Updated January 13, 2023Reading Time: 2 minutes
When Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better Rankings
When does having more indexed pages translate into better SEO rankings? The answer to this question isn’t a simple Yes or No. Sorry to say the answer is… it depends on keyword cannibalization and your optimization strategy based upon keyword research. I’ll explain how this relates to Google indexing your content and showing your website for a search query.
Cannibalization-Optimization Analogy for Indexed Pages
Having a ton of website pages all optimized for the same keyword can actually hurt you. Why? Because of something called keyword cannibalization.
We use this analogy when explaining the value of indexed pages optimized based upon keyword research. First, website pages are like buying a lotto ticket. The more you have, the better your chances of winning. However, if you buy lotto tickets with the same numbers… you actually aren’t increasing your chances at the jackpot.
Optimizing your website pages for the same keyword is just like buying multiple lotto tickets with the same numbers. It confuses Google. If they index multiple pages for the same keyword, which one should they choose to display in a SERP? In SEO we have few things we can really control (e.g., meta data, generate relevant and quality content). That’s why having an White Hat SEO architecture — matching keywords to the buying cycle — and optimizing according to that structure is so powerful. It results in the right indexed pages showing up in a search query.
Size Related to Links
Big sites tend to have lots of indexed pages. It usually takes time to amass a lot of content. Typically there is a correlation between having lots of pages (and posts) to the number of inbound links. The idea here is that others are referring to your library of content. So… yes, quantity matters… with the caveat that they represent quality content.
Overall PageRank = More In-depth Indexing
In a recent Webmaster Help video Matt Cutts succinctly explains the relationship between PageRank and more in-depth indexing. Having a ton of website pages is great. Having a ton of indexed pages is better. You want many lotto tickets, many opportunities to rank high on a SERP.
How have you structured your indexed pages to keywords?