SEO And Multiple Web Pages

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When I wrote my online goals for 2009 post, one of the things I had down as a goal was to come up with three more series of posts I could do for the year. I thought that I would write a series on SEO, or articles that are related to SEO in some fashion, although it’ll probably not start out as a series, but will end up being a series for the year. I also write articles for my other site, so I’ll want to balance which articles I’ll write for here, and which articles I’ll put on that site.

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There was a question that came up on Twitter earlier today that somewhat relates to SEO and marketing, and I thought this was the perfect place to address that question. It actually came from a marketing friend of mine who didn’t understand something. She found a website that supposedly was listing the 50 Top Websites Of 2008. It’s a nice article, but they only talk about one website per page, and she wondered why they would do that. I agreed it was irritating, but I knew the answer.

The basic idea of marketing online is, obviously, to make money. With a website, the more pages you have, the more opportunities you have to make money by advertising. It’s easier to get an advertiser to pay money if you can tell them you can put their ad on 100 pages as opposed to 10 pages. And, with each page that you can add to your website, you have the opportunity to optimize that website using traditional SEO (search engine marketing) principles, which also includes deep linking principles. More pages also helps build up your prominence online.

If you notice, the top 10 webpages on all the ranking companies have tons and tons of pages, probably in the tens of millions at this juncture, and always adding more. Even our local newspaper’s online site will do a trick where they have a limit on the length of an article that they’ll allow to be on one page, and often they’ll make you go through multiple pages just to read that one article.

However, they, like some other online newspapers, also always offer you the chance to click on a link that will give you the “printer version”, which means you can get the entire story on one page. And you don’t even have to print it; you just have to find the link, which isn’t always easy.

So, even though many of us would like to see all 50 of those websites listed on one page, or maybe even 10 or 5, the truth is that it behooves the site to have only one per page, and to write content on that particular site for that page that they can optimize. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember whenever you’re creating your own websites; more is better. However, if you’re writing short articles, breaking them up over multiple pages is just going to drive people nuts. So, do it judiciously.

Now, a question you could probably ask me, knowing this, is why, whenever I write really long blog posts, I don’t break them up into multiple pages. I’m thinking that to do that with a blog would have to get really irritating. If a long post, such as the one on the psychology of gambling, were broken out on a blog, would anyone really read both pages (for that matter, how many folks actually read that article in its entirety, and I mean those of you who didn’t comment on it?) if I put it on two pages, but posted both articles at the same time?

If it were really one complete article, and I posted the first part at one time and the second part at another time, wouldn’t that irritate you also? To me, I’d rather the one long article, which also allows it to be printed if some feel that’s necessary.

Anyway, the SEO part of this is easy. Each page gets to stand on its own because each page gets optimized, but each page is also linked internally to multiple other pages in some fashion. The reality of what a lot of people like to call “link love” is that a website can attain a page rank of 5 or higher without even being linked to other websites. What they need to figure out are better ways of linking internally to themselves and finding ways of making each of those links relevant to each other.

Don’t believe me? Look at this site. Notice that it’s got a page rank of 5. Except for listing a few events on its main page, it’s not linked to any other site throughout the rest of its pages. And there are over 550 pages on this site; I know this because I did an evaluation of this site. The topic also isn’t something that’s common; this company pretty much has an exclusive on what they do.

But here’s the other thing about this site. The main page has a page rank of 5, but most of the internal pages don’t have a page rank at all. And it’s got a terrible Alexa rank. However, the main page still gets a 5, and since it’s the main page that counts, this site is a great example of what can be achieved with great internal ranking. It could be better, but that’s a tale for another time.

And there you are. I hope it’s helped to enlighten a few people, and I also hope this is the start of a fun series that I can compile later on in the year.

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24 thoughts on “SEO And Multiple Web Pages”

  1. You are so right Mitch, I would hate to have a post split into multiple sections and I doubt very much that I would actually read beyond the first page. I understand the theory behind internal linking but I admit it is something that I rarely do, mainly because of the time factor. Perhaps one day when I reach ProBlogger status and I blog full time I may change my bad habits, but then, can a leopard change his spots?

    Sire´s last blog post..Women & The All About Me Syndrome

    1. The concept of internal linking really doesn’t take all that much time, Sire. What it takes, though, is memory, as in remembering what you’ve previously written so that you can take the time to link to it. On my two business websites, I’ve done a lot of internal linking, and at one time both were at PR4; now one of them has fallen back to a 3, which I don’t understand, but I also don’t care all that much. It’s more about building prominence for what you want to be found for in my case; in the case of others, it’s about building prominence for monetization reasons.

      1. I’ve been reading some interesting debates lately, Dennis, about posting frequency. I figure that everyone has an opinion, so I’m sticking with however I feel like doing it, and hope others come along with it all.

      2. DOn’t disregard posting frequently because it’s a great thing the reason why others say that is because they don;t have anything new to offer

        almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

      3. I don’t want to go that far, Almir, but I will say that I’m probably a very prolific writer, and sometimes have to pull back or post for future dates, otherwise I’d overwhelm people.

      4. Mitch, you can write as many posts you like I don’t think it can overwhelm them I think it will only make them even happier considering that you have the ability to write as many posts you like without ever running out of ideas and it shows that your a very knowledgeable individual which will make your readers including me happier as it gives us more ideas to write about in our blogs which is why blogging can be fun

        almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

      5. Well, that’s possible, Almir, but last October and November, there were days when I had 3 posts, and though that wasn’t hard to do, I find it works much better to write the posts and post-date them so that I have some kind of regularity built in rather than having to worry about keeping up such a pace. For instance, until recently, I actually had posts created two weeks in advance, spacing them out so that, if I wanted to, I can add a post in the middle if there’s something more timely that I want to toss in.

  2. Mitch, I think this post further highlights the balance that goes into everything on the web. You want to improve your rankings and get better ad deals, but at the same time, you want to keep your visitors happy and enjoying the site. Finding the happy medium between these markets is what web development is all about.

    Also Mitch, I am worried that the Sticky post about the contest might confuse visitors to the site that it hasn’t actually been updated in a while. Every time I visit, I forget it’s a sticky and think that you haven’t made a new post. I wonder if there’s a way to make it more distinguished.

    1. Not really, Boyz, but if you’re regularly visiting blogs, you should get into a blog reader program of some sort, so that you don’t always come in on the main page, which most people don’t at a certain point. Many people talk about Google Reader, but I use Feedreader because I don’t want to have to be in the browser to read posts. Both are free.

      As for the balance, it does take some thought about the aesthetics of what you’re trying to do, as well as some common sense. If you don’t like a certain thing, don’t assume others will. Good stuff.

      1. I usually have to go to a homepage to subscribe to the blog through my reader, but otherwise, it’s always direct posts.

      2. whenever i decide to link to my website, I decide to link to my homepage because that’s where all of the action is.

        almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

  3. This post kind of went right over my head to a large degree but I did want to offer a comment about the length of some of your posts—if that’s OK.

    As a journalist, I was always trained to keep my stories short and too the point. Most people don’t have time or care to sit and read LONG posts. If these posts weren’t written by you, I wouldn’t read them, quite frankly, because they are too long and involved for my brain.

    You offer some wonderful ideas and knowledge—which keeps me coming back to read but as a ruke I just wouldn’t do it—which means I am probably missing out on a lot of good information from other people 🙂

    Beverly Mahone´s last blog post..A Baby Boomer’s Witness to History Part II

    1. Hi Bev; I guess that’s why I consider myself a writer and not a journalist. Actually, there’s always been a debate about blog posts and how each writer gives value to their readers. There are some people who only write a paragraph and consider it a blog post; there are others who write 5,000+ blog posts, but spend days working on them.

      It all comes down to style, I figure. When I wrote my first newsletter back in 2003, I tried to fit it into the style of other newsletters I was reading, which means it was short and concise, but it wasn’t me. It didn’t explain anything, and, well, people hated the early newsletters. Once I started writing, well, like myself, with my own personality, people started reading and sharing with others, and the newsletter list grew. Kind of like this blog; if you see my early posts on this blog you’ll see they were short and to the point, and no one read or commented on any of them. Once I decided to use my voice, visitors came.

      Yeah, some posts can be really long, but if there’s anyone who says they’re not getting anything out of one of my posts, they’re either not trying or didn’t read it. I only put down as many words as my mind feels necessary; kind of like the conversation in the movie Amadeus, where the Count felt Mozart put too many notes into his music, as opposed to Salieri; who’s the famous composer now? 😀

      I’m glad that you’re coming by to read my stuff, length notwithstanding. Most people wouldn’t write this much; then again, I don’t think I’ll ever write a book as thick as the last Harry Potter novel either. But I hung on to every single word.

      SEO, however, is something that, as a media expert, you might want to learn more about, especially if your clients have websites. It could help them in the long run.

  4. Thanks for giving light to my confusion, Mitch. As it happens, I was the marketing friend mentioned. Hahaha!

  5. Very informative post. I didn’t only liked the article but I loved the conversation took place regarding the post. My doubts itself are cleared with out asking.

    Thanks to Dennis and Mitch of course for a wonderful post

  6. isn’t it great when someone says that your post was excellent and they got a lot out of it it gives you that great feeling inside

    almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

  7. Hi Antony. I don’t worry about link splitting at all. It seems this idea about link sculpting is falling by the wayside after Matt Cutts came out against it. However, linking to one’s own pages as much as possible seems to be a great way to go, and of course adding new content as much as possible always gives more things to link to.

  8. Right now, my SEO strategies are working very well. I really like Google caffeine and I can compare it to SE algorithm about 4 years ago. I placed about 4-5 websites in top 10 for less than 2 weeks work. I am really happy.

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