Blogging is a pain.
Not because content is hard to write (worse case you can just hire a writer or agency), but due to the fact that no one can guarantee that your blog post gets read or not.
Just think about it… you spend all this time writing content, but no one can guarantee that it gets seen, shared, or even linked to.
So, I thought it would be fun to analyze popular blog posts and see what common characteristics that they have.
That way you can replicate what they are doing and increase the likelihood that your post gets read.
We also didn’t exclude any countries and looked at the data from a global level.
Here’s what we learned.
A popular post tends to rank for at least 38 keywords
A big thing in common was that popular blog posts rank for at least 38 keywords.
What’s interesting though is posts that generate at least 5,000 visits a month from Google rank for 51 or more keywords.
But the big difference between posts that generate at least 1,000 visitors versus 5,000 wasn’t the number of keywords that they were targeting, it was more so that they were ranking for keywords that were searched on average 984 times a month.
Now granted they didn’t get 984 clicks for each keyword that they ranked for, as no site really gets all the clicks, and there is no guarantee that they were in the number 1 spot.
When looking at this data we decided to dig in a bit more and we randomly picked 300 blog posts that generate at least 1,000 visits a month from Google to see how many keywords they mentioned on their page that contained at least 50 searches a month.
Can you guess what the number was?
Well, after we removed generic one-word terms that aren’t really considered keywords (such as how I mentioned words like “analyze, month, generate, data” within this post but I am not really targeting those keywords), the number comes out to a staggering 76 keywords.
But wait, how do you come up with 76 keywords for every blog post you write?
Before I break down how you can come up with a laundry list of keywords to include in every blog post you write, keep this in mind…
- You should never stuff keywords in a blog post for the sake of getting SEO traffic. Your post should flow and adding the keywords should feel natural. (If you are hiring a writer, a good writer shouldn’t struggle with this.)
- There are outliers and some blog posts generate a lot of traffic without targeting dozens of keywords within their content.
- You shouldn’t write blog posts just for “Google traffic”. If the content doesn’t provide value to the user, it is going to hurt your website rankings in the long run as you can get hit by Google algorithm update if your site is deemed to have low-quality content.
Now that we got that out of the way, you can head to Ubersuggest and follow the steps in the video below to come up with blog post ideas as well as 76 plus keywords per post.
The average blog post that is popular contains 1839 words
And Google doesn’t really care about word count these days as much as they do for user experience.
See, a user doesn’t really care if a blog post is short or long, they just want to be satisfied with what they have just read.
Nonetheless, we looked at the word count to see what the average post length was for a popular post.
What’s interesting is that posts that generated over 5,000 visitors a month on average weren’t that much longer than posts that generated 1,000 visitors.
The biggest difference was they included more popular keywords within their content. They didn’t necessarily rank for each of those terms, but this gives a post more opportunity to potentially rank and be found.
As I mentioned though, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, there are popular topics like “how to tie a tie” and you don’t really need tons of words to explain how to tie a tie. You more so need images or even video.
Blog posts that are popular are somewhat new
When we looked at every popular blog in our database, we noticed that a lot of sites didn’t include a publish date or an updated date (updated date is used for content that was originally published years ago but was more recently updated).
But for the posts that did contain a date, whether it was the publication date or when the content was updated, we did notice something interesting.
Content that generates 1,000 visitors or more a month on average tends to be 388 days old.
And content that generates less than 1,000 visitors tends to be 593 days old.
This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t want to rank new, fresh content as in both categories there was fresh, new content that did generate traffic. But a lot of the ranking blog posts were a bit old (but not too old).
Again, keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rule. Going back to the how to tie a tie example, even if that article was 3 years old, it probably would still be relevant as much hasn’t changed when it comes to ties.
But with over 1 billion blogs on the web, it seems like Google prefers newish content over outdated content.
If you have older content, don’t worry, you can always update it to ensure that it continually gets more traffic.
The way you would do this is by following these steps:
It’s so effective that I have a team of people who just update my old content.
Whether you like it or not, if you are going to write content you should do keyword research first.
Picking the right keywords versus the wrong ones can mean that your content doesn’t get traffic or gets thousands of visitors a month.
Now of course there are other elements to your SEO like links and on-page SEO, but for this analysis, we wanted to focus on the characteristics (ones that you can easily control) that make a popular post.
Out of curiosity, do you do keyword research before you write content?
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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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