One of the factors Google uses to ranks sites, from among the reputed hundreds of factors, is the breadth of a sites’ content.
The breadth of a site is a factor in Google’s algorithm for several reasons. Google uses some form of Latent Semantic Indexing, LSI (or so I contend). LSI is a complex and exceedingly clever way for computers to understand what text is about using mathematics. This is a gross over-simplification and other people have discussed this issue and all the technical details for a different audience. Nevertheless, it serves our purpose.
One way to think about how the algorithm functions is first the keywords with the highest density are removed from the page. Hence talk of an ‘over-optimization’ penalty. With the highest density words removed, the algorithm attempts to make sense of the page with the remaining text. If the webpage text contains a complete and broad set of related keywords, the meaning of the text can be extracted by a machine.
Another factor in Google’s algorithm that broad content triggers is click tracking. Google is known to track clicks on search results occasionally. When a browsers does a search and clicks on one of the listings, a timer starts. If the browser visits a site, and doesn’t find what they are looking for, they hit the back button and choose another listing to click on. Google tracks this short visit, co-related with the keywords and the site and determines the site is not relevant. If a browser clicks on a search result and don’t come back to the search results, Google reasons that the browser must have found what they were looking for and the site is relevant to the keywords.
By creating a site that covers every aspect of a topic increases the chances that you will have something of interest to browsers using your targeted keywords.
Examples of Broad Coverage
A search for “art” on Google shows the top site is art.com and the next is art.net
A search for “baby” — the top site is babycenter.com and the #2 is baby.com
www.art.com is a great site and a great example of a site that covers their topic broadly. A browser searching for the keyword “art” may have many things in mind, but if they go to art.com, chances are they will find what they are looking for.
Consider some of the things that someone searching for “art” may be looking for:
1. Different types of art: posters, tapestries or canvases, etc.
2. Different styles of art: modern, still life, advertising, photography, etc.
3. Different artists: Picasso, Monet, etc.
4. Different Schools of art: Impressionist, Realism, Romanticism etc.
Consider how this same principal applies to smaller sites targeting 2 and 3 word keyword phrases.
Tips for Making Sites with Broad Coverage
1. Keyword Research. Find variations of your targeted keyword phrases and create content and add affiliate products to increase the breadth of your coverage.
2. Check your competitors. Visit the top 20 sites for your targeted keywords and make a note of the categories on their sites.
For more tips on creating a content site with broad coverage HERE