In recent years, part of long tail strategy has been to get as many web pages indexed as possible. Now, there is a subtle difference between creating a digestable, logical site structure to maximise indexed pages and just making a lot unique pages in a blatant attempt to drive long tail traffic.
Take an example of a hotellier group. For argument’s sake, there are 100 hotels in this group. Each hotel will have its local area within the website. There will be content present within the various services and features – rooms, restaurant, bar, gym and additional items. There are 2 ways to manage this content effectively:
1) Use canonical tags. Say you want a separate bar and restaurant page. You could ‘canonical’ back to the main local hotel page to say ‘this is page to index’. This demonstrates a clear emphasis on the core page and is a pragmatic tactic to employ in your SEO.
2) Hash URLs. Put all of the rooms, restaurant, bar, gym and additional items content all on one page. Mark each sub heading with hash tags to allow the user to access the information without having to load several pages. In my mind, search engines would like this unselfish approach and there is the obvious benefit of the main local hotel web page being extremely content rich.
I enjoy creative SEO. Striving for the ultimate site structure is the best way to go about your onpage optimisation and will make you less dependent on a shallow one-way linking approach to your SEO.