brand journalism, inbound marketing, content marketing

Journalists Outrank Marketers in Search: Implications for Content Marketing

Journalists Consistently Outrank Marketers in Search

What this means is news sites consistently outrank business sites in search results.

This is not the same as saying individual journalists know things that individual marketers don’t (although this may be true).

The implications of this do not lead to conclusions about individual skill sets, but more about processes.

My data for this post comes almost exclusively from a single source. A post written by Victoria Young and published on the Hubspot website.

Why Journalists Are Outranking Marketers in Search (And How We Can Compete)

My favorite paragraph from her article is below.

It’s tempting to get distracted by speculation surrounding the latest SEO algorithm update, but remember that the core principles have gone largely unchanged. Content quality, depth, and freshness are still the pillars for effective search strategies while a strong distribution channel can help accelerate success. Publications have always been aware of these fundamentals, and as brands begin to embody journalistic traits, they should also look to news outlets to help guide their SEO strategy.

When you think about the differences in our perceptions about what journalism is and what marketing is, it quickly becomes apparent that this is an issue of how you look at what it means to publish.

What do Journalists Focus On?

Journalists focus on stories, story lines, leading paragraphs, headlines, and editorial processes.

Marketers focus on campaigns.

Success criteria for the two are generally very different.

The success of a campaign is measured in the number of conversion events, of which there can be many. The success of journalism is the degree to which the audience is informed.

What do Journalists Do?

Journalists write stories and meet deadlines. While that is an overly simplistic description, the focus is important. As a journalist you’re always looking for story angles and someone is holding you accountable to a deadline.

How Does This Affect Search?

News websites tend to contain more content, and are updated much more frequently.

Remember that four critical search signals are:

  • How much stuff is on your website?
  • How good is it?
  • How often is it updated?
  • How long as the website existed?

Journalistic activities focus on the top 3.

Could it be that simple? It could.

You want to rank, become an online news source and think like a journalist.

For pure journalism the business model is the sale of advertising.

For your website, there will only be one advertiser, and that will be your business.

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