Last week I wrote a blog post about how to use an editorial calendar to create lots of content ideas from one topic.
In the comments, Stephanie Vermillion asked, “Is there a suggested number of total content pieces you need to develop expertise on the main topic in the eyes of Google?”
It’s such a good question, it deserves it’s own blog post.
The short answer is no.
You could have one epic piece of content that gives you expertise on that topic—in the eyes of Google—or you could create 200 pieces.
The number of pieces does not matter.
What does matter is whether people are sharing it on the social networks. Whether they comment on it. And, most importantly, whether they link to it.
That is what develops your expertise on a topic—from a Google perspective—not how many times you discuss it.
Let’s take the topic “PR Metrics” as an example.
If I open Google and type that into the search bar, you’ll see there are two Spin Sucks posts on the first page of Google results…in the sixth and seventh spots (and look how old that seventh one is) .
You’ll see that it’s also personalized with a Google+ update I posted.
On the second page are some additional personalized results for me, which is great. People I know are sharing our content!
But I also want to see what people who don’t know me or Spin Sucks see when they search the topic.
In that case, I do a search with the same term incognito (click on file and then on new incognito window on the Mac).
We come up eighth and ninth in search results on the first page. What’s frustrating about this particular search is the PR Daily comes up before us…and it’s an original Spin Sucks piece that they syndicated.
Extend Your Reach and Your Search Results
All-in-all, not a bad experiment. Google sees we have expertise when it comes to the metrics you should consider for PR campaigns.
But what if I want the coveted number one spot?
In this case, I am going to have to create more content, but I’m not going to do it on Spin Sucks.
With the moz toolbar clicked on (I turn it off most days because it’s a distraction), I create a quick spreadsheet to see what the domain authority of my first page competitors are. This will help me determine where I can compete and where I need to build relationships.
You’ll see a third have lower domain authority than we do and two others are in our realm of competition. I can probably compete with those just by creating more content here on the topic.
But to compete with the ones that have much higher domain authority? I should easily be able to increase our first page search results with some good, old fashioned media relations.
In this case, I should pitch contributed content to Mashable, PRSA, and Meltwater. I write for OPEN so it’s ridiculous that they are beating us in search results. Shame on me!
When I write a new piece for OPEN or I get columns placed with the three listed above, I link to one of our PR metrics blog posts. I also use the term “PR metrics” when I link to a Spin Sucks blog post (like I did there).
When that content publishes, I have earned the very valuable link from a higher domain authority site to show Google we are experts on the topic (which increases my search results) AND my domain authority begins to crawl up from 68 to the 70s.
Media Relations Comes in Handy
When it comes down to it, we have six blog posts on Spin Sucks (all but two were written by me) that talk about PR metrics…and two of those show up on the first page of Google search results.
Now it’s time to use my traditional media relations skills to extend that reach and show Google we are the definitive expert on the topic.
We’ll end up with 10 or so pieces of content that talk about PR metrics around the web.
So, Stephanie, it doesn’t matter how many pieces of content you create. I would like to be in the number one spot in search results just from our blog posts. But I need to extend that a bit with media relations.
I’ll do the experiment and keep you posted. About 30 days after our content is published elsewhere, we should see a shift in our search results.
More to come!