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What Is Content Siloing and How Can it Get You to the Top of Google?

Google SiloContent siloing is a vital SEO concept that many entrepreneurs misunderstand. Having good silos will help your pages rank highly. It’ll boost your rankings not just for a few pages, but across the board throughout your entire site. Implementing silos takes some upfront thinking, but once you have the silo structure in place, it more or less runs itself.

What is Siloing?

Siloing means dividing your website into different categories and grouping all your content into those categories. For example, let’s say you run a women’s fashion advice website. Simply publishing a hodgepodge of articles on “fashion” is going to make it very difficult to rank for anything. Instead, silo your website into categories like:

  • Blazers and Jackets

  • Pants and Trousers

  • Shoes

  • Bras, Underwear, Lingerie

  • Accessories

The vast majority of your content should fall into one silo category, though it’s OK every once in a while to publish content that’s more general.

Why Google Looks for Content Silos

Google’s goal is to provide relevant content for their readers. When they look at websites, they’re looking for themes, not just keywords. Google doesn’t want to send their users to a website that’s targeted to a specific keyword. Instead, they want to send users to a website that’s an authority on that subject.

Siloing does that for you. If your website is just a giant grab bag of topics, Google isn’t going to consider you an authority on anything. On the other hand, if you silo your site into 4-5 different categories, Google can easily see what you are an authority on.

In the case of our women’s fashion site, the site has gone from trying to rank for “fashion in general” to five specific topics. Any content they publish within those five categories will be much more likely to rank well.

How to Silo Your Site Quickly

Go into your analytics software and take a look at the list of your most trafficked pages. Now group your top 10 to 30 pages into 3 to 5 categories. Those are your silos. Group the rest of your content into those silos. Starting with your most popular pages makes it easy to silo based on existing demand.

Asking yourself these questions can help you come up with or fine tune your silos:

  • Why do my users come to my website?
  • How are my competitors siloing their sites?
  • How would someone naturally search for content on my site?

You can also plug your site into the Google Keyword Tool to see what keywords Google already thinks you should rank for.

Maximizing the Impact of Your Silos

Pages within one silo should link to other pages within the same silo. It’s okay to link to pages outside of a silo, but your internal linking should mostly be focused within the same silo. Use breadcrumb navigation and have a top-level category page for each silo. Make sure you build backlinks to pages deep in your site, not just your home page or top level pages.


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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Hey Sean what a fantastic Post here! I really enjoyed learning more about Content SIlo and how it can help my sites!

    All The Best

    • Thank you Edward, appreciate the feedback. This is a very powerful way to get your sites organized and ready to rock – Sean

  2. Good stuff Sean. I was wondering something. I have an eCommerce site and a lot of my items fit in more than one category/silo. Is this an issue when it comes to ranking? Does this confuse Google? Also, about a week ago I sent you a question but never received a reply. I sent it in your “Got a Question” section.


    • ECommerce sites are perfect examples of content silos as they are very well categorized in terms of their product types and groups. With good category descriptions and making a category a landing page in its own right you can do very well. – Sean

      Oh, and as for your question, that goes to my team so I will check with them…

      • Thanks Sean. But can you tell me if I have the same item in multiple categories, will this cause a problem? A vast majority of my items fit in multiple categories.

        • Yep, that will never be a problem… as the details page will always have its own url/page etc. You are good to go… – Sean

  3. Sean,

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have heard the term content siloing but was unsure how to describe it. This is very helpful.

  4. Hi Sean,
    its a very interesting topic you are debating here. But I think, it should be possible to start siloing from the beginning by creating meaningfully categories as a result of a reasonable keywword research.
    Would you recommend to build subcategories aswell? If yes, how many tiers?

    • I don’t like to go more than 2 categories deep. My main thought is keep it simple. Try not to make a visitor click more that 3 times. You can shuffle things around or build with silioing in mind from the start. The cool thing is that you have lots of options but you have to plan this out before you leap in. – Sean

  5. Hello Sean,
    I like this post. Is it true if you run a blog and put a post into more than one category (silo) google sees it as duplicate content?

    • Actually, as the main page is tagged to a certain category as the “PRIMARY” category, the URL will be shown with that category. Or if you are just using the page title as part of a permalink, it will never show that extra category… So no dupe issues at all. – Sean

  6. Sean,

    How can this be incorporated onto a business site such as Wedding Photography where there is usually only Blogs, prices, photos, etc.?

    • Great question. Think about this, there are many types of wedding or settings for weddings so you could silo via that. Think about any type of way you can segment. If your volume does not lend to siloing then it may not be the best bet but if you think about where you want to grow your business into later on then you can build with this in mind. For example, if you do other events or add Wedding Videos, etc. – Sean

  7. Great content Sean and as always well presented.

    I was waiting for someone to explain siloing in plain English as I had heard the term but wasn’t sure how to adopt the strategy myself. I’ll be able to look into this now thanks


  8. Thank you so much Sean. This is a great addition to you video on the subject. It ads a couple of great ideas I didn’t realize I could do. yet it makes so much sense!

  9. Excellent Post! Siloing your site will increase site authority and user experience; this why Google and the other search engines reward site that are properly structured.

    This topic is definitely worth tweeting about… Thanks Dude!

  10. I’m not so sure how savvy Google really is about over-arching site ‘Themes’. All too often I’ve seen broad and comprehensive authority sites of mine get PIGEON-HOLED into a narrow topic or range of keywords by Google — and they just don’t or won’t pay much attention to your new content or long-tail or thematic vocabulary after that!

    I think Google has (sadly) done so well at reducing the internet’s vocabulary down to only the most valuable MONEY KEYWORDS that profit or matter to them (or us!) that a whole different set of rules apply and getting pigeonholed is much more likely.

    I do concur, really thinking out your silos _beforehand_, rather than an afterthought is best. Your silos that do best are most likely high-interest, low-competition topics that you CAN get seen on.

  11. Hey what a fantastic Post here! I really enjoyed learning more about Content SIlo and how it can help my sites!

  12. Hello Sean,

    I first used a silo structure several years ago and now I use it for nearly all of my websites. Even when I set up a site that will probably be a small one with maybe ten pages I plan how a silo would work just in case I ever decide to build it out to an authority site. That helps to ensure a sound basis from the start and avoids problems later when trying t o adapt it to a silo. It also concentrates the mind when planning the content.

    Best regards,


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