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At Oncrawl, you can ask us everything about your reports. Sometimes the Oncrawlers (our users) ask some tough questions which helps us improve our knowledge base. Depth distribution is always a source of questioning.
There is definitely no good answer here… It depends a lot on your website size and your type of content. If you have a little corporate website with just a few hundreds of pages, you could probably get a perfectly optimized website with 5 levels of depth. But if you have a large (over 100k urls) or a very large website (1M+), having more than 15 levels might not be a very good idea.
To keep it factual, I computed the data over 1000 websites to see how many depth levels they have. I came up with this chart showing the average max depth levels by size of a website:
But I think the main question here is not about the “greatest” depth distribution of URLs that matters. You should pay attention to content distribution. Are your top priority pages well located within your website? Is there something rational about why a particular category of pages is deeper that another one? Here is a good exemple of a website on which SEOs have think a lot about their content distribution:
When you are analyzing your page depth, you should go with this quick checklist:
To follow up on this type of question, you should also check with a combined analysis with your logs data how depth is impacting the Crawl Ratio of your pages. To give you a few more insights, I decided to check over 300 websites how Google is behaving depending on the Page Depth level. Here are the results:
If you have good stories about how you handle a page depth optimisation, I would love to hear from you in the comments.