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Could large page size be a problem?

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3538086 posted 7:40 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just finished writing something that works a lot better for the user if it's all on one long page. The other choice was to divide it up into 2-5 parts with a "Go to part X" link at at the bottom of each page. I personally hate that and always prefer everything to be on one page no matter how big it gets and assume my readers feel the same way.

Thing is, this one page ended up being 92kb in size. No images or anything, pretty much just neatly organized text.

What I'm wondering is if any Google ranking/indexing related problems will be caused by the fact that this page is 92kb?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3538086 posted 9:22 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, that is a lot of text for a single page. The issue that might come up is sending a "blurry" signal about the page's precise relevance. If it's a nicely focused page, you might do fine.

I have a few pages that approach being that large on one e-commerce site, and they do well for their principle terms.

I personally hate that and always prefer everything to be on one page no matter how big it gets and assume my readers feel the same way.

This is something that you might want to test at some time. When I ran tests on "pagination" I found that having to scroll more than 5 times usually hurt conversions, with the exception being pages that allowed for a conversion in several places, one being high up. One issue that might come up for very long pages is that people who prefer the scroll bar over a wheel will find that their target area for dragging the bar becomes quite small.

The point I'm making is that when we simply assume that our visitors feel like we do, we may end up turning off those who don't. There really is a lot of variation in the general population, due to things such as varied reading speeds, using different hardware and software to access the site, low level dyslexia, ADHD, low and high thresholds of stimulation or impatience... on and on. Finding a sweet spot for your site is the key.

And when the majority of visitors are happy, you tend to get more natural backlinks - and that definitely makes Google happy!


WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3538086 posted 11:57 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

From an SEO perspective, if you can break the text into seperate title pages and link them in a heirarchy you'll probably do better for ranking on more terms.

From a usability perspective, [ i suppose it depends on the nature of the topic ] but professional online journalists that I've engaged prefer to write short sharp stories of around 250 words, 500 max per page or article to gain attention and user focus.

Possibly Google is taking account of user behaviour in it's metrics, so you may achieve better credibilty via this ultimately in it's algo's. Not that I have witnessed this personally.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3538086 posted 1:01 am on Jan 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just finished writing something that works a lot better for the user if it's all on one long page.

I believe there is a certain point where usability outweighs the standard procedure. For example, anyone new to developing HTML/XHTML/CSS would find themselves at the W3 and that site is thousands upon thousands of miles of content, and I mean that literally. Heck, if you were to print out all the pages of the W3, you could probably span the globe at least once. ;)

If you are going to produce something of this nature, the Fragment Identifier and a little "Back to Previous" link become your best friends...

Fragment Identifiers

I'd definitely look at breaking it up into multiple pages. Once you have that one long page in front of you, start breaking it up into logical sections. Then start breaking those sections up into logical sections. That becomes the taxonomy of the article. Set up a navigation include based on that taxonomy and I feel the user experience will be far superior than one long page with Fragment Identifiers. Trust me, I've spent enough time at that freakin' W3 to know that it's easy to get lost in all the information, very easy. But, they do an excellent job of providing indices all over the place to get back to where you were. :)

And yes, with that much content on a page, it would be very difficult to really define the meaning of that page. The stuff at the top (right after the <body> element) is what will really define what that page is about. More succinct pages will help to spread the love and bring meaning to more of the content on that one long page, you know, that stuff sitting at about 100 feet down the page? ;)

Another potential issue here is the bugginess of Fragment Identifiers and IE. There are known problems where the darn things don't always work. You may end up a little above or a little below where you should be and it really confuses the visitor. I've found that the longer the page is, the more apt that bug is to present itself. It is even present at the W3.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3538086 posted 2:28 am on Jan 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies guys.

What you're all saying makes sense. It's just that, I don't know. What this page is, is not so much an article as it is something like "The Complete Guide To Blah Blah" with "blah blah" being the goal term to rank well for.

There's a lot of other stuff this thing could rank well for, but "blah blah" is the reason this whole thing was put together. It's definite link bait, with the obvious goal being for those links to use "blah blah" in the anchor text.

As one long page, it means there is only one page people can link to. Only one page people could bookmark. And really only these words would make sense used in the anchor text of those links.

As multiple pages, everything changes from a marketing point of view. Maybe 10% of the people bookmark/link to page A, 5% page B, 20% page C, etc. whereas it would be 100% to the one long page.

And, if it gets broken up into multiple pages, they would require unique subjects (they can't all just be the broad "The Complete Guide To Blah Blah") which means there would now be a variety of words to use in the anchor text in all of those incoming links. This could be good for getting more pages would rank well for more terms, but again... the real goal here is ranking well for "blah blah." Know what I mean?

Figuring out what would be best to do here for a combination of usability, a successful linkbait campaign, and good search engine indexing/ranking all at the same time may just drive me insane. =)

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