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I noticed that a competing website has split up their product information into multiple pages (URLs). I was wondering if this is a good approach to follow or if I should avoid it because it might be seen as being spammy.

example.com/bikes/foo-bike/seat      //content about foo-bike's seat
example.com/bikes/foo-bike/wheels    //content about foo-bike's wheels
vs
example.com/bikes/foo-bike           //content about foo-bike's wheels and seat
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  • Is this an online shop?
    – unor
    Nov 12, 2014 at 16:41
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    It's not a online shop. It's a user guide for bikes.
    – Jordan
    Nov 12, 2014 at 16:45

2 Answers 2

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As Zistoloen covers, creating more pages for the content increases the "surface area" for potential searches but there is an additional reason to split up content over multiple pages: it can drastically reduce your site's bounce rate (BR) and increase pages per visit (PPV).

By providing articles in small chunks, the user can not only navigate to preferred sections, but each time they do so it eliminates a potential bounce and increases PPV from one to at least two. Google does use BR and PPV as quality signals which will affect all of your content. So if you can naturally induce users into that second click on your site, it does have an overall positive effect on your SEO.

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    I should point out that smaller chunks of content runs the risk of being thin content. Google has historically liked blogs, but noticed that most blogs are "me too" re-hashes and rather thin. Google also recognized that if the content is too thin, the pages viewed per user can increase, but the time spent per page decreases, the time spent on site decreases, and bounce back rates to the SERPs increases. Satisfy the user but do not create content for search. If the content does not please the user, you are only hurting yourself. These days, Google is looking for and rewarding deeper content.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 12, 2014 at 17:28
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    Personally, I think it can be a pain having to click on multiple URLs if I want to continue learning about the subject. Am I in the minority or do others feel this way too?
    – Jordan
    Nov 12, 2014 at 17:33
  • @closetnoc Yes, which is why "naturally" was emphasized above. If your content has natural breakpoints (e.g. chapters, topic changes) that lends itself to pagination, there's no harm in it. Unnatural pagination (50 words and a new page! No thanks) runs the risks you mention.
    – JCL1178
    Nov 12, 2014 at 17:58
  • @Jordan It depends on what I'm reading. I don't always like to scroll for two miles, especially on a tablet and especially on something that I'm trying to learn. In those cases, I kind of like the subject-by-subject isolation that good pagination can impose as well as the bookmarking benefits for it. Other forms of content generate other responses. Long-form journalism works better for me as a single page so I can more quickly re-read sections as I go. YMMV.
    – JCL1178
    Nov 12, 2014 at 18:01
  • @JCL1178 Please do not think I did not appreciate you answer. I just thought I would draw a line between older blog methods seen so often and smart engagement. I meant no offense if I offended you. My apologies if I did.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 12, 2014 at 23:53
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For an user guide, the goal is to think about users. That's why, it may be interesting for a reader to know specifically about foo bike's wheels; maybe to know how it works exactly and how to repare it if needed.

For SEO, it depends on the amount of text but if you can write 300 words on foo bike's wheels, it can be a good practice to split the foo bike's information in different pages because it increases the number of pages of the site and the user can find more easily the page about foo bike's wheels for example.

It would be totally different for an online shop (most probably a bad practice for SEO and users) because when you sell a foo bike, all the information about it must be in the page. Indeed, it's easier to find information for users and the page has most probably a lot of text (thus a page with a good weight for SEO).

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