There are innumerable myths cycling through the search marketing community that lead brands to believe they can earn page one rankings by using certain tactics. One misconception is that bigger websites with more pages always rank higher in search results – an idea that Search Engineer Matt Cutts disputed in the latest Google Webmaster Help Channel video.
“Just having the number of pages doesn’t give you a boost though. It might give you a few more opportunities, but normally the only reason you get that opportunity is because we see more links to your website and are willing to crawl a little bit deeper and find more pages to index,” he said.
Just to be crystal clear, Cutts listed some reasons why larger sites don’t automatically take higher positions in SERPs, versus some factors that can improve ranking signals.
Things that don’t help search rankings:
- Having a big website with a lot of pages.
Things that do help search rankings:
- Having a website with a lot of links leading to online content.
- Having a website with lots of pages with more PageRank.
- Having a website with more pages optimized for different keywords that can rank in search.
While adding new pages in and of itself won’t help web content rank better, it can add SEO value over time if these pages improve user experience.
While adding new pages in and of itself won’t help web content rank better, it can add SEO value over time if these pages improve user experience. For instance, internet users might find it easier to find the information they want when a company creates new landing pages for its popular products and services. Similarly, consistent blog posts that provide updates or resources to address customers’ ongoing needs can add value. As visitors stay on the site longer and reference it through social shares, Google’s search crawlers take notice and give the domain more exposure on the web.
Google’s agenda seems focused on search experience optimization, and there is a growing body of evidence to support this idea. Tactics used get ahead on the web, such as adding pages or using certain coding tricks to trick search crawlers, won’t work in the future. Marketers who want to dominate SERPs in the future must change their mindset and think about the value they add to the ‘net.