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Why You Must Publish Frequently (But Keep Quality High!) – Here’s Why #210

Mark Traphagen and Eric Enge on Why You Must Publish Frequently (But Keep Quality High!)

One of the age-old debates in SEO is whether or not it matters how much content you publish or how frequently.

In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge shows evidence that having more content can be an advantage, but you must never sacrifice quality to get there.

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Transcript

Mark: Eric, here at Perficient Digital, we’ve developed advanced content marketing strategies for major brands that drive brand awareness and consumer interests, but we also use that content to gain big SEO wins for those businesses. Now, a question I hear a lot about that is, “Does it matter how frequently a company publishes content, at least for SEO purposes?”

Eric: Sure. It can make a difference, but it’s not the only factor.

Mark: What do you mean by that?

Eric: To answer that, let me tell you a tale of four sites, all in one single marketplace.

The chart that you’re looking at right now shows the number of content updates in a year for four companies in the same industry.

Chart shows the number of content updates in a year for four companies in the same industr

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So, site one in this chart, even though the bar looks really, really tiny, is actually publishing three pieces of content a month, and site two is actually publishing 16 pieces of content a month, which most people would consider a lot. I certainly would. But, site three published almost 100 articles a month, while site four was publishing 500 articles per month.

Now, let’s look at the next chartSearch Visibility chart from SearchMetrics shows traffic of 4 websites from the same industry over the past two years

 

This is a Searchmetrics search visibility chart over the past two years, and the green line is the brand that published five times more than the others, the biggest volume brand. It started out in last place. In fact, its site launched two years ago and by August 2018 had established itself as the dominant player in the market.

I believe that was solely on the back of the volume of content they were publishing, and their coverage of the marketplace with a great deal of depth and breadth.

Mark: That’s it then. That’s it, folks. The magic secret to SEO, out publish your competitors. We’ll see you…

Eric: Not so fast. Let me tell you the rest of the story.

Chart shows traffic of a website that has published a large volume of content - it can still face traffic drop due to Google algo updates in September and October of 2018 When you look at this chart, in September of 2018, the site that was published 500 articles a month suddenly sees a big drop in its SEO visibility.

So, it looks like that the September/October updates hit this site really hard. And like the rest of the updates that Google put out in 2018, there seemed to be this continual focus on content quality and how well you met user intent and those sorts of things.

Mark: So, they were cranking out a lot of content, but it wasn’t necessarily all that great?

Eric: Exactly right. So, I think what we see here is with the volume of content, they rode that wave up, but because it wasn’t good enough quality content, they kind of took the hit in the September/October updates, since Google continued to adjust their algorithms.

So, I think it’s really important to understand that hey, the volume is great, content breadth and depth is great, but it better be good stuff.

Mark: Got you. So, what lesson can we take away from all this?

Eric: I think you have to have a lot of content on your site and really think about covering your market area in breadth and depth if your goal is to have a strong role in the SEO results for Google.

But, if you don’t have the right level of quality, it will bite you in the end. So, now you have to set the balance between, “How do I get that coverage in depth and breadth, and really get a volume of stuff going out there so I get that coverage, but keep the quality really, really high?”

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About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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Thoughts on “Why You Must Publish Frequently (But Keep Quality High!) – Here’s Why #210”

  1. Thank you, this is a great piece of advice. However, it’s hard for small websites and businesses to post hundreds piece of content every month:)

  2. Yes, you’re absolutely right. For smaller businesses, you don’t need to do anything near that volume. What you should consider instead is posting more than your competition does. However, it’s also critical to promote it effectively so it attracts some attention (gets some links) too. So the scale of what you need to do is relative. In the end, the idea is to stand out from your direct competition.

  3. Hi Eric, this is a really impressive data. However, I am much in line with your last comment of being relative. A well written article when promoted rightly can bring a lot more exposure then 50 not-so-good articles can not. So it’s not about the quantity, In fact, it’s more about the quality.

  4. If I understood correctly, it is blog posting mainly. Otherwise, I’d have a pretty hard time to even write up to a piece of content per day.
    Thank you again Eric for the analysis and graphs, inspiring!

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