February 28, 2008
The golden achievement in organic search is the accomplishment of acquiring a “one box” in Google.
The one box is when you conduct a search and the site in question has such an enormous amount of themed content that it returns the main URL with subcategories underneath it to provide searchers with an extended selection.
Our site recently graduated to it’s own one box for the term SEO Design Solutions. Over time, your site can acquire additional keywords when referenced in searches as indicated by a prominent SEO company in this search for the keywords SEO Services.
Speaking from personal experience, this occurs when your site has amassed enough links and pages that are themed in nature about a particular subject and the search engine now views your content with a degree of authority and grants it the most relevant result for the query in question.
This is not limited to standard queries, according to this informative article in Google Operating System from 2006 this phenomenon is nothing new.
Deliberately creating the one box for your content represents (1) that you understand the value of delineated site structure for your internal links as a definitive factor of relevance and positioning and (2) your content has reached critical mass for your links per page equation or (3) it is simply the most relevant result. How Google determines that is a mystery to most, unless you happen to be one of the hundreds of PHD’s responsible for administering the algorithm. However, if you have more than 500 pages indexed in Google, then you are a candidate for the one box if your content is organized and linked appropriately.
Ways to toggle this are through positioning your site as a solution which involves numerous steps such as (1) creating an index or glossary of related terms and segmenting them into keyword rich folder names (2) then by linking to those references in your documents the value of the supported material lends authority to your entire site as a resource (wikipedia’s internal linking practices in essence).
The “One Box” is a graduation on one level as the first noticeable step that the spiders are referencing your data as a resource. Search engine spiders are smart enough to determine what an about us page is, read and organize your product offerings into subcategories for the sake of consolidation in the quest for returning the most relevant results.
To help search engines along however, you can use descriptive sub folders to augment this phenomenon (such as putting all of your services in a services folder, then taking a step further by adding specific information silos inside of each folder such as 3-5 pages of related content like SEO Services, Web Development Services, Keyword Research Services, etc.). Then build links to each of the pages until they are sufficiently positioned and ranking on their own accord (it may take 50 links per page or 100 links per page to set off the effect).
Although it may not be clear exactly what spawns the one box (aside from a well planned site structure and strategic linking), one thing is clear. With the advent of universal search replicating this phenomenon will become a true crowning achievement utilizing video, podcasts, news feeds and other forms of aggregated data to solidify a dominant search position.
Author: Jeffrey Smith is an active internet marketing optimization strategist, consultant and the founder of Seo Design Solutions Seo Company http://www.seodesignsolutions.com. He has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and fresh marketing strategies to individuals involved in online business.