#109 – Content Production: Dripping Vs Batches

What you will learn

  • SEO Myths surrounding content publishing times
  • What happened to our site after we didn't publish for 9 months
  • Why dripping content is better when you just get started
  • When to batch content anyway
  • How to get the best of both worlds

The Dilemma

Ever since Google started using Freshness as a ranking factor, publishing frequency and content dates have been a debate in the small world of SEO.

  • If I don’t publish often, will Google see my site as not fresh and lower my rankings?
  • If I publish all my content at the same time, will I be seen as a spammer?
  • If so, does that mean I need a schedule for my content?
  • What happens when I want to scale and publish more often?

So many questions that only found lousy answers from the Google reps over the years.

Google’s Side of Things

On Google’s side, John Muller came out and said that publishing tens of thousands of pages simultaneously is no issue for them. You just need to budget server resources for Google’s more intensive crawling. He even went as far as saying that trickling content tends to create more issues than it solves.

The Human Side of Things

For users, it depends on how people use your website. If you get the majority of your traffic from search and don’t try to fidelise them, then publishing in batches as soon as content is ready is the most viable solution as leaving content on your hard drive produces no revenue. On the other hand, if you work on building a relationship with your audience and sell them products, then dripping content publication is an excellent way to develop and maintain engagement, which is necessary for conversions.

Why you should still drip content production at first

While batches seem to be no problem on the SEO side, it’s another story when you try to produce very high-quality content. The keyword here is the feedback loop. If you produce large batches of content at the same time, chances are, you don’t have your eyes on it until the whole batch reaches your desk. And what that means when you outsource is that the same mistakes will most likely be repeated across all pieces of content produced and fixing them is going to be costly. This is why we recommend people write their first 10 articles in The Authority Site System.

So Should You Ever Batch Content?

Yes, if you have very refined and documented content templates, doing small batches of similar content can be highly efficient and profitable. The one thing you clearly should batch though is content planning, especially if you work with content hubs. It allows you to plan your site in a way that will enable pages of that hub to flow with each other better and to avoid keyword cannibalization.

So What Should You Do?

The takeaway of today’s discussion for us with Mark are:

  • You should batch content planning for your site to be more coherent
  • You should drip content production to have a better feedback loop with your writing team
  • You can either batch publish if reader relationship is not too significant or drip publish to maintain engagement.

What about you? Do you Drip or Batch? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Comments

  1. Love these kind of episodes! You talked a lot about going back and making articles better and improving them. Would love to see an episode expounding on what that all entails some day.

  2. Great episode guys! Unless I missed it I don’t think you really answered if Google will ‘penalize’ for not updating or producing new content. It was made very clear they wouldn’t do so for batching large volumes of content.

  3. “My friend” decided to start a TASS site about home gym equipment. Any tips besides avoiding rowing machines (seriously).

    1. Find a way to add value by showing how to use them well, common mistakes etc. It’s a competitive space, but I think the reason it didn’t stick for HA immediately was that we hadn’t done much of this type of content before. Perhaps a relevancy issue.

  4. Loved this episode! What are your thoughts on creating non-evergreen (or time-sensitive) content in a batch format? Should proper resources be allocated in advance to audit/update/consolidate/remove & redirect this content at specific intervals in the future?

    1. We did this for Nigella Lawson’s site many years ago in our agency. Basically, we created pages around events (e.g cooking for Halloween). However, these did repeat every year. We didn’t really have one off content like you say. I wouldn’t necessarily remove it. Though it would depend on links and such.

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