FAQ: Why Do Blog Posts Rank Better Than Other Web Pages?

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Blog Posts Rank Better Than Other Pages

Blog Posts Rank Better Than Other Pages

You’ll find all kinds of web pages looking around the internet. When you use a search engine, however, most often, you see one of four things:

  • The homepage of a brand you searched for directly.
  • A product or service page, or order page for said product or service.
  • The landing page for an ad.
  • A blog post.

Among these, blog posts are by far the most popular.

The question is, why do these blog posts rank so well? Do blog posts have some inherent value over other kinds of web pages?

The answer is not really. Blog posts are more common, and our biases make it seem like they rank better, but it’s all a matter of context.

Let’s dig into the subject so you can better understand what we mean.

Is There an SEO Difference Between Web Pages and Blog Posts?

While we tend to think of the internet in categories of pages, the truth is, there’s not much of a difference at a fundamental level. When you look at a blog post, and when you look at a product page or a landing page, they’re all just collections of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and so on.

While you and I might see different page types as distinct, a robot search engine like Google does not. As far as they’re concerned, these different kinds of pages are just web pages.

Defining Web Pages and Posts

Google has even said so themselves:

“I don’t think Googlebot would recognize that there’s a difference. So usually that difference between posts and pages is something that is more within your backend within the CMS that you’re using, within WordPress in that case. And it wouldn’t be something that would be visible to us.

 

So we would look at these as if it’s an HTML page and there’s lots of content here and it’s linked within your website in this way, and based on that we would rank this HTML page.

 

We would not say oh it’s a blog post, or it’s a page, or it’s an informational article. We would essentially say it’s an HTML page and there’s this content here and it’s interlinked within your website in this specific way.” – John Mueller

That said, a page’s different focus, purpose, and the content will have different connotations and levels of value.

To understand that, you need to understand what Google wants to do with its search results.

What are Google’s Goals with Serving Search Results?

Google’s goal with their search results is to give the user searching for a query the content most beneficial to their search. It sounds simple when you say it like that, but it’s a complex and challenging task to accomplish.

Googles Goal With Serving Results

Consider: What results will satisfy you when you’re looking for something online? It depends on what you’re looking for, right? Sometimes it might be a lengthy blog post with a tutorial and step-by-step instructions for accomplishing a task, or it will be a detailed product page with information about an item you’re considering buying. Sometimes it will be a tiny page with 50 words on it because all you’re looking for is a company’s address and contact information.

The goal of the query determines what kind of web page will rank best for it.

Different Search Intent, Different Primary Value

Think again about what you do when you look for something online. When you have a goal to find something, you write your queries differently.

Different kinds of searches are said to have various types of “search intent” algorithms, which attempts to understand the user’s intent when they perform the search.

Different Search Intent and Value

There are several different kinds of search intent:

  • This example is when you want to use the search results to go to a specific place. Type “CNN” into Google to go to CNN.com, for instance. These are fascinating searches because, unlike many others, they have a single correct answer (and are also usually people who aren’t tech-savvy using them, because those who know where they want to go and how to get there will usually type the URL directly, or use a bookmark.)
  • This example is when you want to learn about a topic. Say, for instance, you want to know whether or not there’s a tangible SEO difference between web pages and blog posts. So, you ask the question in the Google search bar and end up here in this article. Lengthy content with detail about a topic is the name of the game here.
  • Informational searches are when you want something more aimed at DIY processes, instructions, or a guide on how to do something. These are also often blog posts but may, in some cases, lead to help center articles or other non-blog pages, particularly for web services. You also see hybrids; a recipe blog is a tutorial web page, but a blog post is tacked on for more SEO value.
  • A consideration search is when you know that you have a problem that needs solving, and you know you aren’t going for a DIY solution, but you don’t know what products are on the market to help you solve it. It’s a hybrid between informational and transactional and usually pulls up landing pages and informational product pages as results.
  • These can be information-rich landing pages but more often are simply product pages. When you perform a transactional search, you’re looking to buy, which means you want to see product pages where prices and shipping information are listed to find the best source for your purchase. A blog post here isn’t valuable because you presumably already did your research.

Each different kind of search intent has different types of web pages that best suit the user’s goals. Blog posts can do most of them, but not all of them.

Still, why do blog posts seem so much more popular?

Well, one more quirk of searching that will explain this phenomenon: the sales funnel.

What Are The Stages of the Funnel?

Website owners are familiar with the sales funnel, but you might not think about it if you’re a casual web user.

A sales funnel is an inverted pyramid where the top, broadest level is something simple like “brand awareness,” and the bottom, narrowest part is “user makes a purchase.” It’s a map of the decrease in the number of users at each step.

Nike might have millions of people aware of them as a brand. Still, only a million are looking for shoes, half a million are considering Nike shoes, and only 50,000 are going to buy Nike shoes this month (or whatever hypothetical numbers you want to use.)

Each step of the process has attrition, making the audience smaller – this all applies to the sales process for a single brand, but it also applies to the whole internet at large.

Stages of the Funnel

Google processes somewhere around 5-6 billion searches per day. A vast majority of those searches will be informational, and a decreasing number of them will be tutorials. Less will be a consideration, and even fewer will be transactional. People are much more interested in reading information than they are buying something. If nothing else, most people have more time and attention to spend than money.

You can observe this in your search habits. How many Google searches do you perform during a typical day? How many of those searches are aimed at something that would result in a specific non-blog page, like a transactional search, a navigational search, or a search looking for detailed non-blog information? Compare that to however many searches you make that have more generalized, “a blog post will do” results.

Blog posts are much more likely to be a valid result for many queries than non-blog content.

But, that doesn’t mean blog posts are more valuable in and of themselves; more people are making searches where a blog format is beneficial.

How Does Google Evaluate Different Content Formats?

Another variable that needs to be considered is how Google works on a mechanical level. They are concerned about a lot of different things — SEO is pretty complicated — but they all tend to boil down to:

  • Links pointing to a site
  • Keywords and content present on the site
  • Mechanics and usability of the site

Consider different kinds of pages and other types of content.

Content Formats and Mechanics of Google

A small contact page probably doesn’t have many links pointing at it, and the user experience doesn’t much matter, so it has to rely on a few primary keywords, like “contact us” and the brand name you’re looking for. It would be pretty easy to outrank a contact page, but because it’s so narrowly focused on a brand’s information, there’s no real reason to try.

It’s also worth remembering that Google can only get so much information from non-text content. A massive infographic with a ton of helpful information might be blank to Google in most contexts. Likewise, a video can only be a valid result if Google knows what’s in the video, like through a transcript and video metadata.

To a lesser extent, the same is true of non-blog pages. Non-blog pages often (but not always) lack the content necessary to rank.

When they do rank, it’s for more narrowly-focused queries.

Does Schema Help These Pages Rank Better?

One way to counterbalance this is Schema markup. Schema is metadata that helps assign a deeper meaning to website pages, and they are typically pages with specific focuses other than blog posts. Blog posts can use a few kinds of Schema, but non-blog pages have far more, with more value attached to them.

Using Schema to Confound The Issue

This example is one way Google helps give non-blog pages more weight, makes them easier to find and enables users to get value out of them – this is why so many of the Schema configurations are focused on specific non-blog kinds of content; because those kinds of content need the most help.

Bringing it All Together

The result of the above is the world we see around us.

The internet is packed full of pages, both blogs, and non-blogs. Non-blogs are just as viable as blogs for ranking, and there’s no inherent mechanical difference between them.

Bringing It All Together

The impression that blog posts rank better comes from bias in perception:

  • More queries are long-tail and broader in intent, so blog posts are more capable of fitting the bill than non-blog pages.
  • Blog posts are much more common; a website might have a dozen or two non-blog pages but hundreds or thousands of blog posts.
  • Many non-blog pages are either transitional (like a homepage) or are single-purpose pages (like a contact page), so they don’t need to be as highly ranked.

Blog posts aren’t necessarily better than non-blogs, not in a general sense. They’re more common in many ways, but it’s more because it’s easier for them to rank for broader queries. If a user is searching for something specific where a blog post isn’t an appropriate answer, blog posts aren’t going to be the top results. It’s simply not as expected that this is the case.

If you’re trying to get your website’s non-blog pages to rank better, you have a few options. You can implement relevant Schema tags. You can fluff up the content or even add blog-like content like a food blog adds a 1,000-word blog post to a recipe. Or, you can allow the pages to rank the way they need to and focus your energies on ways to pull people down your sales funnel.

After all, your product pages don’t need to rank if the only people likely to be landing there are coming from other pages on your site. It would be best to focus your effort on the pages that draw in qualified visitors and work on those pages to outrank the blog pages that you’re competing with.

Do you have any questions for me? Is your company website getting outranked by a blog post, or have you encountered any stubborn competitor blog posts that are difficult to compete with? We’re one of the most effective SEO agencies in the universe and enjoy a complex challenge! Please get in touch with us to see how we can help. 

David Curtis
David Curtis
David Curtis is the founder and CEO of Blue Pig Media. With twenty years of successful execution in sales, marketing and operations, for both clients and vendors, he has a bottom line ROI driven mentality rooted in metrics driven performance across highly competitive global corporate initiatives.

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