SEOs: Large Web Sites Rank Better In Google

Sep 27, 2013 • 8:12 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

site size seo pollA few months ago, we ran a poll asking our audience if they believe that the site of a site matters when it comes to ranking in Google. In short, do larger sites rank better than smaller sites?

After almost 400 responses, I wanted to share the results.

Overall, 57% said that larger sites do rank better in Google. Only 9% said that smaller sites rank better in Google. While, 34% said that site size has no impact on Google rankings.

Honestly, I am upset that 34% isn't more like 65% and that 57% isn't more like 15% or so. But I am not surprised by the results.

Disclaimer: Please see my poll disclaimer post before coming to any conclusions on these results.

Forum discussion continued at WebmasterWorld.

This post was written earlier this week and scheduled to be posted today.

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Stephane Brault

09/27/2013 12:43 pm

More (quality) content often means more backlinks and more backlinks mean more authority IMO.

Fred Anderson

09/27/2013 01:24 pm

Not Necessarily !!


09/27/2013 01:27 pm

Yes, i think large websites are doing more business, more content more keywords, links.

Jagger Ramsey

09/27/2013 01:38 pm

Although these results are great, I think that these numbers may be a little skewed as to how most people looked at this poll. There is a great question posed, whether "large sites" rank better in google or not. If you look at it from that perspective and only that perspective then I think that your numbers would be more towards the ones that you had expected Barry. The only problem is that I believe most people when taking the poll were looking at "large sites" in a different way. This would mean that we see sites like amazon, ebay, and wiki dominating the rankings and assume that means that large sites rank well but forget that it is their authority that gets them to the top not necessarily their size.


09/27/2013 02:19 pm

The authority is a byproduct of the size in my opinion. If Amazon was a 100 page store it would not rank for most of the terms. And it would not be well known. If you look at other sites like this site why does it rank? It has been around for a while and it is big. The content is pretty good but there are sites that go into far more in depth and they don't rank as well. I don't know how else you would look at it?


09/27/2013 03:32 pm

They're large websites for a reason - because people trust them more and prefer them more. If people trust them and prefer them over small websites, why wouldn't Google rank them higher? They want to give people what they want, and all the data I've seen says that people, as a whole, prefer and trust larger known brands.

Michael Martinez

09/27/2013 04:00 pm

Hm. I have plenty of small sites that outrank large sites. I can find plenty of small sites that outrank large sites. If large sites are large for a reason, though, it's not because people trust them. It's because their owners keep adding content to them.


09/27/2013 04:06 pm

For my major keywords I've more recently noticed this trend. Larger brand companies tend to have an easier time obtaining organic backlinks which a lot of SEO experts feel is one of the more challenging aspect of their job. By combining this with basic on-site SEO practices, larger brand sites with an ever changing catalog, not only hold more clout but also climb the SERPs faster because they are indexed a lot more frequently.

Brett Welker

09/27/2013 04:07 pm

I don't see a strong correlation between site size and reliability. Many times sites are larger simply because the owners dump unnecessary amounts of money into them. However, this does not mean that these "large sites" have any relevant or useful information, let alone provide the user any extra benefit. I'd say more often than not, sites that are small and simple -meaning sites that are easy to navigate and contain lots of highly relevant content - outrank the majority of larger scale sites that fail to see the bigger picture.

Ben Pfeiffer

09/27/2013 06:02 pm

I agree with Michael. I have seen many more small sites outrank larger sites these days. People trust small sites too especially if the information is valuable and interesting. If anything smaller sites can benefit from the Panda algo as they are not as susceptible to some the same issues larger sites are. Hence they can sometimes rank better. Generally saying as a whole people prefer larger known brands because they have large websites is incorrect.

Durant Imboden

09/27/2013 10:19 pm

I think big sites may get away with more than smaller sites do. Two obvious examples are Interflora (which recovered from its manual penalty quickly) and (which hasn't been dinged by Google Search or Google AdSense for framing third-party sites with ads). As far as rankings go, I think they're dominated less by megabrands than they were six months or a year ago--at least for the informational searches that I watch. (That doesn't mean the SERPs are consistently good; it just means they may be slightly more diverse than they were when Wikipedia and TripAdvisor were at the top of the results for every travel search.)

Morgan Akchehirlian

09/28/2013 05:38 pm

From W3C to BBC, Google always give priority to popular and big sites.A small domain totally dedicated to one topic is ranking down a little but BBC writes an article it goes on top even they duplicate some part of content from other site.Big guns enjoys a lot of benefit when it comes to Search Engines(Google).

Durant Imboden

09/28/2013 06:56 pm

The fact that popular and big sites often rank better than small, lesser-known sites doesn't necessarily suggest that Google gives them "priority." It could simply mean that the big, popular sites get more inbound links (including inbound links from other big, popular sites). In the travel sector, I often see big news and entertainment sites liking to general-interest megasites like Tripadvisor and Kayak. It's pretty rare to see them linking to niche sites.

Mike Lowry

09/30/2013 06:08 am

Its a general thinking that larger websites have more traffic that's why ranks better.

Keshab Raj

09/30/2013 08:56 am

its simple idea, large site have Large numbers of keywords so they rank better then site having less text and of course less text mean.. less keywords.. similarly

Morgan Akchehirlian

09/30/2013 08:58 am

@durantimboden:disqus Let say I do a good work covering a News and some other news site takes the stuff and add it on their site trust me they are surely ranking higher no matter how hard I work on it.


09/30/2013 11:54 am

I think large websites will always rank better. Particularly if you have a blog. One page websites are becoming more popular from a design point of view but it will be difficult for a 1 page site to rank for competitive terms.

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