Big Sites vs. Small Sites
August 29, 2013
There’s been much debate around the web on whether Google favors larger websites over smaller websites in terms of performance on SERPs. Based on reports from a lot of SEOs, evidence seem to support the idea that larger sites perform better on Google. So what are the implications for smaller sites? Is it “go big or go home”?
At face value, it seems to make sense that larger sites would perform better on Google. The reason behind this is simply more “real estate”. In other words, more pages on your website means more pages that can be optimized. This means more keywords can be targeted and potentially this can lead to more ways that people can search for your site.
While having a larger site certainly has the advantage of more pages to target keywords, this does not mean you are at a disadvantage if you have a smaller site. I’ve seen plenty of small sites out there that perform well on Google. The big thing is having unique and shareable content. If your site provides a quality user experience, then you are more likely to be valued by Google. Building a bunch of landing pages with little to no content or poor quality content will not do you any favors.
Regardless, Google seems to have taken note that small sites may be unfairly judged compared to larger sites. Recently on Twitter, Google’s Matt Cutts posted a link to the following survey:
The survey allows one to submit a small site that should be ranking better on Google. However, the survey is quick to point out that submitting the survey will not likely affect Google rankings for that site: “Google would like to hear feedback about small but high-quality websites that could do better in our search results. To be clear, we’re just collecting feedback at this point; for example, don’t expect this survey to affect any site’s ranking.”
One argument in favor of small sites suggests that by having a smaller site, you are able to keep up with Google’s algorithm changes more easily. For instance, if the optimization on your pages is no longer in step with a Google algorithm update, it’s a lot easy to edit metadata on just a few pages rather than a large number.
While size may play a role on Google, practicing correct SEO and maintaining good content is paramount. We’ve seen large websites that aren’t ranking on Google and small sites ranking in the number 1 position.