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Marketing Calendar 2024 With Template To Plan Your Content

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Marketing Calendar 2024 With Template To Plan Your Content

Setting yourself and your organization up for successful marketing means understanding the interesting dates, holidays, and events throughout the year that you can leverage for your brand.

Pulling that information together takes time and effort, so we’ve done the legwork for you.

Our complete marketing calendar for 2024 with a template gives you all the information you need to plan your content.

You can customize this easily referenceable table and pull out the relevant dates for your business to create your own 2024 marketing calendar.

For planning content and social media campaigns, using a marketing calendar gives you insights and opportunities to tie your content into well-known events in engaging ways.

These range from big sporting events to awareness months that you can plan content around, to public holidays so you can leverage them for engagement.

Free Marketing Calendar And Template For 2024

Below, we have listed some of the major holiday highlights for 2024. We have also compiled a free spreadsheet that lists many obscure awareness days to help you plan content in any niche.

The full 2024 marketing calendar and template are available at the end of the article, with a breakdown of each month.

This calendar focuses mainly on the U.S. and Canada, with some major international and religious holidays included.

Your 2024 Holiday Marketing Calendar

January

January is a time of resolutions and fresh starts, with many picking a goal for the year or looking to make a change.

It can be a slow start, given that many people are still recovering from the end of last year, but that gives you time to plan your calendar and ease into a new year of content.

There are plenty of broad activities to lean into, like Veganuary and National Hobby Month, to connect with audience lifestyles.

Events in January always have all eyes on them, too, like the Golden Globes and Winter X Games, so content around them can kickstart your 2024 engagement.

Monthly Observances

  • International Creativity Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Dry January
  • Veganuary

Weekly Observances

  • January 1-7 – New Year’s Resolutions Week
  • January 1-7 – Celebration of Life Week
  • January 1-7 – Diet Resolution Week
  • January 8-14 – Home Office and Security Week

Days

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • January 1 – Mexican Independence Day
  • January 1 – Global Family Day
  • January 2 – National Science Fiction Day
  • January 4 – World Braille Day
  • January 6 – Epiphany
  • January 7 – Orthodox Christmas
  • January 10 – Golden Globes
  • January 13 – Korean American Day
  • January 13 – Stephen Foster Memorial Day
  • January 14 – Orthodox New Year
  • January 14 – Ratification Day
  • January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • January 15 – Civil Rights Day
  • January 17 – Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
  • January 17 – Benjamin Franklin Day
  • January 18-28 – Sundance Film Festival
  • January 20 – World Religion Day
  • January 24 – Tu BiShvat
  • January 26-29 – Winter X Games
  • January 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • January 28 – Data Privacy Day

Popular Hashtags for January:

  • #NewYearsDay
  • #ScienceFictionDay
  • #NationalTriviaDay
  • #NationalBirdDay
  • #NationalStickerDay
  • #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
  • #CheeseLoversDay
  • #MLKDay
  • #NationalHuggingDay
  • #PieDay
  • #NationalComplimentDay
  • #PrivacyAware

February

Despite being the shortest month, February is full of interesting events you can leverage for your marketing campaigns.

The colder days can leave people looking for things to get involved with from the comfort of their homes. So, make sure your content is working in line with popular days to attract people to your organization’s content.

Spread the love on Valentine’s Day, celebrate the Lunar New Year, and embrace Black History Month as we enjoy a slightly longer February with 2024’s Leap Year.

Monthly Observances

  • Black History Month
  • American Heart Month
  • National Heart Month
  • National Weddings Month
  • National Cancer Prevention Month
  • National Library Lovers Month
  • Celebration of Chocolate Month

Weekly Observances

  • February 7-13 – African Heritage and Health Week
  • February 9-14 – New York Fashion Week
  • February 11-17 – Freelance Writers Appreciation Week
  • February 11-17 – International Flirting Week
  • February 11-17 – Random Acts of Kindness Week
  • February 18-24 – Engineers’ Week
  • February 19-25 – National Pancake Week
  • February 28-March 5 – National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Days

  • February 1 – First Day of Black History Month
  • February 1 – National Freedom Day
  • February 1 – National Change Your Password Day
  • February 2 – Groundhog Day
  • February 4 – Rosa Parks Day
  • February 4 – World Cancer Day
  • February 4 – The Grammy Awards
  • February 7 – National Girls and Women in Sports Day
  • February 10 – Lunar New Year
  • February 11 – Super Bowl Sunday
  • February 11 – International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • February 12 – Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • February 12 – Red Hand Day
  • February 12 – Georgia Day
  • February 12 – Darwin Day
  • February 13 – Mardi Gras
  • February 13 – International Pancake Day
  • February 14 – Valentine’s Day
  • February 14 – Ash Wednesday
  • February 14 – Arizona State Day
  • February 15 – Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday
  • February 18 – NBA All-Stars
  • February 18 – Daytona 500
  • February 19 – Presidents’ Day
  • February 22 – George Washington’s Birthday
  • February 29 – Leap Day

Popular Hashtags for February

  • #GroundhogDay
  • #WorldCancerDay
  • #NationalWeatherpersonsDay
  • #SendACardToAFriendDay
  • #BoyScoutsDay
  • #NationalPizzaDay
  • #ValentinesDay
  • #RandomActsOfKindnessDay
  • #PresidentsDay
  • #LoveYourPetDay

March

March marks the beginning of spring, and the days start to get longer. Whether March Madness turns up the heat or Easter is on its way, there are plenty of exciting events to get your content involved with.

Some of the monthly observances, such as Women’s History Month or The Great American Cleanup, can serve as great causes for regular engagement this month.

Monthly Observances

  • Women’s History Month
  • Nutrition Month
  • Music in Our Schools Month
  • Craft Month
  • American Red Cross Month
  • The Great American Cleanup
  • Ramadan begins on March 10

Weekly Observances

  • March 10-16 – Girl Scout Week
  • March 10-16 – National Sleep Awareness Week
  • March 17-23 – National Agriculture Week
  • March 24-30 – National Cleaning Week

Days

  • March 1 – Employee Appreciation Day
  • March 1 – Zero Discrimination Day
  • March 1 – Global Unplugging Day
  • March 3 – World Wildlife Day
  • March 3 – National Anthem Day
  • March 4 – International HPV Awareness Day
  • March 8 – International Women’s Day
  • March 10 – Daylight Savings
  • March 10 – Ramadan
  • March 12 – 96th Academy Awards Ceremony
  • March 14 – Pi Day
  • March 15 – The Ides of March
  • March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 17 – NCAA March Madness
  • March 17 – World Sleep Day
  • March 18 – Global Recycling Day
  • March 19 – Nowruz
  • March 19 – Spring Equinox
  • March 22 – World Water Day
  • March 24 – Palm Sunday
  • March 24 – Purim
  • March 26 – Epilepsy Awareness Day
  • March 27 – World Theatre Day
  • March 28 – MLB Opening Day
  • March 28 – Maundy Thursday
  • March 29 – Good Friday
  • March 30 – Holy Saturday
  • March 31 – Easter Sunday

Popular Hashtags for March

  • #PeanutButterLoversDay
  • #EmployeeAppreciationDay
  • #ReadAcrossAmerica
  • #DrSeuss
  • #WorldWildlifeDay
  • #NationalGrammarDay
  • #BeBoldForChange
  • #DaylightSavings
  • #PiDay
  • #StPatricksDay
  • #FirstDayofSpring
  • #WorldWaterDay
  • #NationalPuppyDay
  • #PurpleDay
  • #NationalDoctorsDay
  • #EarthHour

April

April is probably best known for April Fools’ Day, and a chance to get creative with parody and spoof content for your calendar that can make your customers smile.

Earth Month also means you can make more eco-friendly posts about your organization’s commitment to reducing its impact on the planet.

You also might want to get your cape out of storage on April 28th for National Superhero Day.

Monthly Observances

  • Earth Month
  • National Autism Awareness Month
  • Parkinson’s Awareness Month
  • Celebrate Diversity Month
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Ramadan ends on April 8

Weekly Observances

  • April 15-21 – Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week
  • April 21-27 – National Volunteer Week
  • April 21-27 – Administrative Professionals Week
  • April 22-26 – Every Kid Healthy Week

Days

  • April 1 – April Fool’s Day
  • April 1 – Easter Monday
  • April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 5 – Lailat al-Qadr
  • April 6 – National Walking Day
  • April 7 – National Beer Day
  • April 7 – World Health Day
  • April 8 – Total Solar Eclipse
  • April 10 – Eid-Al-Fitr
  • April 11-14 – Masters Tournament PGA
  • April 11 – National Pet Day
  • April 12-21 – Coachella Music Festival
  • April 13 – Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday
  • April 13-15 – Songkran
  • April 15 – American Sign Language Day
  • April 15 – Tax Day
  • April 15 – Boston Marathon
  • April 15 – Patriots’ Day
  • April 16 – Emancipation Day
  • April 21 – World Creativity and Innovation Day
  • April 22 – Earth Day
  • April 22 – Passover starts
  • April 26 – Arbor Day
  • April 27 – World Design Day
  • April 28 – National Superhero Day
  • April 30 – National Honesty Day
  • April 30 – Passover ends

Popular Hashtags For April:

  • #AprilFools
  • #WAAD
  • #FindARainbowDay
  • #NationalWalkingDay
  • #LetsTalk
  • #EqualPayDay
  • #TaxDay
  • #NH5D
  • #NationalLookAlikeDay
  • #AdministrativeProfessionalsDay
  • #DenimDay
  • #EndMalariaForGood
  • #COUNTONME
  • #ArborDay
  • #NationalHonestyDay
  • #AdoptAShelterPetDay

May

May brings a lot of variety with it as there are plenty of good causes to raise awareness for, plus major sporting events and unique celebrations you can join in with.

Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, and Memorial Day are just a few examples of events that will have lots of people paying attention and can make for great marketing themes.

Monthly Observances

  • ALS Awareness
  • Asthma Awareness
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
  • National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
  • Clean Air Month
  • Better Sleep Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month

Weekly Observances

  • May 5-11 – National Pet Week
  • May 19-25 – National Travel & Tourism Week
  • May 5-11 – Drinking Water Week
  • May 6-12 – Nurse’s Week
  • May 12-18 – Food Allergy Awareness Week

Days

  • May 1 – May Day
  • May 1 – Law Day
  • May 1 – Lei Day
  • May 2 – World Password Day
  • May 4 – Star Wars Day
  • May 4 – International Firefighters Day
  • May 4 – Kentucky Derby
  • May 5 – Cinco De Mayo
  • May 5-10 – French Open
  • May 6 – National Nurses Day
  • May 6 – Yom HaShoah
  • May 8 – World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
  • May 10 – World Lupus Day
  • May 11 – World Fair Trade Day
  • May 12 – Mother’s Day
  • May 13-19 – PGA Championship
  • May 14 – Yom Ha’atzmaut
  • May 15 – International Day of Families
  • May 17 – NASCAR Day
  • May 17 – Malcolm X Day
  • May 17 – Internet Day
  • May 19 – HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • May 20 – World Bee Day
  • May 20 – Victoria Day (Canada)
  • May 21 – World Meditation Day
  • May 25 – Geek Pride Day
  • May 26 – Trinity Sunday
  • May 26 – Indianapolis 500
  • May 27 – Memorial Day
  • May 28 – World Hunger Day
  • May 29 – Memorial Day

Popular Hashtags For May:

  • #RedNoseDay
  • #MayDay
  • #WorldPasswordDay
  • #StarWarsDay & #Maythe4thBeWithYou
  • #InternationalFirefightersDay
  • #CincoDeMayo
  • #MothersDay
  • #BTWD
  • #MemorialDay & #MDW

June

Once June has arrived, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. Everyone wants to make the most of the sunshine, and the positive energies are flowing.

Given that June also marks Great Outdoors Month, this is a great opportunity to make your brand a must-have companion for planning a beachside vacation or hosting a cookout.

You can also show your support for LGBTQ+ Pride, Flag Day, and Father’s Day, along with all the other events listed here.

Monthly Observances

  • LGBTQ Pride Month
  • Caribbean-American Heritage Month
  • Great Outdoors Month
  • Men’s Health Month
  • National Safety Month
  • National Zoo and Aquarium Month

Weekly Observances

  • June 2-8 – National Garden Week
  • June 2-8 – National Headache Awareness Week
  • June 10-16 – National Men’s Health Week
  • June 16-22 – National Roller Coaster Week

Days

  • June 1 – Global Parents Day
  • June 5 – Hot Air Balloon Day
  • June 5 – World Environment Day
  • June 6 – D-Day
  • June 8 – Belmont Stakes
  • June 8 – World Oceans Day
  • June 8 – National Best Friends Day
  • June 9 – Donald Duck Day
  • June 10 – Chinese Dragon Boat Festival
  • June 11 – Kamehameha Day
  • June 12 – Shavuot
  • June 13-16 – Bonnaroo Music Festival
  • June 14 – Flag Day
  • June 14 – Flag Day
  • June 16 – Father’s Day
  • June 16 – Tony Awards
  • June 13-16 – U.S. Open PGA
  • June 19 – Juneteenth
  • June 20 – Summer Solstice
  • June 23 – International Widows Day
  • June 29 – July 21 – Tour de France
  • June 30 – International Asteroid Day

Popular Hashtags For June:

  • #NationalDonutDay
  • #FathersDay
  • #NationalSelfieDay
  • #TakeYourDogToWorkDay
  • #HandshakeDay
  • #SMDay

July

July presents lots of opportunities for savvy marketers, from the 4th of July to the International Day of Friendship.

As we enter the summer slow-down period, there’s lots to celebrate that can help to feed your social media content to keep customers engaged.

So celebrate your independence, indulge in a little ice cream, and bring people together with one of the many events in July.

Monthly Observances

  • Family Golf Month
  • Ice Cream Month
  • National Parks and Recreation Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • National Independent Retailer Month
  • National Blueberry Month

Weekly Observances

  • July 15-21 – Capture the Sunset Week

Days

  • July 1 – International Joke Day
  • July 1-11 – Wimbledon
  • July 2 – World UFO Day
  • July 4 – Independence Day
  • July 6 – International Kissing Day
  • July 7 – World Chocolate Day
  • July 8 – National Video Games Day
  • July 11 – World Population Day
  • July 12 – Pecan Pie Day
  • July 16 – Moon Landing Anniversary
  • July 16 – MLB All-Star Game
  • July 17 – World Emoji Day
  • July 17 – Ashura
  • July 18 – Nelson Mandela International Day
  • July 20 – International Chess Day
  • July 20 – National Moon Day
  • July 21 – National Junk Food Day
  • July 24 – Amelia Earhart Day
  • July 26 – Aunt and Uncle Day
  • July 26 – August 11 – Summer Olympics
  • July 28-30 – Summer X Games
  • July 28 – Parents’ Day
  • July 28 – World Hepatitis Day
  • July 30 – International Day of Friendship
  • July 31 – World Ranger Day

Popular Hashtags For July:

  • #NationalPostalWorkerDay
  • #WorldUFODay
  • #WorldEmojiDay
  • #DayOfFriendship

August

We’ve hit the hottest days by August as back-to-school looms, and we welcome the return of football.

While many are topping up their tans and making the most of the final Summer days, August still provides lots of opportunities to align your content with wider events.

Make sure you’re using your marketing calendar to the fullest extent to post any sunny seasonal content promptly before fall arrives.

Monthly Observances

  • Back to School Month
  • National Breastfeeding Month
  • Family Fun Month
  • Peach Month

Weekly Observances

  • August 1-7 – International Clown Week
  • August 4-10 – National Farmers’ Market Week
  • August 25-31 – Be Kind to Humankind Week

Days

  • August 1 – National Girlfriends Day
  • August 1 – NFL Hall of Fame Game & Preseason
  • August 2 – International Beer Day
  • August 4 – National Friendship Day
  • August 7 – Purple Heart Day
  • August 8 – International Cat Day
  • August 9 – Book Lover’s Day
  • August 11 – National Son and Daughter Day
  • August 12 – Victory Day
  • August 13 – Left Hander’s Day
  • August 15 – Assumption of Mary
  • August 17 – National Honey Bee Day
  • August 19 – World Humanitarian Day
  • August 19 – Raksha Bandhan
  • August 20 – National Radio Day
  • August 21 – Senior Citizens Day
  • August 26 – Women’s Equality Day
  • August 30 – Frankenstein Day
  • August 30 – National Beach Day

Popular Hashtags For August:

  • #InternationalCatDay
  • #NationalBookLoversDay
  • #WorldElephantDay
  • #LefthandersDay
  • #WorldPhotoDay
  • #WorldHumanitarianDay
  • #NationalLemonadeDay
  • #NationalDogDay
  • #WomensEqualityDay

September

As fall begins, some of the bigger events happening in September are Hispanic Heritage Month, Grandparents Day, and, of course, Labor Day.

There are also plenty of other events to inspire you, from Oktoberfest to National Yoga Month. Plus, a National Coffee Day for those who struggle to start their day without a caffeine fix.

Monthly Observances

  • Wilderness Month
  • National Food Safety Education Month
  • National Yoga Month
  • Whole Grains Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)

Weekly Observances

  • September 8-14 – National Suicide Prevention Week
  • September 15-21 – National Indoor Plant Week
  • September 16-22 – Pollution Prevention Week
  • September 24-30 – National Dog Week

Days

  • September 2 – VJ Day
  • September 2 – Labor Day
  • September 4 – National Wildlife Day
  • September 5 – International Day of Charity
  • September 6 – National Fight Procrastination Day
  • September 8 – Pardon Day
  • September 8 – National Grandparents Day
  • September 11 – 9/11
  • September 11 – Patriot Day
  • September 12 – Video Games Day
  • September 13 – Uncle Sam Day
  • September 15 – Greenpeace Day
  • September 17 – Constitution Day
  • September 21 – Oktoberfest Begins
  • September 21 – International Day of Peace
  • September 22 – World Car-Free Day
  • September 22 – September Equinox
  • September 24 – World Bollywood Day
  • September 24–29 – Presidents Cup PGA
  • September 27 – Native American Day
  • September 27 – World Tourism Day
  • September 29 – National Coffee Day (US)
  • September 29 – Confucius Day
  • September 29 – World Heart Day

Popular Hashtags For September:

  • #LaborDay
  • #NationalWildlifeDay
  • #CharityDay
  • #ReadABookDay
  • #911Day
  • #NationalVideoGamesDay
  • #TalkLikeAPirateDay
  • #PeaceDay
  • #CarFreeDay
  • #WorldRabiesDay
  • #GoodNeighborDay
  • #InternationalPodcastDay

October

It’s that time of year when pumpkin spice lattes roll around again.

While October is known as the spooky season to many, there’s much more to this month than just Halloween – there’s Teacher’s Day, World Mental Health Day, and Spirit Day, to name a few, around which your organization can look to create content.

Monthly Observances

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Bully Prevention Month
  • Halloween Safety Month
  • Financial Planning Month
  • National Pizza Month

Weekly Observances

  • October 8-14 – Fire Prevention Week
  • October 13-19 – Earth Science Week
  • October 20-26 – National Business Women’s Week

Days

  • October 1 – International Coffee Day
  • October 1 – World Vegetarian Day
  • October 3 – National Techies Day
  • October 5 – World Teacher’s Day
  • October 6 – Oktoberfest Ends
  • October 7 – Child Health Day
  • October 10 – World Mental Health Day
  • October 11 – National Coming Out Day
  • October 12 – Yom Kippur
  • October 14 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • October 14 – Columbus Day
  • October 14 – Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
  • October 16 – World Food Day
  • October 19 – Sweetest Day
  • October 20 – Spirit Day (Anti-bullying)
  • October 22 – Make a Difference Day
  • October 24 – United Nations Day
  • October 30 – Mischief Night
  • October 31 – Halloween

Popular Hashtags For October:

  • #InternationalCoffeeDay
  • #TechiesDay
  • #NationalTacoDay
  • #WorldSmileDay
  • #WorldTeachersDay
  • #WorldHabitatDay
  • #WorldMentalHealthDay
  • #BossesDay
  • #UNDay
  • #ChecklistDay
  • #Halloween

November

During the month in which we all give thanks, there is also a wide range of causes you can help out with or raise awareness for, like Movember and America Recycles Day.

You should also mark your marketing calendar for arguably the biggest sales events of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) – which are sure to be on everyone’s radar.

Monthly Observances

  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Movember
  • World Vegan Month
  • Novel Writing Month
  • National Gratitude Month

Weekly Observances

  • November 11-16 – World Kindness Week (second week: Monday – Sunday)
  • November 18-22 – American Education Week
  • November 18-24 – Game and Puzzle Week

Days

  • November 1 – Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos
  • November 1 – All Saint’s Day
  • November 1 – World Vegan Day
  • November 2 – Melbourne Cup
  • November 3 – Daylight Savings Time Ends
  • November 5 – Election Day
  • November 8 – STEM Day
  • November 9 – World Freedom Day
  • November 10 – Marine Corps Birthday
  • November 11 – Veterans Day
  • November 13 – World Kindness Day
  • November 14 – World Diabetes Day
  • November 15 – National Entrepreneurs Day
  • November 24 – Evolution Day
  • November 28 – Thanksgiving Day
  • November 29 – Native American Heritage Day
  • November 29 – Black Friday

Popular Hashtags For November:

  • #WorldVeganDay
  • #NationalSandwichDay
  • #DaylightSavings
  • #CappuccinoDay
  • #STEMDay
  • #VeteransDay
  • #WKD
  • #WDD
  • #BeRecycled
  • #EntrepreneursDay
  • #Thanksgiving
  • #ShopSmall

December

December is here, and the end of the year is in sight.

Although 2025 is right around the corner, and you might want to start planning your content calendar for next year, don’t neglect your content in the run-up to the holidays.

Send your year off in style with marketing campaigns dedicated to events like Nobel Prize Day, Rosa Parks Day, Green Monday, and more.

You can even do a content wrap-up of your best moments from the year – and make sure to get your 2025 marketing calendar sorted early before the post-Christmas wind-down.

Monthly Observances

  • Human Rights Month
  • Operation Santa Paws
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month
  • World Food Service Safety Month

Weekly Observances

  • December 9-15 – Human Rights Week
  • December 25 – January 2 – Hanukkah (Chanukah)
  • December 26 – January 1 – Kwanzaa

Days

  • December 1 – World AIDS Day
  • December 1 – Rosa Parks Day
  • December 2 – Cyber Monday
  • December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • December 6 – St. Nicholas Day
  • December 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • December 7 – National Letter Writing Day
  • December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 9 – Green Monday
  • December 10 – Nobel Prize Day
  • December 10 – Human Rights Day
  • December 11 – UNICEF Anniversary
  • December 15 – Bill of Rights Day
  • December 18 – National Twin Day
  • December 21 – Winter Solstice
  • December 22 – Forefathers Day
  • December 23 – Festivus
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 25 – Hanukkah
  • December 26 – Kwanzaa
  • December 26 – Boxing Day
  • December 31 – New Year’s Eve

Popular Hashtags For December:

  • #IDPWD
  • #NationalCookieDay
  • #NobelPrize
  • #WinterSolstice
  • #NYE

The Complete Marketing Calendar And Template To Plan 2024

You can find the link to our complete marketing calendar and template for 2024 right here.

By having a content plan set out months in advance, you can rest assured that you’ll have great ideas to work with throughout the year.

And just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you can’t adapt if something interesting happens later in the year.

Simply rearrange your calendar and work your trending content around key dates.

Keep track of what ideas work throughout the year and use them to help guide your marketing calendar for 2025, so you can double down on successful content ideas.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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SEO

Google’s Web Crawler Fakes Being “Idle” To Render JavaScript

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Google's Web Crawler Fakes Being "Idle" To Render JavaScript

In a recent episode of the Search Off The Record podcast, it was revealed that Google’s rendering system now pretends to be “idle” to trigger certain JavaScript events and improve webpage rendering.

The podcast features Zoe Clifford from Google’s rendering team, who discussed how the company’s web crawlers deal with JavaScript-based sites.

This revelation is insightful for web developers who use such methods to defer content loading.

Google’s “Idle” Trick

Googlebot simulates “idle” states during rendering, which triggers JavaScript events like requestIdleCallback.

Developers use this function to defer loading less critical content until the browser is free from other tasks.

Before this change, Google’s rendering process was so efficient that the browser was always active, causing some websites to fail to load important content.

Clifford explained:

“There was a certain popular video website which I won’t name…which deferred loading any of the page contents until after requestIdleCallback was fired.”

Since the browser was never idle, this event wouldn’t fire, preventing much of the page from loading properly.

Faking Idle Time To Improve Rendering

Google implemented a system where the browser pretends to be idle periodically, even when it’s busy rendering pages.

This tweak ensures that idle callbacks are triggered correctly, allowing pages to fully load their content for indexing.

Importance Of Error Handling

Clifford emphasized the importance of developers implementing graceful error handling in their JavaScript code.

Unhandled errors can lead to blank pages, redirects, or missing content, negatively impacting indexing.

She advised:

“If there is an error, I just try and handle it as gracefully as possible…web development is hard stuff.”

What Does This Mean?

Implications For Web Developers

  • Graceful Error Handling: Implementing graceful error handling ensures pages load as intended, even if certain code elements fail.
  • Cautious Use of Idle Callbacks: While Google has adapted to handle idle callbacks, be wary of over-relying on these functions.

Implications For SEO Professionals

  • Monitoring & Testing: Implement regular website monitoring and testing to identify rendering issues that may impact search visibility.
  • Developer Collaboration: Collaborate with your development team to create user-friendly and search engine-friendly websites.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest developments and best practices in how search engines handle JavaScript, render web pages, and evaluate content.

See also: Google Renders All Pages For Search, Including JavaScript-Heavy Sites

Other Rendering-Related Topics Discussed

The discussion also touched on other rendering-related topics, such as the challenges posed by user agent detection and the handling of JavaScript redirects.

The whole podcast provides valuable insights into web rendering and the steps Google takes to assess pages accurately.

See also: Google Renders All Pages For Search, Including JavaScript-Heavy Sites


Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock

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Google’s Indifference To Site Publishers Explained

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Google inadvertently reveals reasons that explain their seeming indifference to publishers hurt by algorithm updates

A publisher named Brandon Saltalamacchia interviewed Google’s SearchLiaison in which he offered hope that quality sites hit by Google’s algorithms may soon see their traffic levels bounce back. But that interview and a recent Google podcast reveal deeper issues that may explain why Google seems indifferent to publishers with every update.

Google Search Relations

Google has a team whose job is to communicate how site owners can do well on Google. So it’s not that Googlers themselves are indifferent to site publishers and creatives. Google provides a lot of feedback to publishers, especially through Google Search Console. The area in which Google is indifferent to publishers is directly in search at its most fundamental level.

Google’s algorithms are built on the premise that it has to provide a good user experience and is internally evaluated to that standard. This creates the situation where from Google’s perspective the algorithm is working the way it should. But from the perspective of website publishers Google’s ranking algorithms are failing. Putting a finger on why that’s happening is what this article is about.

Publishers Are Not Even An Afterthought To Google

The interview by Brandon Saltalamacchia comes against the background of many websites having lost traffic due to Google’s recent algorithm updates. From Google’s point of view their algorithms are working fine for users. But the steady feedback from website publishers is no, it’s not working. Google’s response for the past month is that they’re investigating how to improve.

What all of this reveals is that there is a real disconnect between how Google measures how their algorithms are working and how website publishers experience it in the real world. It may surprise most people to learn that that this disconnect begins with Google’s mission statement to make information “universally accessible and useful”  and ends with the rollout of an algorithm that is tested for metrics that take into account how users experience it but is 100% blind to how publishers experience it.

Some of the complaints about Google’s algorithms:

  • Ranking algorithms for reviews, travel and other topics are favoring big brands over smaller publishers.
  • Google’s decision to firehose traffic at Reddit contributes to the dismantling of the website publishing ecosystem.
  • AI Overviews summarizes web pages and deprives websites of search traffic.

The stated goal for Google’s algorithm decisions is to increase user satisfaction but the problem with that approach is that website publishers are left out of that equation.  Consider this: Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines says nothing about checking if big brands are dominating the search results. Zero.

Website publishers aren’t even an afterthought for Google. Publishers are not not considered at any stage of the creation, testing and rollout of ranking algorithms.

Google Historically Doesn’t Focus On Publishers

A remark by Gary Illyes in a recent Search Off The Record indicated that in Gary’s opinion Google is all about the user experience because if search is good for the user then that’ll trickle down to the publishers and will be good for them too.

In the context of Gary explaining whether Google will announce that something is broken in search, Gary emphasized that search relations is focused on the search users and not the publishers who may be suffering from whatever is broken.

John Mueller asked:

“So, is the focus more on what users would see or what site owners would see? Because, as a Search Relations team, we would focus more on site owners. But it sounds like you’re saying, for these issues, we would look at what users would experience.”

Gary Illyes answered:

“So it’s Search Relations, not Site Owners Relations, from Search perspective.”

Google’s Indifference To Publishers

Google’s focus on satisfying search users can in practice turn into indifference toward publishers.  If you read all the Google patents and research papers related to information retrieval (search technology) the one thing that becomes apparent is that the measure of success is always about the users. The impact to site publishers are consistently ignored. That’s why Google Search is perceived as indifferent to site publishers, because publishers have never been a part of the search satisfaction equation.

This is something that publishers and Google may not have wrapped their minds around just yet.

Later on, in the Search Off The Record  podcast, the Googlers specifically discuss how an update is deemed to be working well regardless if a (relatively) small amount of publishers are complaining that Google Search is broken, because what matters is if Google perceives that they are doing the right thing from Google’s perspective.

John said:

“…Sometimes we get feedback after big ranking updates, like core updates, where people are like, “Oh, everything is broken.”

At the 12:06 minute mark of the podcast Gary made light of that kind of feedback:

“Do we? We get feedback like that?”

Mueller responded:

“Well, yeah.”

Then Mueller completed his thought:

“I feel bad for them. I kind of understand that. I think those are the kind of situations where we would look at the examples and be like, “Oh, I see some sites are unhappy with this, but overall we’re doing the right thing from our perspective.”

And Gary responded:

“Right.”

And John asks:

“And then we wouldn’t see it as an issue, right?”

Gary affirmed that Google wouldn’t see it as an issue if a legit publisher loses traffic when overall the algorithm is working as they feel it should.

“Yeah.”

It is precisely that shrugging indifference that a website publisher, Brandon Saltalamacchia, is concerned about and discussed with SearchLiaison in a recent blog post.

Lots of Questions

SearchLiaison asked many questions about how Google could better support content creators, which is notable because Google has a long history of focusing on their user experience but seemingly not also considering what the impact on businesses with an online presence.

That’s a good sign from SearchLiaison but not entirely a surprise because unlike most Googlers, SearchLiaison (aka Danny Sullivan) has decades of experience as a publisher so he knows what it’s like on our side of the search box.

It will be interesting if SearchLiaison’s concern for publishers makes it back to Google in a more profound way so that there’s a better understanding that the Search Ecosystem is greater than Google’s users and encompasses website publishers, too. Algorithm updates should be about more than how they impact users, the updates should also be about how they impact publishers.

Hope For Sites That Lost Traffic

Perhaps the most important news from the interview is that SearchLiaison expressed that there may be changes coming over the next few months that will benefit the publishers who have lost rankings over the past few months of updates.

Brandon wrote:

“One main take away from my conversation with Danny is that he did say to hang on, to keep doing what we are doing and that he’s hopeful that those of us building great websites will see some signs of recovery over the coming months.”

Yet despite those promises from Danny, Brandon didn’t come away with hope.

Brandon wrote:

“I got the sense things won’t change fast, nor anytime soon. “

Read the entire interview:

A Brief Meeting With Google After The Apocalypse

Listen to the Search Off The Record Podcast

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

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20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

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20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube's Algorithm

Instead of counting the number of clicks or views a video gets, YouTube’s algorithms focus on ensuring viewers are happy with what they watch.

This article examines how YouTube’s algorithms work to help users find videos they like and keep them watching for longer.

We’ll explain how YouTube selects videos for different parts of its site, such as the home page and the “up next” suggestions.

We’ll also discuss what makes some videos appear more than others and how YouTube matches videos to each person’s interests.

By breaking this down, we hope to help marketers and YouTubers understand how to work better with YouTube’s system.

A summary of all facts is listed at the end.

Prioritizing Viewer Satisfaction

Early on, YouTube ranked videos based on watch time data, assuming longer view durations correlated with audience satisfaction.

However, they realized that total watch time alone was an incomplete measure, as viewers could still be left unsatisfied.

So, beginning in the early 2010s, YouTube prioritized viewer satisfaction metrics for ranking content across the site.

The algorithms consider signals like:

  • Survey responses directly asking viewers about their satisfaction with recommended videos.
  • Clicks on the “like,” “dislike,” or “not interested” buttons which indicate satisfaction.
  • Overall audience retention metrics like the percentage of videos viewed.
  • User behavior metrics, including what users have watched before (watch history) and what they watch after a video (watch next).

The recommendation algorithms continuously learn from user behavior patterns and explicit satisfaction inputs to identify the best videos to recommend.

How Videos Rank On The Homepage

The YouTube homepage curates and ranks a selection of videos a viewer will most likely watch.

The ranking factors include:

Performance Data

This covers metrics like click-through rates from impressions and average view duration. When shown on its homepages, YouTube uses these traditional viewer behavioral signals to gauge how compelling a video is for other viewers.

Personalized Relevance

Besides performance data, YouTube relies heavily on personalized relevance to customize the homepage feed for each viewer’s unique interests. This personalization is based on insights from their viewing history, subscriptions, and engagement patterns with specific topics or creators.

How YouTube Ranks Suggested Video Recommendations

The suggested videos column is designed to keep viewers engaged by identifying other videos relevant to what they’re currently watching and aligned with their interests.

The ranking factors include:

Video Co-Viewing

YouTube analyzes viewing patterns to understand which videos are frequently watched together or sequentially by the same audience segments. This allows them to recommend related content the viewer will likely watch next.

Topic/Category Matching

The algorithm looks for videos covering topics or categories similar to the video being watched currently to provide tightly relevant suggestions.

Personal Watch History

A viewer’s viewing patterns and history are a strong signal for suggesting videos they’ll likely want to watch again.

Channel Subscriptions

Videos from channels that viewers frequently watch and engage with are prioritized as suggestions to keep them connected to favored creators.

External Ranking Variables

YouTube has acknowledged the following external variables can impact video performance:

  • The overall popularity and competition level for different topics and content categories.
  • Shifting viewer behavior patterns and interest trends in what content they consume.
  • Seasonal effects can influence what types of videos people watch during different times of the year.

Being a small or emerging creator can also be a positive factor, as YouTube tries to get them discovered through recommendations.

The company says it closely monitors success rates for new creators and is working on further advancements like:

  • Leveraging advanced AI language models to better understand content topics and viewer interests.
  • Optimizing the discovery experience with improved layouts and content pathways to reduce “choice paralysis.”

Strategies For Creators

With viewer satisfaction as the overarching goal, this is how creators can maximize the potential of having their videos recommended:

  • Focus on creating content that drives high viewer satisfaction through strong audience retention, positive survey responses, likes/engagement, and low abandon rates.
  • Develop consistent series or sequel videos to increase chances of being suggested for related/sequence views.
  • Utilize playlists, end screens, and linked video prompts to connect your content for extended viewing sessions.
  • Explore creating content in newer formats, such as Shorts, live streams, or podcasts, that may align with changing viewer interests.
  • Monitor performance overall, specifically from your existing subscriber base as a baseline.
  • Don’t get discouraged by initial metrics. YouTube allows videos to continuously find relevant audience segments over time.
  • Pay attention to seasonality trends, competition, and evolving viewer interests, which can all impact recommendations.

In Summary – 20 Key Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

  1. YouTube has multiple algorithms for different sections (homepage, suggested videos, search, etc.).
  2. The recommendation system powers the homepage and suggested video sections.
  3. The system pulls in videos that are relevant for each viewer.
  4. Maximizing viewer satisfaction is the top priority for rankings.
  5. YouTube uses survey responses, likes, dislikes, and “not interested” clicks to measure satisfaction.
  6. High audience retention percentages signal positive satisfaction.
  7. Homepage rankings combine performance data and personalized relevance.
  8. Performance is based on click-through rates and average view duration.
  9. Personalized relevance factors include watch history, interests, and subscriptions.
  10. Suggested videos prioritize content that is co-viewed by the same audiences.
  11. Videos from subscribed channels are prioritized for suggestions.
  12. Consistent series and sequential videos increase suggestions for related viewing.
  13. Playlists, end screens, and linked videos can extend viewing sessions.
  14. Creating engaging, satisfying content is the core strategy for recommendations.
  15. External factors like competition, trends, and seasonality impact recommendations.
  16. YouTube aims to help new/smaller creators get discovered through recommendations.
  17. AI language models are improving content understanding and personalization.
  18. YouTube optimizes the discovery experience to reduce “choice paralysis.”
  19. Videos can find audiences over time, even if initial metrics are discouraging.
  20. The algorithm focuses on delivering long-term, satisfying experiences for viewer retention.

Insight From Industry Experts

While putting together this article, I reached out to industry experts to ask about their take on YouTube’s algorithms and what’s currently working for them.

Greg Jarboe, the president and co-founder of SEO-PR and author of YouTube and Video Marketing, says:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction. So, to optimize your videos for discovery, you should write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions. This has been true since July 2011, when the YouTube Creator Playbook became available to the public for the first time.

However, YouTube changed its algorithm in October 2012 – replacing ‘view count’ with ‘watch time.’ That’s why you need to go beyond optimizing your video’s metadata. You also need to keep viewers watching with a variety of techniques. For starters, you need to create a compelling opening to your videos and then use effective editing techniques to maintain and build interest through the video.

There are other ranking factors, of course, but these are the two most important ones. I’ve used these video SEO best practices to help the Travel Magazine channel increase from just 1,510 to 8.7 million views. And these video SEO techniques help the SonoSite channel grow from 99,529 views to 22.7 million views.

The biggest recent trend is the advent of YouTube Shorts, which is discoverable on the YouTube homepage (in the new Shorts shelf), as well as across other parts of the app. For more details, read “Can YouTube Shorts Be Monetized? Spoiler Alert: Some Already Are!

Brie E. Anderson, an SEO and digital marketing consultant, says:

“In my experience, there are a few things that are really critical when it comes to optimizing for YouTube, most of which won’t be much of a surprise. The first is obviously the keyword you choose to target. It’s really hard to beat out really large and high authority channels, much like it is on Google. That being said, using tools like TubeBuddy can help you get a sense of the keywords you can compete for.

Another big thing is focusing on the SERP for YouTube Search. Your thumbnail has to be attention-grabbing – this is honestly what we test the most and one of the most impactful tests we run. More times than not, you’re looking at a large face, and max four words. But the amount of contrast happening in the thumbnail and how well it explains the topic of the video is the main concern.

Also, adding the ‘chapters’ timestamps can be really helpful. YouTube actually shows these in the SERP, as mentioned in this article.

Lastly, providing your own .srt file with captions can really help YouTube understand what your video is about.

Aside from actual on-video optimizations, I usually encourage people to write blog posts and embed their videos or, at the very least, link to them. This just helps with indexing and building some authority. It also increases the chance that the video will help YOUR SITE rank (as opposed to YouTube).”

Sources: YouTube’s Creator Insider Channel (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), How YouTube Works

More resources: 


Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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