Marshall Simmonds joins Rand in the Whiteboard Studio this week to talk everything about topic pages.
The New York Times ‘Topic Pages” story
New York Times began building topics about people, places and things. This would build out to create a dynamic conversation. The idea was to become a bit of a natural competitor to Wikipedia. About.com’s bowtie theory – having links pointing to them as well as outgoing links – aimed to make them the jumping board for information. This is similar to the New York Time’s idea.
The New York Times had great success with this for about 2 years before traffic started to drop. This lead to the idea of link journalism. If there is a resource that’s better or more appropriate, point to it.
What is “Broad Topic” SEO
Google will generally put you into one of two buckets – resource or hub. Ideally, you want to be both. If your site or brand focuses on a broad topic, such as hotels, you should definitely aim for it. This is what About did.
When should you employ Broad topic?
When content provides value. The pages also need to be curated and updated often.
Watch that you have the technological and editorial resources to manage this.
You have a business model to monetise. This is not a cheap or easy tool to implement.