August 3, 2017

Using Topic Clusters As A Content Strategy

Topic Clusters

Through the years Google and other search engines have gotten a lot smarter, and the way we use them has changed as a result. In the past, if we wanted to search for a guitar repair shop, we’d usually have to know the name of the shop we were looking for first, like “World Guitar Repair.” Now we can type in something like “Where can I get a guitar repaired” and Google is smart enough to know our intent and give us a more targeted result with more usable choices. That’s why our content strategy on websites, blogs and YouTube channels must change in order to take advantage of how Google currently works, and the latest idea is something called Topic Clusters.

The old way of thinking about SEO (search engine optimization) was that it was based around keywords, but after so many people tried to game the system by inserting dozens or even hundreds of keywords at every opportunity, Google began to give them less importance to the point where they mean very little these days. Topic clusters have replaced keywords instead, and they make a lot more sense for today’s online content world.

In a topic cluster, there’s one long post or video that broadly outlines a topic (called the ‚Äúpillar post”), then shorter “cluster” posts (or videos) each about a different detail of the pillar topic with a link back to the pillar. In order to be most effective, the pillar post should also link back to the cluster posts. If one of the cluster posts does well, then they all get a boost.

What happens is that Google’s webcrawlers notice the semantic relationship between all the topics and gives you a boost in its search engine results. it also makes it easier for your readers or viewers to find and consume your information as well.

Take a look at the video below for another explanation.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of

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