Should I break out an article into 3 parts?

If I’ve had an article written (by a novice, but it’s a decent attempt) on the subject of, say, acne.
It’s a little general and is broken into headings such as ‘Do I have acne?’ and ‘How do I get rid of acne?’. It’s also a little long.
So I could mark up the section headings with the appropriate semantic header tags. But I started wondering if it would be of benefit to break the article into separate articles, titled ‘do I have acne?’ etc? I can see each of these headings being a common search term, and thought that having a dedicated page and specific page title might help capture those terms more than headings within a more general article. Also I figure you’ve got less chance of ranking well for the more general article subject (eg ‘about acne’).

So the original article might be (hastily thrown together html)
URL: /articles/about_acne/

<title>About acne</title>
<h1>About acne</h1>

<h2>Do I have acne?</h2>
<p>blah blah blah</p>

<h2>How do I get rid of acne?</h2>
<p>blah blah blah</p>
....and some other stuff

Or I could split it into a few articles, which link to each other
URL: /articles/do_i_have_acne

<title>Do I have acne?</title>
<h1>Do I have acne?</h1>
<p>blah blah blah</p>
Next <a href='/articles/how_do_i_get_rid_of_acne'>how do I get rid of acne?</a>

Does this seem like a good approach?

[FONT=Verdana]That sounds like a sensible plan.

You can help Google by using <link> elements to explain the relationship between the pages. So in the <head> for a page, you might have

<link rel="next" href="/articles/how_do_i_get_rid_of_acne">
<link rel="index" href="/articles/about_acne">

You can use home, index, previous, next, first and last (plus one or two others that aren’t relevant here). That will discourage Google from sending people to page 2 or page 3 for a general search on the topic, although it will still direct them there if their query is specifically answered by a later page.[/FONT]

I would suggest you break it in as many parts as you can. When writing articles on health topics, it is always better to be precise. Give suggestions in bullets or numbered points so that its easy to read. Avoid writing stories. That would bore people off as people look out for specific informative points. Hope this helps.


When it’s something that you can write in just one article, then go for just a single article. You can set some sort of a limit for you to be able to write articles that people would read without going away from your site. If you’re going to write a single article, it’s best that you limit the number of words up to some amount that a lot of people would accept. You know how some don’t like seeing huge walls of text. If it goes beyond your limits, go for the post series. If you’re going to do a post series, I suggest that you follow Stevie D’s tips about the rel=“prev”, rel=“next”, etc.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother splitting it just for SEO purposes. Pagination is one of those things that pisses people off more than anything, so I’d keep it all in one place.

Finally, it’ll be a pain in the ass for anyone who wants to print your article.

Another idea might be to break it up and use one of the articles for distribution and backlinking to create the wheel back to your site and the other 2 articles. This way you can keep some unique content on your site while also re-using some content to help maximize and draw attention to the unique content.