For many years webmasters and SEOs have gone by the rule that the more pages you can get indexed on a website the better it appears in the eyes of Google. There were many reasons behind this; most notably the fact that the website appeared larger and more authoritative and it also helps to hoover up long-tail search traffic from visitors searching for specific terms.
However, Google’s distinguished head of web spam, Matt Cutts has come out and suggested that a website with a large number of website pages will no longer automatically out-rank other sites, confirming that “just having a number of pages doesn’t give you a [ranking] boost”.
Cutts did go on to confirm that a website with more pages will naturally receive more traffic because each of those individual pages can also rank for their own specific range of keywords, widening the net of opportunity to attract additional visitors.
There are numerous factors involved; just having a big website with a lot of pages does not instantly mean better rankings. Cutts suggested that PageRank still plays an important factor when Google seeks to find the best matches for user search queries.
“If you have a lot of links or a lot of PageRank, that is leading to deeper crawling within your site, then that might be the sort of indicator that perhaps sites would rank just a little bit higher,” he said.
So, in summary, it’s not essential to have a website with a sitemap that’s bulging at the seams unless the content is worthy of meeting user needs. Too often we’ve seen websites in the past go live with pages and sub-sections that simply aren’t required to be an effective selling point for an online business.
But if you do have a website that naturally lends itself it more pages and a greater wealth of information then you are more likely to have a higher number of backlinks and a higher PageRank, which do directly impact your rankings.
It’s the fact that the actual number of pages on a specific site does not have a direct ranking benefit that’s the key takeaway…
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