Webmasters have always gone by the rule that the more pages you get indexed on a website, the better it is for Google. Not only do you have a larger website overall, but you can also capture a lot of long-tail search traffic from visitors who end up on one of those many internal pages.
But does Google really bring sites higher or better if the website has more pages indexed in the search results? This is the topic of the latest webmaster help video.
Does a website get a better overall ranking if it has a large amount of indexed pages?
Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts said that a website with a large number of pages won't automatically rank better than others. So adding more pages to your site won't help your home page automatically rank better than smaller sites.
However, Cutts said that a site with more pages will naturally get more traffic because each of those individual pages can also rank for their own set of search queries, increasing the overall opportunity for sites to gain visitors.
Cutts stressed how links also contribute to rankings, something that a larger site often has more of naturally.
"Now typically if the site does have more pages, it might have more links pointing to it, which means it has higher PageRank," Cutts said. "If that is the case we might be willing to crawl a little bit deeper into the website and if it has higher PageRank, then we might think it's a little bit of a better match for users queries.
"So those are some that factors involved, just having a big website with a lot of pages by itself does not automatically confer a boost but if you have a lot of links or a lot of PageRank, that is leading to deeper crawling within your site, then that might be the sort of indicator that perhaps sites would rank just a little bit higher," Cutts said.
So once again, while having a large site is great, those inbound links are still going to play a key role in rankings, much more so than a larger website.
"Again just having the number of pages doesn't give you a boost though," Cutts added. "It might give you a few more opportunities, but normally the only reason you get that opportunity is because we see more links to your website so we are willing to crawl a little bit deeper and find more pages to index.
Bottom line: a larger website doesn't automatically give you a higher ranking, but the aftereffects of having a larger site, such as having more pages and more potential for someone to link to your site as well as getting overall search traffic on those internal pages, does help.
Having a large site is great, but once again you need to ensure that you have inbound links to your site in order to help it rank and get higher PageRank.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!