Is there an SEO benefit to splitting up good content across several pages?

I have a job-related AMA site that’s doing relatively well and seeing consistent growth in organic search traffic. Currently all questions and answers appear on a single page. IOW, if an ice sculptor’s hosting an AMA, all of the Q’s asked of him (and his answers) appear on a single page.

I want to know whether there is any SEO benefit to perhaps putting every question/answer combo on its own page. I know that online magazines / newsletters will often split up an article across 2 or 3 pages, which is obnoxious, but I figure they’re doing it to increase page views (and hence ad impressions.) But we’re not even hosting ads yet, so I don’t really care about page impressions…I’m asking purely from an SEO perspective. Would putting every Q/A combo on its own page allow us to do things that would enhance our SEO? For example, I’m imagining that we’d be able to customize meta data for every page specific to that question+answer (that would be very time-consuming, though I guess we could use a script or something.) Any other benefit to doing that? We like the fact that all Qs and As appear on a single long page now…and frankly from a UE standpoint, that definitely makes the most sense. But how about re: SEO – I’d love to hear any suggestions for how we might be able to make our A+ (in our opinion ofc) content even more attractive / relevant to SE’s.

No. Simple enough answer? It will not help SEO at all. It will only make the UI that much more complicated for no reason, drive people away. KISS, Keep it simple, s****d.

Thx for answer. Agree on the UI front. My thinking was only that perhaps it would…“concentrate” relevance-juice if content specific to a search query was the only text that appeared on a single page. For example, consider the query “How do you get into ice sculpting?” We actually have an ice sculptor answering that very question…so the thought was that search engines might designate a page as highly relevant if that were the only content that appeared on a page. Moreso, that is, than if that were just one of 20 questions the ice sculptor answers on a page. I don’t think that’s all that irrational a thought…surely it’s not all that crazy to think that search engines look not only for relevance but specificity when determining relevance to a search query…?

Sure, but having it all on its own page doesn’t create specificity it only creates a fracture of content. Having more content that is the same relevance, in this case ice sculpting will give that page a boost in specificity because it is all on the same subject. Breaking it up reduces specificity, and would require a user to be more specific in their searches. In turn you will miss out on unspecific searches which is the bread and butter.

[FONT=verdana]I think you’re better off doing it the way you are at present. The search engines are more likely to favour a site with fewer pages and a relatively large amount of content on each, rather than one with a large number of fairly sparse pages.


Right, I agree with both of these sentiments…and generally speaking – and especially from a UE standpoint without thinking about SEO at all – the site simply makes more sense the way it’s currently built.

Here’s the only thing that had me at least entertaining the question of whether I could optimize it further. Consider Yahoo Answers, where they just have one question per page (forget, for the moment, about the fact that Yahoo Answers kind of sucks). Check out the image below of the SERP for the query How much do bull riders get paid?:

So THIS is really what I’m talking about. I fully grant you that ‘works’ best as currently built with all questions with 1 Q&A host on a single page (frankly, I don’t even know what it would look like with separate pages).

BUT, the name of the game is still traffic, right? So I don’t think it’s a crazy question to ask whether we’d be better off, in the aggregate, if we were able to insert the actual question in the meta title, like Yahoo Answers does. A lot seems to hinge on what was written above:

would require a user to be more specific in their searches. In turn you will miss out on unspecific searches which is the bread and butter.

I guess this presupposes that unspecific searches ARE our bread and butter…but that’s a premise I can’t categorically swear is true. (By the way, thanks for the replies guys!)

It depends whether you think that is what is pushing you below Yahoo! Answers. There are some megasites out there like Yahoo! Answers and Wikipedia that do very well on reputation, and can outrank other sites that are more targeted, no matter how good those other sites’ <title> is.