Google conducted an SEO office hours hangout in which someone asked if adding content on a regular basis was helpful for ranking.
It’s a good question because it’s commonly understood that publishing content on a regular basis is a good idea because it keeps readers coming back for more.
Publishing Daily Good For Rankings?
This is the question that was asked:
“Does posting one content daily increase ranking?”
It’s unclear who at Google answered the question.
This is the answer that was given from Google:
Posting daily or at any specific frequency for that matter doesn’t help with ranking better in Google search results.
However, the more pages you have in the Google index, the more your content may show up in search results.”
Crawling: The More Pages Are Indexed
It’s been noted over the past few years that Google does not crawl all content.
And if the content isn’t crawled then it’s not going to be indexed, which is important for ranking.
Part of the reason why Google might not crawl that content is the overall quality of a website.
Google’s John Mueller said:
“The other big reason why we don’t crawl a lot from websites is because we’re not convinced about the quality overall.
So that’s something where, especially with newer sites, I see us sometimes struggle with that.
And I also see sometimes people saying well, it’s technically possible to create a website with a million pages because we have a database and we just put it online.
And just by doing that, essentially from one day to the next we’ll find a lot of these pages but we’ll be like, we’re not sure about the quality of these pages yet.
And we’ll be a bit more cautious about crawling and indexing them until we’re sure that the quality is actually good.”
Indexed: Likelier to Rank
Getting crawled then is the first hurdle to ranking.
Getting that crawled content indexed is the next step, which seems increasingly difficult for some publishers.
The first tip was to make sure the pages can be crawled and that there isn’t a technical reason why a site can’t be crawled.
He suggested crawling your site to check how easily pages can be crawled. A site crawler like Screaming Frog will show 500 errors if the server is unable to serve the webpages.
Similarly, check your Search Console for 500 errors because that is the classic indicator that the web host is having trouble serving webpages.
His second suggestion was to promote the webpages that are having trouble getting indexed.
“And if it’s well crawlable then the next thing I would consider trying to figure out is what you can do to promote your website a little bit better.
…So that when our systems look at your website, they say, oh this is actually a legitimate small business.
We should try to index everything.
Because especially if you’re talking about a smaller website with a couple hundred pages, that feels like something where if we have a little bit of a hint then we’ll go off and get all of that.
If you’re talking about an e-commerce site that has 500,000 pages then obviously (like) if we get all of those pages or not, that’s a totally different story.”
He suggested using internal linking to help Google determine which content is important.
“The other thing is internal linking is very important for us to understand what you would consider to be important on a website.
So things, for example, that are linked from the home page are usually a sign that you care about these pages, so maybe we should care about them more.”
And he also suggested focusing less on quantity and more on the quality of content.
“On the one hand, kind of making sure that it’s easy for us to recognize the important content on a website is really good.
Which sometimes means making less content and making better content.
So having fewer pages that you want to have indexed.”
Content Popularity and Prolific Publishing
I’ve noticed that readers can become obsessed with discovering new content when they are highly engaged with a topic.
In my opinion, content can be like eating popcorn when the reader has a strong engagement with the topic – they can’t stop reading it and keep coming back for more.
There’s a reason why there’s so much content written about Star Wars media and Marvel movies.
People who are engaged with a topic will tend to click through when they see an article on their important topic in the search results, in Google News or Google Discover.
After I started writing for Search Engine Journal I gained a deeper understanding of how important it is to identify what kinds of content is important to readers (as indicated by how many readers engaged with the articles and recommended them).
So it’s not always about constantly publishing content but in my experience, it begins with first identifying what matters to the most readers.
That means branching out every once in awhile to see if readers are interested in new topics by testing out some new topics.
Sometimes readers don’t engage with the new topics.
But once in awhile a new topic becomes a hit and that’s when you add that topic to your list of the kinds of articles to write.
A report published by the New York Times in 2021 noted that over 5 million subscriptions are for their news product but interestingly over 1.6 million readers are subscribed to the New York Times for non-news digital content like cooking and games.
This is the observation that was related in the 2021 New York Times article about their earnings:
“The Times’s primary digital offering, its news product, gained 1.7 million subscribers, a 48 percent increase over 2019.
More than five million Times subscriptions are for the news product alone, The Times said. Other digital offerings, like the Cooking and Games apps, gained more than 600,000 subscriptions in 2020, a 66 percent rise, for a total of roughly 1.6 million.”
Who would have known that a significant number of New York Times readers would be highly engaged with recipe content more than the core news content?
Ranking in Google or just building a readership is more than just writing keyword optimized content.
Identifying the topics that are important to readers is critical.
Listen to the short Webmaster Hangout at the 6:47 minute mark
English Google SEO office-hours from September 2022
Featured image by Shutterstock/Khosro