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Large increase of pages causing link juice to spread too thin?

     
4:27 pm on Apr 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We were making rankings gains up until last September at which point we added 600,000 pages to our site on top of our 200,000 existing pages of the site. Our site is a real estate site and the pages added were property listings from around the USA.

Is it possible that adding all of these pages just diluted our link juice / ranking power and that's why we've struggled to move up in the rankings since?

Thanks
-RK
10:35 pm on Apr 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi rkoechel and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

Doubtful since each page is "ranked" individually.

Just make sure your pages are not competing with each other as far as title, description, content, H tags, etc. Each page should be as unique as possible.
12:00 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to disagree and say it is possible that the link juice was diluted. I apologize in advance because I am going to make a bunch of assumptions. Hopefully I am guessing incorrectly. I guess you have almost no inbound links to 99% of your 800,000 pages and they are probably relying solely on internal link juice which you did dilute when adding an extra 600,000 pages. You might have links to your homepage but that isn't good enough for Google. Google wants links inbound direct to subpages.

I also suspect that the internal link juice being too diluted is not the primary problem. You increased your pages by 400% and I am guessing you increased your inbound links by 0% or close to it. Hopefully I am wrong but if I am right you definitely need to address that issue. I am also guessing you are also adding 0% unique value or minimally adding value to these database generated pages. These 600,000 listing pages are probably showing the same data that is found on 100 other real estate websites. Google hates duplicate content with no value added, so add value. It can be extra content that is not available anywhere else or it can be better search tools than any other site or another creative solution. You need to make sure your site differentiates itself from the 100 other websites publishing the same exact data. Google is not going to give your site better rankings if it is competing against 100 other duplicate sites including sites with better links, and/or better usability, and/or better content.

Hopefully my guesses are incorrect but probably to be safe make sure your site is doing the best job it possibly can to differentiate itself from all others. Good luck.
12:27 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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goodroi, I do agree that if the only link juice to the new pages is from internal pages, the overall juice would be diluted, but I just can't believe that, in itself, it would cause all pages to drop in rank*.


* don't really agree with that term.
10:10 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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* don't really agree with that term.

Which term... "link juice" or "rank"?

10:22 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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rank

Don't see the SERP as having a ranking system I think it's more of a relavence order.
10:34 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One thing you'll definitely have a (temporary) difficulty with is the crawl budget. Google gives every website an amount of time with the crawler - and it might not get to every page now that you've dramatically added more pages. Give it time, and it should recover in my experience.
11:34 am on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I posted a thread about this a while ago. I did exactly the same thing as you and lost a lot of traffic. My traffic went down, not up. I think it definitely had something to do with diluting the link juice, rather than a penalty.
In the end I removed the pages.
5:14 pm on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all of the responses.

We are doing a test to remove some pages around certain metro areas to see what the results are. To be clear I didn't mean to imply keywords that were ranking fell across the board. For highly competitive spots some have fallen from ranking #5 to #10, but most have held steady within a couple spots since September. Progressing forward since then on competitive terms has been the issue.

You are correct in assuming we were not able to generate a comparable amount of links to match the previous ratio of links to pages, links have doubled while pages went up 3 fold. This is a site with a DA of 58 which is comparable to the authority of others sites in the industry.

Our value is in the way we present the data and match properties to users, you are correct in assuming the data on each of those 600k pages is similar on 5 or 6 sites in the US. But we do provide significant value to our users on top of showing that data.

Thanks
RK
10:54 pm on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Did same thing - got the same result - consulted with experts to confirm this would indeed happen as I warned but the client proceeded anyway, now I'm hustling for backlinks and doing everything i can to make up for the lost traffic.

In our case we went from 80 pages to like 400 without any appreciable new links. Ranking dropped like a stone and has only slightly recovered. we're about 4 months into it.

know where i can find any good backlinks! :-)
5:16 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Long ago (more than 10 years), there was some SEO book... heh... how many is out there. And it was about making a new website and promoting it. Among all it said that, once the site was done and published, one page should be created every day for the next 100 days.
That was probably just a made up of 100 as 1/day, but the core is exactly what I understood at that time, to go gradually.

Cheers!
7:45 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As to the OP, the site apparently ranked okay for local (200,000) then tanked when it went national (add 600,000). The rank drop might not be anything more than elevating a local with standing website to national with johnny-come-lately standing. Elevated yourself into a more competitive niche.

As for bulk page additions, that's always going to change things, link juice or not. The se will have to determine if this is scam, normal, preview of more to come, or a one time factor .... and will probably tread careful for six months or a year to see what happens next.

Time release of 100 pages a week makes more sense, just takes a lot longer.

Back to OP, that niche draws info from several national databases and you can bet the se's have been there done that and expect the site to be something different than an insert mill churning out duplicate info.