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Does the size of your site matter?
aggie12thman




msg:177599
 4:43 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

We all know relavent backward links and solid content are key to PR. What about the number of pages within your site? Does size matter?

 

pendanticist




msg:177600
 4:48 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Quality over Quantity every time. They can be both, as long as the Quality is there.

Pendanticist.

msr986




msg:177601
 4:55 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Does size matter?

Don't let anyone tell you any different, size does matter! But unlike other subjects, the SE's seem to favor sites that are smaller, with less bloat. IMHO

>Quality over Quantity every time

*hits the nail on the head*

webwoman




msg:177602
 5:03 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

What about "A successful site in one year's time via Google alone"...step O.

I have found that as my site size has increased, so has my PR - quantity of good quality makes for a great site, and I think size does matter :)

rfgdxm1




msg:177603
 5:13 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Don't let anyone tell you any different, size does matter! But unlike other subjects, the SE's seem to favor sites that are smaller, with less bloat. IMHO

I'll tell you different. My search engine traffic has consistently gone up as I have increased the content of my sites. The reason has to do with the inefficiency of searchers. I had optimized my sites such that they did very well for certain critical single and 2 word search terms. And, they do well for those. The problem is that even though for what my users want they'd do best to just search for "widgets", they instead search for "shiny blue round widgets". The reason why in the case of my sites is they 2 amongst maybe a dozen on the planet worth mentioning about widgets of all types. The extra content has meant that now I pick up searches for these long, inefficient search phrases. More content means more pages that can possibly match a search. This concept is true for pretty much any site.

msr986




msg:177604
 5:13 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

A large site which is well constructed offers a lot of food for the spiders. However it does come down to factors like keyword density and PR. If these factor are good, I don't see why a site will not do well, large or small. (However, bloated sites usually do not do well.)

The size of a site alone sould not be a factor in increasing PR. Although I must admit a larger site may attract more incoming links.

msr986




msg:177605
 5:21 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1,

I agree with what you are saying. But I don't think that a larger site necessary gets higher listings for the primary keywords in the SE's.

>I'll tell you different.

Are you having a bad day? Brett said in an earlier post "man, it the whole web touchy these days or what!" I guess he may have been right!

>>Don't let anyone tell you any different, size does matter!

This is merely a common play on words!

steveb




msg:177606
 6:23 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Assuming other considerations are equal, I can't think of one way that a smaller site has an advantage over a bigger site. There are many ways bigger sites have an advantage over smaller ones.

rrl




msg:177607
 6:25 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Size matters, definitely...and what you do with it is also important.

mil2k




msg:177608
 6:45 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can use no of pages and optimize them for long keywords which are non competetive as doorway pages. And yes adding more content will help. I remember Brett saying that.

Dolemite




msg:177609
 7:20 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

* make up your own crude joke *

suggy




msg:177610
 7:26 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whether size increases PR - I can't comment.

But size increases traffic - just look at your logfiles.

It's a simple case of monkeys and typewriters - though I don't wish to insult the surfers. The more content the more probability you have of matching the exact search phrase.

A page that draws 10 hits a day is great, 100 of them is a business opportunity!

vitaplease




msg:177611
 7:54 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

More pages a sign of quality? [webmasterworld.com]

We have investigated the utility of various computable metrics in estimating the quality of web documents......Our results contained two main surprises first, that in-degree performed at least as well as the more sophisticated authority and PageRank algorithms, and second, that a simple count of the pages on a site was about as good as any of the link analysis methods

From:Does authority mean quality [citeseer.nj.nec.com]

The "number of pages" versus "the number of PhD's" :)

garylo




msg:177612
 8:25 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

What about the number of pages within your site? Does size matter?

The more pages you have the higher the overall PR within that site. The overall PageRank of a site is distributed among the pages in the site.

dwilson




msg:177613
 8:06 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

The more pages you have the higher the overall PR within that site.

Yes, and if the pages all link back to the top, that should transfer PR back in that direction. A truly massive site could have high PR with next to no external links, theoretically.

Chris_R




msg:177614
 8:12 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Neither one matters much.

I know people will tell you differently - but it isn't the case.

Better sites = more pages in many cases [yes I know this isn't always the case]

However - google can and will index a site without ever seeing it. This doesn't prove what I am saying - just something to keep in mind.

I have done hours and hours of excel correlations on page size and the correlation is 0.

I don't think anyone listens - but it is the truth.

What rfgdxm1 says is very true of course. Most people would be amazed if they saw what some people searched for.

freejung




msg:177615
 9:00 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that the Google PR algo simply counts the amount of time a random surfer stays on your page, the more pages on the site which link to a particular page, the higher the PR of that page. Thus a bigger site with all pages linked to the homepage will have higher PR homepage. Bigger is better, at least in terms of number of pages, both for obscure keywords and for PR. This is the standard answer, and corresponds with Brett's 12 months doc, I don't know what you other guys are thinking.

swerve




msg:177616
 9:41 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that the Google PR algo simply counts the amount of time a random surfer stays on your page, the more pages on the site which link to a particular page, the higher the PR of that page.

From what I have learned here, I tend to agree with freejung. All else equal,

more pages = more links to home page = higher PR for home page

(Now in practice, "all else" is never equal, which is why, I would speculate, that Chris_R's Excel correlation analyses did not show any correlation.)

Here is a ficticious example, "articles.com":

-the site has no external links
-the site has 12 pages:
-1 home page
-1 "articles" page with links to articles
-10 pages with very long articles.
-each page has link back to the home page

What would happen if the webmaster at "articles.com" decide to split each article into five parts?

-the site still has no external links
-the site has 52 pages:
-1 home page
-1 "articles" page with links to articles
-50 pages with 10 articles broken in 5 parts each.
-each page has link back to the home page
-site content is the same

I believe the second scenario would result in higher PR for the home page (even though the content is same in both scenarios). Comments?

DerekT




msg:177617
 9:53 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

freejung

I have a site with 40,000+ pages all in the Google index. They all have a link pointing back to the domain in the footer, along with the copyright notice. Google also shows 15 external links pointing to the domain. My main page is still a PR4. A few interior pages are PR4 and the rest are PR3 or lower.

Comments?

Chris_R




msg:177618
 10:19 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind you get your PR from EXTERNAL sources - you can divy the PR up how you want in your own pages - but you aren't going to create more. If you give more to your home page you take more away from your other pages.

For the purists out there - you do create a VERY VERY small amount of PR by doing certain schemes - but it is sooooooooooooo small as to be useless.

a 1 page site could have at most XPR - I tried doing the calculations for how much you woud get having a 10 Page Site vs 1 Page - and it is in scientific notation and is very very small number.

The correlation I was talking about in excel is for page size - not pages in a site.

There is NO DIFFERENCE in page size on ranking. This is EASY to prove. Anyone with excel can do it themselves.

If small pages were better - they would tend to rank higher in the SERPS. PERIOD. They don't.

deejay




msg:177619
 10:38 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some comments in this thread which just strike me as very odd to me.

Please note that where I refer to PR or pagerank I mean I mean the toolbar score which is only ONE component of the algo which determines the page's placement in the SERPs for any given search term. I think there's some confusion happening here between terms, which is why I clarify.

The original question:
We all know relavent backward links and solid content are key to PR. What about the number of pages within your site? Does size matter?

Does size increase PR within the site? Not in and off itself, no. Your PR is received from external links, not generated by internal links. This is most easily seen on sites where all incoming links come to the index page which therefore has the highest PR.. internal links then distribute that PR within the site, but I have seen no evidence that they can GROW the PR to be distributed, ie, in this example the index page will always have the highest PR.

BUT does size matter in other terms - absolutely. As I said to someone who had dominance in "widgets" with one page in Google, rather than tinkering with that page they could create other pages targetted at related search terms - "widget" (note the singular) "blue widgets" "1/8 inch widgets", etc. That's the first place your added value comes from.

There is also the aspect of increasing authority of site, ease of obtaining incoming links (thereby increasing PR) and the factor of having more pages in the search engines at different densities, keywords, etc, as an insurance policy against changes in either the SE's algo or your competitors sites. More on that here:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Now to some of the replies:

rfgdxm1 - we agree again :) I'm not sure whether I should be worried.

garylo:
The more pages you have the higher the overall PR within that site. The overall PageRank of a site is distributed among the pages in the site.

I think I see what you're saying, in terms of 10 x PR4 pages vs 100 x PR4 pages, but 'overall pagerank' just doesn't exist. Google ranks pages, not sites, so the status or number of other pages on a site does not matter beyond the PR passed from them.

dwilson:
Yes, and if the pages all link back to the top, that should transfer PR back in that direction. A truly massive site could have high PR with next to no external links, theoretically.

Nope, sorry, ain't buying it :) PR is only INCREASED by external sources.

freejung:
Given that the Google PR algo simply counts the amount of time a random surfer stays on your page, the more pages on the site which link to a particular page, the higher the PR of that page. Thus a bigger site with all pages linked to the homepage will have higher PR homepage. Bigger is better, at least in terms of number of pages, both for obscure keywords and for PR. This is the standard answer, and corresponds with Brett's 12 months doc, I don't know what you other guys are thinking.

This just doesn't correlate with anything I've ever read. Are you saying that Google tracks users surfing (presumably through the toolbar) and ranks on that basis? Sorry, ain't buyin that either.

swerve:
Here is a ficticious example, "articles.com":

-the site has no external links
-the site has 12 pages:
-1 home page
-1 "articles" page with links to articles
-10 pages with very long articles.
-each page has link back to the home page

What would happen if the webmaster at "articles.com" decide to split each article into five parts?

-the site still has no external links
-the site has 52 pages:
-1 home page
-1 "articles" page with links to articles
-50 pages with 10 articles broken in 5 parts each.
-each page has link back to the home page
-site content is the same

I believe the second scenario would result in higher PR for the home page (even though the content is same in both scenarios). Comments?

Scenario 1: Starts with 0 external incoming links = PR0

Scenario 2: Starts with 0 external incoming links = still PR0

DerekT:
See all the above :)

Chris_R:
I agree on the PR side.

I haven't done serious research into page size, but on the face of it I agree with you there too.

I have seen no evidence to say pure page size is any sort of significant factor, other than you gots to have something (even if it's just external link text), and more than 101k ain't gonna do much for you.

mrguy




msg:177620
 10:47 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

If internal links do not have any effect on PR, how do explain large sites (500 or more pages, with no external links and only internal links having PR 6 and sometimes higher and placing very well in the SERPS?)

There is no evidence that internal links do not add to your PR other than peoples opinion. I think there is evidence to prove that it does.

In fact, large sites that have correctly linked seem to do very well.

If the internal links don't count for anything, why would they even show up?

Content, content, content.............

Chris_R




msg:177621
 11:03 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)


The EVIDENCE is the EQUATION that has been on the web since google has been out.

There are NO PR6 sites on the web with only internal links.

You only see internal links for various reasons.

This PR stuff is brought up almost every week. You don't get (create) PR from your own pages.

You can have the best content in the world - but if you have no one linking to you - you aren't going to get squat.

mrguy




msg:177622
 11:39 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

And just how old is that equation.

Does not Google constantly change it and upgrade it?

Do you have the most recent version of the algo that was applied to the last dance, if so I would sure like to see it I'm sure many others would to!

If I see the most recent equation that is being applied, then I'll believe and just chalk up those high ranking sites a fluke.

Until, in my opinion large sites have a direct advantage over smaller sites.

killroy




msg:177623
 11:54 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was under the opinion, from the original published Google equation that Page Rank means just that, ranking pages. In fact the equation does not consider sites AT all. Therefore on the pure formula, 1000 domains interlinked should have the same effect as 1000 pages in one domain.

Furthermore I read otherwhere that urls are considered as raw strings, i.e. simple identifiers without interpretation. Which would further suggest that google does not differentiate pages on same same domain form pages on different domains.

In fact, it seems that the sites and domains only come into play once you talk about penalities for crosslinking. Even content relations are investigated via the content, and not the domain.

Again, all this is simple anecdotal from scraps of information I read here and in official papers, but nothing specific. I have personally a webiste with many PR 5 and PR 6 pages which has a large number of pages, but since it has a couple of inbound links as well (200+) I can't confirm or deny anything from that...

I will watch my PR as the site grows further though.

S. N.

Chris_R




msg:177624
 11:58 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok - believe what you want :)

PR is PR is PR is PR.

They can weight the algo anyway they want - add and subtract factors - PR is still PR.

PR is but 1 of ~100 factors.

However I could be wrong.

Find me ONE LEGITIMATE PR 6 site (no spam or cloaked sites) with NO EXTERNAL LINKS (sub pages don't count) and I will PayPal you $100.

Site has to have been around for at least three months and have at least one visit in Alexa.

I get one update cycle to come up with a link (I will probably be able to find it in less than 30 minutes - however with fresh updates - it is not always possible).

I will find a page LISTED in google that the link is on NOT that it will show up with reverse links. Google doesn't show all reverse links, but I will find it.

You only get one chance though. Free $100 is good until midnight tonight EST - you owe nothing if I find the link.

annej




msg:177625
 12:08 am on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

More content means more pages that can possibly match a search. This concept is true for pretty much any site.

Absolutely! I am amazed as to how many people find my site through pages on more specific information. So the combination of quality information and size is the key. A page on some obscure aspect of widgeting history may just bring in a few visitors but a few visitors a day on dozens of pages makes a big difference. Now whether this brings sales or not is another question. OTOH if the site is primarily informational it's great as it makes more people aware of the site. They then become return visitors, tell others about the site and may even link to it.

Google PR algo simply counts the amount of time a random surfer stays on your page

Explain more about this. It's new to me. I've always thought it was primarily incoming links.

PR is only INCREASED by external sources

I don't know about the mythical site with no inbound links but once the pages have some PR it appears that it does help a lot to crosslink and/or link them all back to the homepage. I go back and forth on this one. It sure seems like it helps but then why would Google count internal links? If links are votes for a site surely one wouldn't be able to vote for oneself over and over. But possibly internal links are a way for Google to see how large a site is and that may in some way indicate how much content is there.

Interesting discussion.

Anne

[edited by: annej at 12:11 am (utc) on April 4, 2003]

yankee




msg:177626
 12:11 am on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

mrguy,

Did you check the backlinks on all 500 pages? The PR into the site is from an external page to an internal page you didn't check the backlinks on. This internal page then spreads the PR to the rest of the site, including the index page.

Chris_R




msg:177627
 12:41 am on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google PR algo simply counts the amount of time a random surfer stays on your page

The idea behind PR is to measure where the average surfer will be in cyberspace by blindly clicking links. Sort of. This is how they described it in the papers.

I don't think he meant to say time as in minutes but more like occurences - oh well - I can't describe it - here

"PageRank assigns to a page a score proportional to the number of times a random surfer would visit that page, if it surfed indefinitely from page to page, following all outlinks from a page with equal probability."

Chris_R




msg:177628
 12:44 am on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

If links are votes for a site surely one wouldn't be able to vote for oneself over and over.

You get it - the trick is google divides the links up so if you have 10 links ougoing - they each give about 1/10 of your page rank away - 20 link - 1/20th - so you are never giving away more page rank than you get.

It is an iterative process - repeated over and over until things normalize. Page you links to gets a little higher rank - and page they link to gets a little higher rank - and so on and so on.

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