Have you ever been frustrated by a website that you find on Google that, in theory, should have all the information you need but doesn’t? More specifically, what about pages that are optimized for certain keyword phrases, so you find them in the number-one position, but yet, you just have to keep clicking through pages to find what you need once you get there?
If you’ve ever had to do this, you’ve experienced what is commonly known on the internet as a “merry go round” – a website that comes up in search results, but doesn’t actually provide information, just links to deeper pages. Here’s how they work:
You type a phrase into Google. Google returns results based on your search term. Obviously, you click the first result (it must be the most relevant, right?). You get to that page, but you have to click on another link to get your information. When you arrive at the next page, you may have to repeat this process again, and again, and again, rinse, repeat… You may have seen this kind of behavior on directory websites. Sometimes, they’re the worst culprits.
Why shouldn’t I use merry -go-round websites? That seems like it actually works.
Why shouldn’t you do this? Two reasons: 1) it’s annoying. When you’re clicking through to a bunch of pages and not finding the information you need, it’s frustrating. 2) Google will hate it too. Remember, when you create a website, you have to keep a balance between search quality and readability/usability for your customers.
A few years ago, Google released the Panda update. In short, this update to the algorithm takes sites out of search results that are filled with poor content, or clearly create a bad experience for users. Merry go rounds are a combination of both.
So when you’re creating your pages, keep one thing in mind: put the content on the page that your readers (or Google) will land on, and don’t send them down rabbit holes to find more information. They’ll both love you for it!