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Article vs. Category Page Rankings: What Should You Focus On?

Google generally favors article content over product or category specific content. So should you put more of your SEO focus on articles?

Article vs. Category Page Rankings: What Should You Focus On?

Editor’s note: “Ask an SEO” is a weekly column by technical SEO expert Jenny Halasz. Come up with your hardest SEO question and fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

Today’s Ask an SEO question comes from Jack in Hong Kong. He asks:

“We know Google would favor article page over categorized / section page on SERPs, does this mean we should put more focus on articles? How do we improve the search ranking of categorized page on generic search queries like ‘movie’?”

It would help if I knew what industry or vertical your site is in, because my answer could be very different based on that.

Ultimately, the answer to your question depends entirely on the intent of the searcher.

Google generally favors article content over product or category specific content, but that’s because article content tends to be more helpful, better balanced, and more frequently updated than other types of content.

What Google tries to do is anticipate what the intent of the searcher is when they make their query.

For a generic keyword like “movie”, someone could be looking for any of the following:

  • Movies playing near me
  • Movie reviews
  • How to make a movie
  • Buy a movie
  • Show me a movie to watch
  • Stream a movie
  • How to pirate a movie
  • Convert a home movie to digital

Or about a million other things.

When I do a search for movie, Google assumes that I want one of the first two – movies near me, or reviews of movies that are currently out. If I want to do anything else, I’ll have to edit my query to include more information.

But if I bought a lot of movies on Google Play, it’s entirely possible that Google would adjust my search result to include new movies available for download.

As the site owner, your job is to determine what “movie” search would likely result in a searcher wanting to see the content you offer and optimize your content accordingly. If you can do that, you’ll find that your category pages will compel just as much action (although of a different type) than your article pages.

Also see: How to Optimize Categories & Tag Pages for More Search Visibility

Have a question about SEO for Jenny? Fill out this form or use #AskAnSEO on social media.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

Category Ask an SEO

Jenny Halasz

President at JLH Marketing

Jenny Halasz is President and Founder of JLH Marketing, a marketing consultation firm focused on highly technical implementations, specific projects, ...

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