Fewer Pages VS More Pages On A Site

Does Google have a preference when it comes to the number of pages on a site? Can a site get hurt by having pages that are not indexed or those not receiving traffic?
Marie Aquino
February 22, 2022

In the Google SEO Office Hours episode last February 18, a user asked if there is a consideration on Google’s side when it comes to the number of pages on a site. Can a site get hurt by having pages that are not indexed or are indexed but are not receiving traffic?

According to John Mueller, there is no specific ratio for how many pages a site should have, it ultimately depends on the website owner. What he tends to see however is that fewer pages tend to perform better, in the sense that if you concentrate the value of your content on fewer pages, then in general, those few pages tend to be a lot stronger than if you dilute the content across different pages.

In this sense, he recommends having fewer pages rather than having more. This also plays across the board in the sense that from a ranking point of view, Google can give these pages more weight. From a crawling point of view, it is also easier for Google to keep up with the content, especially if you are starting off with a new website.

With a new site, he recommends starting off small, focusing on something specific that you would want to achieve and then expanding from there, rather than having 500,000 pages and wanting Google to index them all. Starting off with such a big number of pages, chances are, only a small sample of those pages get crawled and then indexed. It can also happen that those that get indexed are not what you care about the most.

Great insights on content and having more pages or less pages. It looks like it really comes down to the quality of your content and it is better to have less pages that are packed full of high-quality content than spreading out your content or topic across different pages.

This reminds me of the practice of targeting one keyword per page vs multiple keywords per page. Does this mean that one content-packed page targeting multiple keywords can rank better than one page just targeting one specific target keyword and topic? What do you think? Let us know what you think. Tweet and tag us at @seointel1

Check out the SEO Office hours episode here: