Many people wonder if having more pages on their website leads to better SEO results. A higher page count can mean higher chances of ranking. It is important to keep in mind that quality over quantity is the key to success when it comes to SEO.
Creating high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your audience is the key to success when it comes to SEO. In the end, it’s not about how many pages you have on your website, but about the quality of those pages that will determine your ranking in search results. In short, adding hundreds of useless pages with thin content just to have more pages will do much more harm than good.
Drawbacks of adding more pages
One of the main drawbacks is that it can be difficult to ensure that all pages are high quality and relevant to users. If a website has a large number of low-quality pages, it will hurt your SEO efforts. Specifically, you should consider the following drawbacks.
Good Page / Bad Page Ratio
Search engines keep score of how many pages with traffic vs pages without traffic you have. If you had 10 good pages with traffic before (100% good pages) and now you have added 90 low quality pages, you only have 10% good pages. This is a red flag to search engines. We always suggest that you prune useless content.
This is one of our recent case study. After we pruned terrible content, the clicks and impressions almost tripled.
Bad User Experience
You do not want to water down or destroy your brand. If your users discover terrible content, they loose respect for you. This is hard to measure obviously (you can check out a decrease in branded traffic over time). Increased bounce rates and decreased time on page are not. Pages with bad user experience will not outrank pages with great user experience. Avoid to spam your website visitors with junk!
Slowing your website down
This can be true for website owners who decided to go for cheap, shared hosting. We have worked with websites in the past which have been bloated with images and videos. Adding all of this to the website, can slow down your server.
We have also seen that the more pages you have, the more plugins will be installed. If you want to add a youtube video on this page, webmasters added the youtube plugin. On the next page, they wanted to show pictures from instagram, sure enough the instagram plugin was added. You see where this is going. More pages can lead to more plugins which leads to slower website.
Another potential drawback is that having too many pages can make it difficult for search engines to index a website properly. This is the case when you try to add thousands of pages. Search engines have limited resources (crawl budget) and may not be able to crawl and index every page on a website.
Should you have a lot of low-quality pages waiting to be indexed and you have now decided to add some real quality pages to your website, the indexing might be very delayed. Search engines have to index all the thousands of low quality pages first.
Can all your pages be found on google? Let the SEO Copilot index your whole website.
Exhausting your crawl budget
Search engines have a crawl budget for every website. If you have a lot of pages with poor content, you are wasting a lot of crawl budget. Specifically, the search engine crawler will try to crawl every single page on your website every time. In that process, chances are that the search engine crawler will spend less time on scanning your money pages for the latest content because they are busy crawling your low-quality pages. This is bad. The indexed content of your website will be increasingly outdated.
Benefits of More Pages
Technically, one of the main benefits of having more pages on a website is that it can lead to increased organic traffic. Having more pages means that a website has a higher chance of ranking for a wider range of keywords.
Another benefit of having more pages is that it can increase the overall value of a domain. This is because having a larger website with a variety of content can make it more authoritative and trustworthy in the eyes of search engines. This can lead to higher rankings and more traffic over time.
Both of these assumptions only hold true though if you really have high-quality content. Low quality content will never rank in the first place. Moreover, low quality content does not count towards authority because it’s often thin and just bad. Having said that, an increased number of internal links to your money pages can help you to rank higher.