Whch Is Better - Quality Content or Content Quantity?

You’d think that if any long-standing SEO misconception could (and should) have been cleared up long before now, this would be it.  Apparently not, as Google has once again felt compelled to remind webmasters and SEOs that attempting to curry favour by loading their pages with content simply for the sake of it is a bad idea.

At least, in the sense that it won’t bring you any direct benefits.

In this instance, the debate was once again kicked off in a recent Search Off The Record podcast, during which Gary Illyes, Lizzi Sassman and Dave Smart discussed the extent to which the quality of a website influences how quickly and frequently it’s crawled by Google.

The long and short of it being that yes, Google will check out and index your site more regularly, if it believes your pages are of a sufficient quality standard.  And of course, another key factor is fresh, new and regularly updated content.

But this was apparently enough to prompt some (or many) to assume that focusing disproportionately on the latter would pay off in their favour.

It won’t, which is why Google’s John Mueller felt it prudent to take to LinkedIn to issue the following reminder:

"I see some folks try to turn this around, pushing their content to be crawled more frequently, so that Google will think it's good. IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY, IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. HELLO."

Further driving the point home, he used the following analogy, which really couldn’t be any clearer:

“Your kids won’t start loving kale if you force it down their throats in the same way they stuff ice cream in their faces.”

Roughly translated, it really does not matter how frequently you publish new content, nor does more content necessarily mean better rankings.  Neither of them is a direct rankings factor in its own right…period

The discussion was later joined by Bing's Fabrice Canel, just to remind folk that if their own indexation system follows the same protocols:

“Same with Bing. For #SEO embracing ‘Less is More’ pays off. Minimizing URLs to crawl and focusing on writing great content often results in quality clicks in all search engines. Publishing the same content over and over hurts crawl quota. Utilize IndexNow and ‘lastmod’ in your sitemaps to prioritize search engines crawling.”

It’s irrelevant how much of the stuff you put out, if it carries little to no value.  By contrast, a single piece of unique content that engages readers, has an impact on its intended recipients and is of genuine relevance to their interests holds near-limitless value.

Realistically, the only thing that’s surprising about any of the above is the fact that it still needs saying. It’s been more than a decade since Google first made it abundantly clear that quality is the single most important piece of the puzzle, where successful SEO and content marketing are concerned.

Though it stands to reason that if so many have chosen to completely ignore Google’s advice and warnings up until now, they’ll probably do exactly the same again.