In July 2017, over on Google Help Center blog, Google made a post that said to have 2,000 words per page, and that any page with under 700 words would NOT be indexed, and said the pages with 400 or less words would be BLACKLISTED with a warning put on the entire site if it consisted of mostly 400 word pages. It said pages with 3k to 10k words would be given top rated priority, while pages 1,700 or less with be ranked low.
With that in mind...
>>> . . a website that has 200 pages with 400 words on each page, OR
a website with 100 pages with 800 words on each page?
Both options are bad and neither will rank at all.
Google has very clearly stated that as of the July 2017 changes, pages under 2,000 words are basically going to be ignored by them.
>>> . . a website that has 200 pages with 400 words on each page
will be blacklisted and removed from the index. As of July 2017, 400 word pages are simply not allowed and are counted by Google as "empty pages" or "stubs"
Think about it this way... would YOU, really want to waste your time reading a 400 word article? How much info do you think the writer can put in 400 words? 400 words isn't an article, it's a Reddit comment. Most Reddit comments are 500 to 750 words long.
Did you go to college? 400 words is a paragraph. It's not even a full page. When a professor asks you to write an essay, which they also expect you to publish in a peer-reviewed journal, they won't consider anything under 5,000 words to be an article.
>>> . . a website with 100 pages with 800 words on each page?
Google has very clearly stated that they want content creators to write articles of value to the viewer. And Google has now stated that "articles of value" is defined as articles of 2,000 words MINIMUM striving for 3k to 10k word articles instead.
Which means that an 800 word article, like a 400 word article, is seen by Google as a "stub".
Heading back to college, 800 words is a single page of an essay, only 1/5th of an article. No medical-science-history-etc. journal will take an article seriously if it's under 5,000 words.
If you compare an online "article" to an actual magazine article... 400 to 800 words is classified as "filler". In the publishing industry, there are standards - certain word counts = certain names.
Just as it is not a novel if it has fewer than 90,000 words, it also is not an article if it has fewer than 1,750 words. Industry standard definition of the word "article" is 1,750 words. And it has been for more than 200 years. Anything less is filler. And the internet hasn't changed that.
Online Google and Wikipedia, use the term "stub" in place of filler.
The definition of a stub is: "a useless page lacking in research, providing nothing of substantial value; having no meat, consisting only of bones" according to the dictionary definition.
>>>However, I'm thinking the more pages on a website (That pass Analyze It) the better, because the Search Engines will see that your website has more pages to choose from for your visitors, thus adding substance.
Google stated (in a 2016 blog post) that they give preference to sites that are "updated often". They later said that by "updated often" they meant "was posted to daily". The indication here was not that the site have a lot of pages, rather it have CURRENT pages. Thus re-publishing the same 10 pages daily, has the same effect rank-wise as creating a new page daily. Thus a 10 page site and a 100 page site can rank evenly, as long as both has pages updated every day, wither it's old pages updated or new pages published, as long as there is activity daily.
>>> . . your thoughts???
I know for me, when I'm given the choice of doing what is seen as "recommended for SEO" vs what my own readers have told me they would like to see me do, I chuck the SEO advice out the window and do what makes my own readers happy.
I look at it this way: Sure, my site readers not a big crowd, but they are already here, they are here every day, they've been here every day for decades, and I've more incentive to keep them here, then I do to bring in more. So rather then trying to please the masses (and try to get Google sending massive general -uninterested & irrelevant- traffic to me), I focus on the loyal people who are already here and looking for my targeted audience (people who WANT to read my work - remember too that high on page read time/low bounce rate, means MORE to Google then word counts or keywords and lots of massive traffic clicking away from your site does BIG DAMAGE to your rank, so high traffic is actually a BAD thing; whereas small, targeted traffic. 10 visitors a day that stay on page 10 minutes or more to read the article, then click to read more pages is far BETTER then getting 1,000s visits a day that click away before the page loads and Google counts this as weighing more towards your rank then they do word count, page count or keywords.).
That's why you'll see me make weird site changes like when I removed my nava bar last month and replaced it instead with large font text links instead. This was a result of asking my FB followers about site changes, and being told by one of my 98 year old male readers, that he couldn't grasp how to use a nava bar. He tried to click, and it'd drop down a menus, then he'd move the mouse to read the drop down and it'd vanish. He was very frustrated by this. Then a few women in their 70s chimed in to agree, stating they too avoided sites that used the drop down style nava bars for the same reason.
Now, sure if I was aiming at teens and young adults, maybe removing the nanabar would have been site suicide, but, the bulk of my site visitors are readers of my novels and I write Monster Porn and the bulk of Monster Porn readers are women 65 or older. I've meet many of my fans in person, even been on some of their 50+ Group bus trips with them. So, I know for a fact that a lot of my readers are 70s, 80s, and 90s. and they are not computer savvy like the 20 somethings. They are not cruising search, they are not quickly zipping the mouse around. They struggle with basic site maneuvering. So the navabar went bye-bye, and a list of great big giant bold text links replaced it. And now they are much happier, said they can move around my site better now and are glad that someone took the time to actually listen to their concerns and do something to fix issues that were frustrating them.
So, yeah, a bit off topic from content for articles, but, you can see my point, right? What is good for SEO, may not always be what is good for your site's target audience. So while doing things to improve SEO is always good, it's far better to know your audience and get their feedback instead. It's possible that doing a thing that improves SEO, might make their user experience not so good, and in the end, SEO don't mean squat if it hampers your target audience's ability to enjoy what you are offering.
It's like how Ken keeps telling us not to be numbers bound with keywords, and saying to focus on the people not the robots. I think it applies to everything in our sites, not just keywords. And so, in the end, I keep hearing how lots of short pages is good for SEO (according to gurus who clearly don't read Google's own help blog), but, at the same time, I've also asked my long time readers, what they wanted, and in the end, it became not a choice of: "Do I write to make Google happy?" but instead "Do I write to make my readers happy?"
You know what my Readers wanted? 7,500+ word pages.
I asked them and they gave me their personal lists of what they considered my top 10 pages. Considering they had 10,970+ pages to pick from, that's quite a lot of work to find what they liked best. Every list included my longest article (a 60k word page) and at least 3 articles of 20k+ words each. Not one of them even mentioned the short pages under 3k words.
In the notes of the survey, many of them stated they liked that I put ALL of each article on a single page, instead of breaking it up on 10 pages for gain clicks the way scammy sites do. Several stated they were glad most of my pages were over 10k words, stating that it was "refreshing" to find people who still cared about sharing info in this day and age of short clickbait stubs.
That says a lot right there and that came from readers who took a survey to help me improve their site experiance.
People WANT long copy.
They WANT to have something worth reading.
They REQUESTED that I do more articles over 10,000 words.
I give my readers what they want. And in my niche, readers want something they can sink their teeth into, not fluff they can blow off with a sneeze.
The thing is...
Google means nothing. Google does not read your page. Google doesn't care about you, your content, or your site. Google is a robot.
Your readers mean everything. Readers read your page. Readers care about you, your content, and your site. Readers are people.
Readers have long known that 400 and 800 word pages are there only to self-serve affiliate clicks to a webmaster. Google is finally catching up to what readers have known all along.
Readers have long known that 2,000 word pages are there passionately written articles with knowledge to share. Google is finally catching up to what readers have known all along.
In the end: If you want to please Google, then write for your readers, not for the robots. Find out what your readers want and deliver on reader expectations.
Write for readers, not for robots.