Are exchanged or reciprocal links okay with Google?
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Do you want to build fewer but stronger pages, or create lots of pages?

Do you want to build fewer but stronger pages, or create lots of pages?

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about creating keyword-targeted content. The question was whether to build fewer but stronger pages that target the primary keyword and the related keywords or split the related keywords into their own web pages.

In a way, the question is really about how to strategize content creation around keywords and supporting keywords.

Questions about content strategy

Clarification of transaction intent

The person asking the question referred to a single-word keyword (smartphones) with “transaction intent”.

In general, such broad keywords do not have a transaction intent.

That kind of keyword falls under what some call, commercial research purposes, where someone researches reviews or models and so on.

Transaction intent is when someone is ready to buy and uses longer keyword phrases that indicate the intention to buy.

Screenshot by John Mueller Discussing content strategy

Create fewer strong articles or more articles?

The question is about keyword targeting, and whether all the related keywords should be included in an article targeted to one main keyword, or whether these additional keywords should be broken down to target those keywords individually.

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This is the question:

“I have a question about the e-commerce site … We’re creating content based on keyword suggestions, auto-completed by Google to include more content around one main topic.

For example, the main topic or transaction intent is smartphones, and we are going to create technically related content around the smartphone, e.g. Blog posts.

Should we really need to create separate content or separate keywords around a topic or just combine all the different keywords in one intent and optimize all our content around that intent. ”

Content Approach is shaped by your strategy

John Mueller replied:

“You can do it both ways, it’s more of a strategic decision, I think.

In general, what you balance is to create pages that are specific to individual topics, and to create pages that are more general but where you have fewer pages. So you kind of balance many pages against fewer pages.

And if you have fewer pages, those few pages tend to be a bit stronger.

While if you have many pages, it is as if the value is spread a little more.

So if there are specific topics where the competition is stronger, you would like very strong pages, so maybe fewer pages.

If you are targeting areas where competition is not as strong, it might be nice to have more pages.

So that’s a bit of the balance that you would try to take there.

If you are starting out, it is probably a good idea to have fewer pages so that you can be as strong as possible in that area.

And then you can, as you can see that we are very good here, split individual pages for several niche topics. ”

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How to make Google prefer important content

The person who asked the question followed up with another, this time asking that if he builds all this content, how can he get Google to prioritize their most important content with the transaction intent.

John Mueller replied:

“You can not prioritize them, but you can help with internal linking.

So within your site you can really highlight the pages you would like to have highlighted more and ensure that they are really well connected internally.

And maybe the pages you do not find so important make sure that they are a little less linked internally.

… Usually with internal linking you can think of it as the important pages you would have linked from your homepage and the less important pages are linked from as a category or subcategory page, something like that.

So when we look at your site we see oh the website is very important and the website points to these five pages so these five pages are almost as important as the website and from there the value spreads like that.

And that way, you can help us figure out which pages you think are important.

That does not mean we will always follow it. But it’s a good way to give that kind of information. ”

How to choose the best content strategy for Google

The person asking the question has a good reason to ask it. Many publishers have an important page for conversions and less important pages that are more informative that can drive traffic back to the more important page.

But sometimes things go sideways and Google may start to prefer the less important page.

As John Mueller pointed out, internal link patterns are a way to give Google a clue as to which page is more important.

And if these important pages are difficult to get external links to them, then the less important pages can serve as link magnets that attract links to themselves and then link back to the important pages. In this way, the internal connection constantly points to the important side in support of it.

So really deciding whether to build big strong pages or lots of smaller less strong pages contains even more nuances than keyword targeting. Sometimes these “less important” topics are the most popular in terms of links.

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Another important point John makes is how a site starts, it can be helpful to focus on building stronger pages that are easier to promote and when the site is more established and then growing the site to the next stage.

As Mueller advised:

“If you are starting out, it is probably a good idea to have fewer pages so that you can be as strong as possible in that area.

And then you can, as you can see that we are very good here, split individual pages for several niche topics. ”

It’s an approach where some content pages might start with a topic, and once established, they can then branch out to related topics. It’s a bit like focusing on smartphones and then branching out to conquer smartphone accessories, like conquering territory and growing into an empire.

Citation

How to balance the delivery of more or fewer pages when keyword targeting

Watch John Mueller answer the question at 4:52 p.m.

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