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Number of pages still a factor?

Is the number of pages important?

     
2:05 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A long time ago, way back when only dinosaur pups were roaming the earth, there used to be some discussions on this forum about having a site with a number of pages and AdSense on almost all those pages, being good for getting picked up and ranked highly.

Is that still a factor? Does Google still like heavy-page sites? Was it ever a factor? How many pages?


FarmBoy (FYI - I remember AdSense from so long ago that I remember everyone took the day off to go welcome ole' Chris Columbus arriving in his Spanish landing craft ... or was that some Viking guy? Oh well)
2:53 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't think that Adsense is really relevant in terms of ranking. I don't think using AdSense helps and I don't think it hurts.

As for size, in terms of number of pages, I don't think bigger is better, but being small is not any better. I believe that there is a sweet spot. The greatest challenge with having a big site, my main site has tens of millions of pages, is to get Google to crawl and index all the pages. The bulk of my pages are equivalent to each other in terms of content (not duplicates). Each page is about a specific entity and any entity is equivalent to any other entity. People are not anymore likely to search for one entity over another. Google indexes a subset of those pages and ranks them. We get traffic to the pages, users engage, users click on ads. But Google only indexes a subset of them. So there are many millions of these pages that go un-indexed, where no traffic ever lands. In regards to crawling, the site is built with a flat self similar structure so if Googlebot is able to find one page there is no reason for it not to be able to find any other page.

Certainly if there were more links pointing to the site in general and Google deemed the value of the pages to be greater then they would index more of the site but that hasn't been the case. Or at lest it has been a very slow progression. So to answer your question I don't think having more is better.

FYI - I haven't been roaming as long as you. I can barely remember a time before Pandas and Penguins were discovered.
6:39 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your response NickMNS. Things have really changed since that other century.

FarmBoy (By the way, do you know what's black & white and red all over?)
7:04 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As webdevs we think in terms of sites. SEs, including Google, think in terms of pages/documents; site as an overarching container is at most a secondary concept. The 'answer' is on a page not a site.

Given the link heavy valuation of typical SE ranking (between query indexed pages with the desired 'answer') there is a problem at both ends of page numbers. A single page or few page brochure site has fewer back link attractors aka reasons for another to link. A site with millions of pages has lots of link attractors but may be spreading the value thinly or spottily. The more pages the more critical site architecture and internal linking both for visitor direction/satisfaction and optimal link value flow. In both instances branding outside of search is more important due to the constraints of design, i.e. Amazon doesn't have a problem. Nor did the million dollar homepage back when. :)

Where site becomes important, imo, is as the concatenation of pages/documents authority/trust et al aka brand as per Eric Schmidt. Basically, what do all your pages say about your site?

Given creation constraints there is somewhere a crossover point between number of pages and number of pages not simply indexed but being returned in query results. It varies by site, by niche, by backlinks, by internal linking and architecture, etc. but can be determined by tracking referred traffic against pages.

My sites average ~3000 pages all of which are query indexed aka get SE traffic in varying amounts. I know of sites with far less that don't and sites with far more that do. Basically, it depends.
7:37 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@farmboy: A newspaper.

Speaking of which, have you noticed how few pages these paper rags have compared to the 1950s-70s? There might be something to say about more is simply just more.

@farmboy: A sunburned Zebra

Alternative answer when less might be just less opportunity. :)
8:25 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@farmboy: a penguin and/or a panda in a car crash
8:27 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@IamLost exactly what I said :o) But in a much more eloquent on comprehensive manner.
8:49 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS: ya Ki got started and took forever to finish as things kept interrupting - should have checked back before publishing. Although it nice to know we both are reading the same tea leaves :)
9:13 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Black & white and red all over is a sunburned penquin according to my version, but a sunburned zebra is in the same category.

Glad to provide these important details.

FarmBoy
10:55 pm on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@farmboy: and here I thought it was AdSense CPM units...
my grandson had the sunburned zebra...
have to admit that I've blanked out penguins (and pandas) for mental health reasons... la la la can't hear you...
 

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