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Will More Pages Lead to Better SEO Results?
by Dr. William Sen | CEO and founder of blue media

Will More Pages Lead to Better SEO Results?

Why You Don't Have to be a Giant to Rank High

Every website owner is guilty of studying other websites to compare to their own. Drawing such comparisons can often lead people to think that competitors are ranking better because of the amount of pages they have. Do they really have an advantage over websites with fewer pages?

Some websites have an advantage over others because of the huge number of pages they have, especially when it comes to ranking on Google. That is the turf of giants, with countless resources at their disposal to influence their SEO success.

It seems difficult to compete with these giants on their turf in terms of SEO – but it’s not true. You can rank higher than any gigantic website with tons of pages.

I will tell you how.

Let’s Count Pages First

To discuss this topic extensively, first it is important to show you how to easily check how many pages a website has. If you want to know the amount of pages on a website, you do not have to start clicking around and check page after page to count them.

Say I want to check for the number of pages on www.digitalwelt.org, I can make a Google search with “site:www.digitalwelt.org” typed into Google. Suppose Google returns “About 889 results”, this tells us that Google has crawled the website and has 889 pages of www.digitalwelt.org in its index — this is similar to the number of pages the website in question actually has.

If you are interested in the number of pages contained in the subfolder “/en” of that website — which is the English version of Digitalwelt by the way — the simple search reference on Google will be  “site:www.digitalwelt.org/en/”, and this will also present accurate results of pages only contained in that subfolder.

With this out of the way, we can discuss the impact of page count on SEO and keyword rankings without any inhibition.

Let’s dive right into it.

Big Websites Vs. Smaller Websites

The answer to this is not straightforward because Google’s preferences for websites is actually defined by many different parameters. Google is naturally disposed to websites with more content. However, despite defining content as king, it does not rule on its own and in large volume.

Content can be too drawn out and redundant, offering a poor experience to users. That is why the focus is not entirely on the amount of content available on your website.

The big websites tend to attain high rankings because they have several pages performing well, which helps distribute SEO value across the domain if interlinking is properly set up. Google tends to trust websites whose pages are performing well in terms of user experience, and is then more likely to start rewarding other pages from that domain.

Advantages of Big Websites

The advantage these big websites have is not just because of the many pages they have, but instead is due to the fact that that several of those pages are performing brilliantly. Having more pages also gives your website a higher probability of ranking which eventually determines the ranking parameters for your website.

The most important advice to rank well is still to produce great content quality instead of publishing simply a large volume of content every week or month.

Quality of Content vs Quantity of Content

Your content must first provide invaluable information to users. Then, you can leverage the quantity of such content on your website. A website with many pages should only exist if it is offering its users tons of valuable information to attain higher rankings.

Creating low value pages with thin or little content simply to target new keywords will not be rewarded in the long run, and will overall devalue your site’s standing as an expert in your industry if users continue to bounce off of your pages.

Quick Tips To Improve Keyword Rankings

Let us look at some of the best tips to attain higher rankings for your website quickly:

  1. Regularly Updated Content For Content Freshness
    Google has more affinity for websites that constantly churn out fresh, valuable content. These updates are usually the foundation to attain higher rankings. Therefore, every website owner must invest heavily in fresh content. I also talked about this in the article “Get More Traffic Using the SEO Fresh Content Technique“.
  2. Content Production/ Topic Authority
    Google is interested in websites with focus on specific topics either via a blog or an article section. Such websites stand out as authority websites and they attract high rankings because they serve as resources for specific topics. Better results are achieved on these kinds of websites once you churn out more content people want to read because of its value.

Attaining High Keyword Rankings

The amount of pages on your website is not enough to determine and retain your website’s rank on Google. Numerous pages do not hold any advantage if the content they display is not relevant for users.

Google expects every website and the website’s SEO efforts to show that the content on the website is an invaluable resource for its user base or niche. The first and most important step to becoming a big website is to cover a particular topic with distinction.

Users will become attracted by the value your website presents and all of the relevant information they can easily access. This is what will set your website apart from any other website contrary to the habit of throwing content out there recklessly across a variety of topics or categories.

More Pages Does Not Equal More Keyword Rankings

Websites with high rankings are often websites with many pages and a lot of content — and this leads to a wrong assumption that more pages = more keyword rankings.

But if you look into it in more depth, you will see that the content and pages are brilliantly targeted to bring value first, before the rankings follow. You will also often see that websites with many pages often only drive traffic through a small percentage of pages that have the most value for users.

Closing Thoughts

When next the SEO expert working on your website advises you to subscribe to a content production plan based on keyword research, you should understand that they are giving this advice to ensure that your website hits the mark. Content determines the performance of any website. Therefore, you must not hold back when it comes to content for your website.

Google does not consider small websites with a few topics covered and not updated regularly as a topic authority. The quest is to become an authority website based on the strength of your content, which you must update regularly.

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CATEGORIES Search Engine Optimization
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. William Sen CEO and founder of blue media

William Sen has been an SEO since 2001 and is a Software Engineer since 1996, and has been working as an Associate Professor in Germany for the University of Dusseldorf and Cologne. He has been involved in developing custom SEO tools, large website and software projects. William has a PhD in Information Sciences and has worked for brands such as Expedia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bayer, Ford, T-Mobile and many more. He is the founder of blue media.

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Caleb 2 years ago

Love your site!

But there's an error in this article.

"Having more pages also gives your website a higher probability of ranking which eventually determines the ranking parameters for your website."

Having more pages does NOT help your website rank higher.

Per John Mueller from Google, "If anything, anecdotally from conference presentations & talking with folks, large sites that reduce the number of indexed pages end up ranking better."

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