Every page on your site is indexed in Google, so it has a chance at appearing for a search query relevant to that page. You would think the more pages you add, the more overall chances you’ll have to rank, and get increased visibility.
However, as Google’s own Matt Cutts has pointed out on several occasions, more pages doesn’t correlate with higher ranks. In fact, if you take a look at Moz’s latest report on Google’s search ranking factors, you won’t see anything about the number of pages on a site affecting its overall ranking.
Is it possible to have so many pages that your domain authority and ranking actively decrease?
How Ranks Fall
There aren’t many situations in which Google will actively decrease your authority, either at the page or domain level. If you’ve given them a reason to think that you’re manipulating the system by producing low-quality content or spamming bad links, you will suffer for it.
Adding lots of pages with no real function could be interpreted as a spammy or manipulative move. Accordingly, if all your pages are high quality, you shouldn’t have to worry about adding too many pages.
What Makes a Page “Quality”?
Now we’ve established that if you want to add a page for SEO, it needs to be a “quality” page. But what exactly does that mean?
Before you add any page to your site, make sure it meets all the following demands:
- Specific. The more specific you are, the better. Writing up pages with generic or ambiguous titles is problematic for three reasons: it doesn’t tell Google what your page is about, it doesn’t help users understand or find anything, and it makes your site appear fluffy (which isn’t a good thing). Instead, boost the specificity and function of your pages. For example, including a page on “rear-end collisions” is more specific and targeted than something like “car crashes.”
- Relevant. This should go without saying, but the page you include needs to be relevant to your brand and industry. Don’t stuff your site full of peripheral brands, industries, and topics; instead, focus on who you are and what you do best.
- Detailed. It isn’t enough to post a new page with a sentence or two and earn the value of a new indexed page. Google won’t value the authority of the page highly, and it simply won’t ever rank, which negates your efforts (and possibly drags your domain authority down, as well). Instead, fill the page with details on your subject matter, and be as thorough as possible.
- Informational. Raw details aren’t enough to make a page worth reading. Those details have to be valuable to readers in some way. To test this, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask, “Does this page help me make a decision or change my actions?” If the answer is yes, your page is informational. Take this cleaning and prevention page for dentist’s website as an example. It’s concise, specific, detailed, and above all, informational.
- Significant. Here, “significant” refers to the level of importance that your page carries. For example, a page could be informational and relevant to your company, yet not significant; for instance, a page dedicated to explaining the types of keyboard and computer mouse your head accountants like to use. It’s informational and relevant to your business, but it just doesn’t matter. On the other hand, take a page like the machinery rebuilds of Walsh Manufacturing; they help the user see the type of work the company does.
- Readable. This may seem like an afterthought, but don’t neglect the readability of your content. In other words, don’t stuff in a bunch of keywords you hope to rank for, and don’t plow your way through it just to get a page up. Take your time and write in a way that’s both pleasing and easy for readers to access.
Adding pages isn’t a bad thing for SEO—in fact, it’s a good thing in most cases, and there isn’t such a thing as “too many pages.” Problems arise when you start to add pages for no other reason than to increase your rank.
In those situations, you’re liable to do more harm than good to your overall domain authority. Instead, stick to adding only the pages you need, following the guidelines above.
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