the page we’re on and that is the world. SEO Visualizations allow us to virtually step back and see the bottlenecks and unintended strangle points on our site’s content. Maybe a bottleneck isnt our problem and rather we have no clear paths among 1,000s of links on our pages? By now we should know that 100 links on a page is about the maximum. It used to be that spiders couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to follow more but thats likely changed according to Google statements … but what hasn’t changed is the users ability to conceptualize 100 + directions from where they are now. Costco is famous for never offering more than 3 brands of any product. It’s the lack of choice that people like, offering them 300 or 500 choices just overwhelms them and they lose the ability to quickly locate the information they are seeking. Consider a good landing page, you wouldn’t put everything on a landing page, and similarly each page should be interlinked to only relevant sections of the site. Because of these hub like structures users can feel comfortable with digestible options. In discussing site visualizations I often think of cities, with highways leading to suburbs then out to the least populated spaces. An urban planning degree is perfect for SEO structure and internal linkage. Trust Flow and Citation Flow flow best when we’ve planned ahead. So on to our visualizations, pardon me if I keep talking like they are cities. Here is an example of a site with clearly defined hubs of pages or neighborhoods. Clear access is available to and from a central place that then offers access to more pages. No page has more than a hundred options and no page is more than 3 clicks from the homepage. This site has a good structure. In the image below we see a different more linear structure. It looks like urban sprawl just page after page sometime randomly along bottlenecks. Notice the width of the dots decreases and decreases with each page or click level. Less visitors are going to click 8 times to finally land on some of these content pages. One page is 9 clicks from the homepage. In our visualizations we also can see different colors. Green represent valid pages that returned a 200 status code. Blue are redirected or moved pages like 301 redirects. Orange are pages that a link leads too but a page is either missing or our crawlers access was blocked. I consider orange dots cancer, it starts with one ad its small but quickly spreads. Here is a cancerous site, its been neglected and you can see the effect. Blue dots are not necessarily bad. If a large site has no blue dots it may suggest duplicate content. For instance http://www.example.com/index.html and https://example.com likely are the same page and one should be a blue redirect to the other. If not then the site should be using canonical tags but often its just easier to redirect a visitor back on the correct path. The site below is an early version of Ultimateseo.org. Since it has gotten more complex, see the next image. Notice a growing number of “orphan pages” in the right area of this growing globe. Those are largely profile pages, not attached to the standard hierarchy of the site now. A member directory may address that or maybe we want those pages private? Here are a bunch of additional sites.