James Lowery is one of our digital strategists who keeps us informed, up to date and entertained about the search landscape.

When you hear someone say that “you should blog more” because “Google loves fresh content”, how do you know they’re right?

Do you really know what Google wants and how your blogging efforts will return true value to your business?

From organising your content through to only writing when you have something to say, our digital strategist James has blessed us with his banter about what you can do to help Google love you more.

You should(n’t) blog more..

Everyone knows “you should blog more” because “Google loves fresh content”. The trouble is, everyone's wrong.

Blogging solely to add more fresh content to a website”, is a bad idea, and that's not just my opinion, it's Google's. Google’s own guidelines advise putting users first. Ask yourself whether you’d do something if it wasn’t for Google.

Writing a blog that merely adds more words to a website is a waste of time and effort. It may not be a waste of bandwidth, but that's only because no-one’s ever going to read it.

Does that mean you don’t need more content on your website? No, you probably do. But a blog is almost certainly not the format needed.

When a blog post is the right solution, it's usually for one of these reasons:

  • To share some important company news like a product launch
  • To add commentary to an industry trend
  • To launch a piece of content like a whitepaper

These are all fairly short-term things, and that's the nature of a blog.  You might categorise things neatly, but you still create a hierarchy of recency and link the most up to date content from the most structurally important page. But your blog is not the best place for a “ten tips for winter driving” guide – unless you want to publish exactly the same thing every year.

Last year, Google changed the way they rank websites in organic search.  Depending on what flavour of SEO news you follow, you might call this The Medic Update, The E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) Update, or The End of The World. One of the commonly reported outcomes was that older content took a bit of a knock. 

No surprise there. Financial advice from 5 years ago is less relevant today than when it was written, and the same is true for digital marketing advice from 5 years ago.

In short, if you want to publish content that’s not reliant on freshness for relevance, don't put it in a blog.

So, what’s the right place?

If you’re publishing guides, instructions, or advice on a website and you want it to be useful long term, it's essential to build it into the site structure properly. Create a proper content hub with links from your main navigation so that users can access it from anywhere. Links to key pages from related products and services makes it even more valuable to users.

One more thing

Don’t just think about “fresh content” as being new pages. Think about the freshness of all your content. One of the things we saw with Google Medic / E.A.T. was that infrequently updated pages suffered more than those which were regularly reviewed and changed to include the most recent advice. Make sure that you build an update plan into your overall content strategy to keep things current.

To sum up

A blog is a great addition to your website, but not if you use it as a one size fits all place to keep content. Also, keeping content fresh is the right thing to do, but not if it’s just pages for the sake of pages.

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Keep your blog solely for content that’s for now, rather than forever
  2. Freshness doesn’t just apply to new pages, keep older stuff up to date too
  3. Organise your long-term content into a hub and review it regularly
  4. Write only when you have something to say
  5. Most importantly, write for your users, not for search engines

For more information, please re-read.

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By James Lowery

Director of Strategy

Development SEO

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