More Content Bad for SEO?

I picked up a very interesting article posted by John Scott of V7N about finding out that more content could be detrimental to your site’s search engine rankings. Also highlighted by rustybrick of SE Roundtable who discovered a related thread at Cre8asite.

So many folks, me included, advocate the use of text content on web pages so as to give search engines a hint on the theme of a page while crawling it. But as complicated search engine algorithms have become, that basic notion could well be outdated and such explanation is no longer valid on many fronts.

A lot of factors influence the behavior of incoming web traffic: competitors falling out from the SERPs, getting a prominent placement on a popular news web site, or getting quoted by a famous blogger. So I would say X number of traffic is not directly proportional to Y amount of links pointed to Z number of pages within a site.

I’d agree with John’s statement:

Content (marketing copy, etc) may be king when it comes to converting visitors, but for search engine rankings, link weight, domain authority and intelligent distribution of link weight appears to be much more effective, even when it means removing content.

Which reminds me of last week’s discussion with Erica Schmidt of iProspect (who incidentally is a letter away from being a namesake of Google’s CEO) about links and anchor texts being more important than content.

However, I’d like to stick to that “content is king” policy given the “long tail” notion of keyword combinations visitors will use as search queries. But referring again to John’s blog, it’s logical to say that not at all times when content is king especially if the page does not establish a topic that’s sensible enough. In what he terms as “pollutants”, these pieces of content have no meaning and whose pages must be deleted to conserve link weight to be used to boost link power of those pages that contain popular content.

If I may put this interesting topic to rest, the issue to me was on performing proper distribution of link weight instead of mere consideration of content length, as what appears in the title.