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For example, this last weekend I did a search like
hinged widgets copper resist warp
None of the sites I found had optimized for that. But the sites with LOTS of content had some matches.
My site has huge advatages over a couple sites above me, more and higher quality external links for example, but they have hundreds and hundreds of their own "keyword" link text links pointing at their own main page.
I think (after reading the white paper by Larry & Serge) that every page adds a tiny bit of PR.
But the average PR in such a scheme is 1, is it not? Assuming no links from the outside. Pages that have many links back to them get higher PR, and those with fewer links get lower ... but it averages to 1. Until the site starts getting links from the outside.
Regarding huge sites like CNN, the main page would get a huge boost from those beneath it linking back. And smaller sites can do some of that too.
that every page adds a tiny bit of PR.
Yes - but should not be taken out of context - to the extent of developing PR through increasing internal number of pages, so to develop ranking.
Have at least one site (6 pages) PR4 againsts sites with a few hundred pages and PR6 - 7 yet the PR4 (mainpage) ranks #1, #2 and many #4's on various 2-word keyphrases. PageRank by itself is not a magically solution.
But when it comes to external links coming in to your site, it is more difficult to give much of a boost to *all* your pages. A site with PR5 home page and 10 pages will most likely have all the pages at PR4-5. A PR5 site with 2000 pages will probably have pages ranging from PR1-5.
If all the pages are good content, you should find it easier to get links with the larger site.
PageRank aside, more pages give you more content, and more anchor text to work with. But it also increases the size of your pages (for more navigation) and gives you more navigation only pages. It also gives you that many more pages to manage.
say both the 10pg and 100pg site are going after the same 10 keywords on the same 10 pages. the larger site will have 90 additional pages that all link to those 10 pages with some form of keywords in the links. PR aside, all those keywords in the link text is gonna make that 100 page site win.
can you beat bigger sites in the serps as Fathom mentions? absolutely, and I do all the time, but if you applied the techniques you used to beat the bigger sites on a bigger site yourself where would you be? I know I'd be at the bank cashing my checks.
Google ranks pages not sites.
More is better.
The initial question was:
Site A has 10 pages. Site B has 100 pages. Will Site B get the higher rank, all other things being equal?
My answer is yes. If the only difference is that site B has 10 times the content (pages) as site A does, than yes, site B would do better.
Maybe not, but often a sign of quality?
Does authority mean quality? [citeseer.nj.nec.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
often quality sites build one main domain, rather than farming 20 domains...
that a simple count of the pages on a site was about as good as any of the link analysis methods
Until the moment you explicitly put it into the algo. =-)
unwatched web vs. watched web.
Reminds me of the Dilbert where they paid a bonus for every bug fix. Wally, "I'm going to go program me a new Corvette."
More pages = More rankings = more traffic
I think you hit the nail on the head agerhart.
With 100 pages of good, useful content there will be many more keyword combinations, keyword phrases, terms you never thought of, etc. than in 10 pages of quality content.
I have a site I just put up a couple months ago. I was debating on whether to make it a simple 10 page site or make it a big complex monster. I chose the monster because there was a lot of content I wanted to write for that site. It is already paying off because every new page I put up can target some different keywords and phrases. Looking through my logs I am seeing many new ideas for pages based on what people are searching for as well.
I do have some small sites with only a handful of pages that do well but I usually go with the more is better theory assuming there is enough good content to fill a lot of pages.