Is more content better in SEO
So what would you say for a publisher type of website that might talk about the same topic every year? the content’s a little bit different. But it’s the same conversation let’s say: they’re talking about a certain type of skin care treatment and they talk about it in 2017 and 2018 and 2019 right.
Do you think they should take the same piece of content and update it each year, or should they have three different pages? Well, if it’s it depends on if it’s an incremental change that happened as in if the skincare routine is pretty much the same as it was last year.
You can rephrase it a little bit, but I would say you update the existing page and reposition it somewhere more on your website for the visitors to see. But I wouldn’t create a new page that says the same thing, because, especially when they’re similar, we might just think one is a duplication of the other and then canonicalize them together.
So what is it that people believe about this? What are the questions that you keep hearing and wonder about yeah? a lot of companies think that maybe content’s good for SEO, so we should produce a lot of it because it’ll help us rank for a lot of different keywords, and maybe we should put out a new blog post every single week to the point where Their their website has thousands of blog posts and maybe they’re not performing well.
So I think a lot of people have a question about how much content should I have and to what extent does this help my performance? Oh, that’s a really good question. So I think just going back to the basics, your key is to provide information to your users right. How much content is good, for that depends a little bit on what you’re doing if you’re a new site and sure cover as much of the happenings that you can.
But if your website is about a specific product, then there is only so much you can say about it, and just keeping rambling on in a single page is not helping you much right. So you would think that maybe having a blog that talks about industry updates or things that are relevant for that company are worthwhile, but maybe not to just produce content for the sake of producing, no, not for the sake of producing content.
If you have something , if you have a product that is very versatile and different users or different customers are using it in very different ways, then this would be an interesting thing to provide say oh look: our product can be used for this. Our product can be used for that, but just for the sake of content having that’s the same as having light content or useless content really and then you’re.
Just spending crawling and you’re spending resources on things that are not performing much right is the presence of a blog and showing Google that you’re producing new content, something that helps your performance overall as an as a kind of site-wide factor. Not necessarily I mean it is not a sideways factor, but uh. If again, this is your blog or your website is about something that is happening regularly or has a lot of updates to it.
Then that can help you bring relevant content to users that would otherwise maybe not find to your website, especially if your users don’t know about what you’re doing then the blog that reports on current events or developments can help.
People understand that. Oh, there’s this company, that does this interesting thing right, but it doesn’t change your search performance or ranking or anything. It’S just providing something relevant and useful to users that are going to help you , if you’re, just putting it out to have a blog or if you’re, hey, we, we just have content that keeps updating and changing without actually giving value to the user.
Then that’s not helping you much. So if you have an older piece of content, would you recommend that if it’s a high-quality piece of content, do you need to go back in there and make updates or should you only do that when something significant has changed? I think you should update it if something significant has changed for sure . If nothing has changed.
What you can do instead is you can write something different new content have a fresh piece of content and just link that other piece of content to say hey, by the way, this is referring. This is not about necessarily you search, relevancy or anything, but it’s more helping the user understand that there is other interesting content for them and it’s keeping them on your website, making sure that they get the information they were looking for.
Is there any way that google tells us if there’s too much content or maybe that content’s underperforming can we look at our crawl stats to figure that something that out so cross-outs are a bad place to look at this because the fact that we’re Not crawling something again does not mean that we are thinking it’s bad or it’s good.
If we’re crawling it often what’s more interesting would be to look at the performance report, for instance in search console. If you are seeing that you get a lot of impressions, but not that many clicks, you might want to change something about the content. If you are getting a lot of clicks through it, but then you see in your analytics that not much action happens.
Then you can ask yourself: is the traffic worth it or do I need to change my content there’s no such thing as too much content. It’S just again think from the user’s perspective. What is the thing that I want the user to understand and is the user interested in spending time on a page where they need 27 minutes to read everything right, yeah you get to decide?
If there’s a lot of content, that’s not necessarily performing well on the website. Could that be something that kind of brings down the overall trustworthiness or authority of the website from google’s perspective? That depends a bit on what is the reason for it not performing if it’s spammy content, if it’s very thin content, then that can bring you down a little bit in terms of uh.
We might just spend crawl budget on pages that aren’t in the end not performing or not even being indexed anymore, and you might want to avoid having spammy content and bad content, especially if you get penalties or manual actions.
You want to clean up there, but besides that, it is usually a good idea to see. Oh, this piece of content does not perform well, let’s take it down or at least change it right, and what would you think for companies that have something a help centre, where there’s a lot of content?
That answers very specific questions, but maybe it’s only one or two sentences per page, and maybe they have 500 pages of that nature. Would you say that’s something that they should remain indexed on google or how does google treat those types of pages? That’S a really good question that might be treated as light content as as thin content and not necessarily useful. I would try to group these things and structure them in a meaningful way.
If it’s a question about a specific range of products, then you can group all these questions to one page or if you have questions in the category of troubleshooting or operating them. The thing that you’re trying to sell try to group this to have more dense and helpful pages in one go, because how ly is it that I have exactly one question right?
If I have one question, I might have a follow-up question or I might have a similar question so putting these all together is a good idea so grouping it together. I think that’s one common theme that we talk about a lot in the SEO world now is kind of consolidation. Yes, so do you think there’s a case to be made for one?
Maybe you have two pieces of pretty similar content and they would be better as one single article so doing a lot of merging and redirecting that’s something that google’s kind of appreciative when we do those types of things we have less crawling to do. That’S great uh. We also know where to send the users then and there’s a chance that if you have similar things that these come from organizational reasons it’s one department thinks about it and another department thinks about it.
None of these two talks to each other. So if you consolidate that you, you bundle more relevancy and information in one place, and that makes it easier for us to figure out oh yeah. This is a good site to check this out and then get the use of this information uh rather than cannibalizing each other or just being duplication. And what about word count. SEO’s are always asking is word count, a ranking factor which I think google’s talked about.
Quite a bit yeah we’ve talked about this quite a lot and it’s not a ranking factor. If you can say what the user needs to know. In 50 words, that is fantastic. If you need 100 words, that’s cool, if you need two thousand words, that’s also absolutely acceptable. It’S again about trying to figure out.
What’S the intention, if you see yourself repeating yourself multiple times and saying the same things over and over again in the same document or the same page? What’S the point yeah well, let’s say you’re in a situation where you’ve written 500 words for a specific topic or keyword that you’re trying to rank for and you see all your competitors have 4 000 words or something that.
Even though word count’s not technically a ranking factor, that’s probably a good indication that you need longer content right, I mean it depends just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean that they’re doing it right. So if, if you see them the rank high, that might not continue to be that way, just because they have a high word count again, try to understand what is it that the users need?
Maybe the larger word count just accidentally hits the right bits and of information that people are looking for and fits the query intention of the user better than what you’re writing in this case. If you can reformulate it, so that your 500 words are better than go with that, okay, don’t be the school kid that goes .
Furthermore, as I was seeing just to fill in unnecessary language yeah and what’s kind of the criteria for determining, if something is spammy or auto-generated so take, for example, if you have 50 location pages for 50 states – and you want to talk about the business which Is largely the same in all those places, but you basically just swap out the name of the city and maybe add a couple, a couple of facts about that city.
For example. How does google perceive those pages? That’S a tricky one because either they work or they don’t right, right, . So, generally speaking, if you are using generated content – and that is really relevant and good and a human sees this and goes oh, I this you’re, probably on the right track. That can work for these pages, where you have different information for different cities, but it’s pretty much the same kind of formula behind it.
If you have enough, facts around it and there’s relevant information in there that changes city to city that might work, it might also not if it’s too similar and you that’s. We see that in places Germany, sometimes that there are literally two sides of a river and then they’re having two different pages for this. But they say pretty much the same things, maybe five words are different or something that.
Uh and maybe a few numbers here and there the different number of people there or whatever, then we might just consider one duplication of the other and not put it in the index. We might de-dupe it and eliminate it from the index and then there’s that not much you can do if we think it’s the same kind of content, then what’s the point, why would we show the same content on multiple URLs right?
Then we come back to canonicalization really, but if you have information that is good enough and different enough from the other bits and pieces go for it, okay, so you would encourage businesses that are in that position where they do need to target highly localized keywords that It’S okay to have those pages, but invest in making them as unique as possible, make them relevant and helpful for the user.
The user is the key here really and if you’re just copying data over from one place to another. Is that helpful? Not exactly yeah, can you talk a little bit more about how Google treats or how does google determine what duplicate content is? What’S the threshold for duplication, I’m not sure what the threshold is, but I know that we are fingerprinting the content and the fingerprint is done in a way that allows us to say how similar is it right?
We use different similarity, metrics and figure out okay, so this is pretty much 95 of this is the same thing we see again. We see that in the german-speaking countries a lot where, for instance, a shop operates in Switzerland and Germany and Austria. All of this is in german and then they have the same product and the price is slightly different due to whatever reason uh.
Switzerland has a different currency, but that’s pretty much the entire difference. Maybe they use a few different words because the local dialects are different sure, so you have a thousand words in each of the product descriptions. Maybe and reviews and whatnot, but uh the price is different.
The currency might be different if in Switzerland, and there might be five different words or something that, and that we consider them all to be the same. And then you can shoot yourself on the foot when you’re trying to canonicalize all of them.
Because we’re that’s not a helpful signal because we determined that what you think is individual pieces of content is kind of the same thing. Yeah, but hreflang can and help again and make sure that we are surfacing the right version. So we might only be indexing and canonicalizing one of them, but we will be showing the different versions of these, depending on where the person who’s searching uh is got it located, use hreflang when there are different dialects and different.
If that’s your issue, but if it’s just the content is slightly different, because maybe you have different prices or something that, then we would consider that the same content got it. hope this has been of use and you all have learnt at least something useful.