Ryan Steinolfson

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Hello,

What is the recommended amount of city pages that a website can have before it starts to get recognized as spam? I have read in a few places that the maximum is 20 pages, but would love to know your thoughts on this.

This is a blog article I often refer to when creating a city page:
https://whitespark.ca/blog/rank-in-cities-with-no-physical-address/

I also make sure to update the services area on their GMB Page with the cities as well.

How do you rank in cities where you don't have an address?

Thank you,
Crystal :)
 

Phil Rozek

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@CrystalH, the short answer is: it depends on how good (or ghastly) the pages are, and on the site.

I've never seen Google penalize a site for cranking out spammy "city" pages. Perhaps Google does issue site-wide penalties for that, but I've never seen or heard of an example of that. Rather, the issue has always been whether any given page is good enough to rank for even a mildly competitive term. On a site filled with bad "city" pages, either none of the "city" pages ranks at all, or a given page only ranks for an noncompetitive term nobody's competing on.

Some sites pump out way more than 20 bad "city" pages, and Google not only doesn't penalize the whole site, but occasionally ranks some of those pages higher than they deserve. (Whether they keep ranking or yield a single customer are separate questions.)

On the other side of the coin, some of my clients have more than 20 "city" pages (and in some cases "state" pages), but we put some work into them and only create them when we have something to say. Google seems not to have a problem with that.

If you have something to say on "city" pages - beyond "We want customers" - then it's fine to have more than 20. Preferably you can go into detail on the experience you've got in those cities, and can wheel out photos of work, reviews from customers in those places, and other proof elements.
 

Ryan Steinolfson

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@CrystalH, the short answer is: it depends on how good (or ghastly) the pages are, and on the site.

I've never seen Google penalize a site for cranking out spammy "city" pages. Perhaps Google does issue site-wide penalties for that, but I've never seen or heard of an example of that. Rather, the issue has always been whether any given page is good enough to rank for even a mildly competitive term. On a site filled with bad "city" pages, either none of the "city" pages ranks at all, or a given page only ranks for an noncompetitive term nobody's competing on.

Some sites pump out way more than 20 bad "city" pages, and Google not only doesn't penalize the whole site, but occasionally ranks some of those pages higher than they deserve. (Whether they keep ranking or yield a single customer are separate questions.)

On the other side of the coin, some of my clients have more than 20 "city" pages (and in some cases "state" pages), but we put some work into them and only create them when we have something to say. Google seems not to have a problem with that.

If you have something to say on "city" pages - beyond "We want customers" - then it's fine to have more than 20. Preferably you can go into detail on the experience you've got in those cities, and can wheel out photos of work, reviews from customers in those places, and other proof elements.
Hi Phil,
Thank you for the above information. This is super helpful.
I appreciate your guidance.

Crystal :)
 

HammerOz

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In addition to specific city page overview text, pages that have relevant related news posts, testimonials, images, team, services and address markup are going to be successful in terms of user experience and SEO. Correlate the city pages with specific towns you add to GMB and you may even achieve local pack ranking for the one GMB location across multiple towns. Not That you were specifically asking about Google My Business!
 

BipperMedia

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We've manually built many dozens -- perhaps even 100 plus -- city pages on single client sites before.

We even launched over 2,100 city pages for a product company that sold their product in every Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS store in the state of Florida (this was fun, and insane...!).

We like include location signals within all of our city pages, and on this large scale project I believe we leveraged the TripAdvisor API to pull in relevant, hyper-locally targeted location signals.

But to answer your question directly... we've built hundreds, even thousands of city pages and we have yet to bump up against any negative, penalty type stuff from Google.

I hope that helps.
 
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