So I want to know about CONTENT STRUCTURE.
Should I follow Logical Structure or Top Pages for structuring an article?
Suppose, I want to publish an article on "How to build an electric car"
I have checked top ten articles of google's first page. All of them directly start with the steps of building an electric car just after writing the info. (Steps are like collecting different parts, assemble them, install, test and you are all set to go)
After that, some articles describes the different components/parts(definition, what they do) of electric cars followed by some other general infos.
Logically, describing the components comes first, building steps should come after that.
My question is, should I follow logical structures or top pages for structuring my article? What worked/works for you?
If I follow logical structure, will Google consider it as something that does not correctly satisfy searcher intents?
I will appreciate your thoughts on this.
12 👍🏽12 19 💬🗨
Write For The Reader! I should not have to repeat this. Choose a structure and language that suits the reader and a logical flow. Even Google tells you to write for humans, not machines! Note there is markup that can be used to mark things like steps, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)s, etc. that help Google understand your page and can help secure a knowledge panel.
I'd also disagree that components come first. It would depend on the topic. A "you will need these on hand" proceeds steps. Then a diagram of the parts with their labels and written descriptions.
Thank you for your comment. Really appreciate it.
Doing what others have done only gets you so far. Replicating what is already ranking at the top isn't going to get you a top-ranking.
What the search engines are looking for is a better user experience that fits within their expectations of what constitutes a good user experience. While that may seem like an argument for "more of the same", what it really means is that there is room for innovation in content and presentation.
The algorithms will always find something new to elevate above what's already ranking. They MIGHT be influenced by other means to rank something not-so-new above existing top-ranked content, but that usually requires a lot of effort.
My point is this: don't box yourself into a formula by limiting your creativity to what has already been ranked at the top of the search results. Those top-ranked pages may not be very optimal in the algorithms' assessments – it's just that they haven't found what should work better for those queries according to their own existing standards.
If all you give a search engine to rank is crap, it will only rank crap.
Thank you. This is such a comprehensive answer. I really appreciate the time you have taken to answer my query.
Allen » Micha
This is my answer to everyone that says "do what the top ranking competitors are doing". You're setting an unnecessary ceiling for yourself when you do that.
Well, when it comes to How To posts, one thing you missed that is almost certainly included on those top ranking pages is the How To schema:
That and what Michael said above.
Somewhere I have read that spending time on Google schema is a waste of time, most probably from the videos of Income School. Thank you for the input. I will definitely look into it.
As SEO users our primary job – more important than any other – is to make it so a computer (aka Google, in this case) can understand exactly what are pages are trying to communicate.
Anyone who tells you that the most powerful tool we have to tell Google exactly what the page is trying to communicate is a waste of time is… well, to be blunt… not someone who understands Search Engine Optimization (SEO) very well.
Asif » Truslow
So my site is an amazon affiliate site. I have never used any schema markup for any of my articles. Is there any possibility to get penalized by Google if I only use HowTo schema for my How to Posts?
There's no penalty by Google no. And, personally, I'd want as much accurate and appropriate schema on every page possible – but there's no penalty for just starting out with some basics.
Asif » Truslow
I actually go through some articles on penalty for inappropriate/incorrect schema. That's why got confused.
Structured Data Google Penalties – 5 Mistakes to Avoid
There's not really a "penalty" for incorrect or inappropriate schema. BUT… if it's incorrect or inappropriate, it is sending a signal that the content itself doesn't confirm – so the page will have trouble ranking.
Look at it like this:
Schema says, "This page is about Apples" and the content says "This page is about Oranges"
Now… what is Google supposed to think the page is actually about? Apples or Oranges? It can't be sure, so it's likely that it won't rank for either.
That's not a penalty though – it's just the nature of conflicting into. If you have How To Schema and it's a How To Page and the schema says the same thing the content does – how is that inaccurate or inappropriate?
Asif » Truslow
Thank you for explaining so fluidly.
The article from Roger is talking about situations where you're specifically manipulating schema to make it seem like the page is saying Apples when it's really talking about Oranges – and it's not going to happen if you do it just once. But if you have a whole bunch of stuff that is purposely defined to mislead – then yeah, you could get a manual penalty.
If you purposely do ANYTHING designed to mislead the search engines, then you might get a manual penalty.
For the mistakes part – see my note above on apples and oranges – you don't need a penalty or manual actions for that – it's just not going to work – and it's going to hurt Google's ability to trust you if you do start doing it the right way later on.
Seeing you have come to such deep questions on the topic, my only advice would be – follow your gut. Follow what makes sense to you. Follow your own logic – if you can find a better logic in something that is already existent.
After all, those are the people who create new things, better things! than those already available. 🙂
There is a ton of content out there, but your unique voice and point of view might find the group of people with whom your piece will resonate better.
Good luck. 🍀
Thank you…such a thought provoking comment.
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