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I once had a site with 7 pages and a home page of PR4. I didn't reach PR5 till I clocked about 175 pages, but my aim was to do well in the SERPS, not to try just for PR.
How many pages are needed to make PR5?
Are you Trying to increase the PR of your pages by adding new pages? This won't work.
That's right - you need fewer pages: If we assume that toolbar PR is logarithmic with a base of 10, you simply remove 9/10 of all your pages. Thus the site's total PR will have fewer pages to spread on. Of course, you should not remove pages that have external inbound links.
Whether or not this will help you SEO-wise is another question ;)
I'll keep adding content for its own sake ... and hoping that will help the PR game because I think PR is the reason I'm low in the SERPs right now.
I have a hard time believing that fewer pages is the answer, considering that each page introduces a miniscule amount of PR to the system in its own right. Also I think of examples. The world's best-known encyclopaedia shows a PR of 9.
I have a hard time believing that fewer pages is the answer,
That depends on what the question is. ;)
considering that each page introduces a miniscule amount of PR to the system in its own right.
The operational word is "minuscule". In theory a site with a lot of pages, each with a minuscule PageRank could generate its own PR. But as Doc_Z points out, there are some problems in actual Google practice.
Also I think of examples. The world's best-known encyclopaedia shows a PR of 9.
I bet they have lots of inbound links.
What I wrote in msg. #4 was not necessarily good advice from an SEO point of view, but rather food for thought: If your sole interest lies in watching the green stuff on the Googlebar, then every page that doesn't generate external inbound links is dead weight.
FWIW, I've added over 8,000 pages of solid, staticly linked content to one of my sites during the last twelve months, and its PR has gone from 7 to 5. Rankings are great (#1) for a tremendous number of keyphrases, however the PR effect has been negative.
Now, I'm sure that there are many, many other factors at play here, and I'm not sure I can blame the total PR drop on the increased number of pages --it may have much to do with my internal linking pattern, but it's still a noteworthy occurance.
I have a hard time believing that fewer pages is the answer, considering that each page introduces a miniscule amount of PR to the system in its own right.
Indeed, fewer pages is (currently) the right answer (as long as the number pages doesn't change the number of incoming links and you're just interested in PR) [webmasterworld.com]. As long as you don't have any outgoing links and no dead ends on your page, the total PR (sum over all pages) is (for the current algorithm) independent from the number of pages. The home page has the highest PR in case of two pages for realistic link structures. (However, the decrease from adding additional pages wouldn't be dramatic for most of the cases.) In practice you need PR [webmasterworld.com] to get all pages indexed by Google instead of producing PR.