Pillar content is content created around a central "pillar page", content offer or pillar blog article, which is written to be an authority on a specific subject. You would then create relevant spin off articles around the pillar page to further support your content and make is super relevant and helpful to your audience.
This approach is not exactly new, and you can find articles talking about from years and years ago, but there seems to be little fresh content out there covering pillar pages.
Could Pillar Content be the NBT (Next Big Thing) to Hit Marketing?
This may be because simply writing a blog post about a single topic that's intended to get traffic from a super targeted keyword has been all we've needed for some time.
Pillar content is time consuming to create as it has to be high quality and long enough to be authoritative on your subject, so doing just enough to be helpful and rank was a more efficient strategy.
However, we are seeing some signs (and hearing some rumours) that this is starting to change.
Firstly we noticed in September 2016 that some of our ranking results for blog posts we had written around a keyword were no longer ranking the blog post itself, but either our home page, or a long copy inner page that appeared more authoritative than the single blog post, yet were not optimised for the keyword.
Google change to impact bloggers
Secondly, we have a heard a rumour that a major change to the way that Google presents search results. We are hearing that Google may be about to de-prioritise blog posts that focus on a single topic in favour of pillar content pages that increase the over all quality of the search results.
It's worth baring in mind that we do not have any official word from Google here, but since the first word from Google is often after the search ranks have been turned upside down, that's maybe not surprising.
Build pillar pages starting now!
If we are correct though, this represents a great opportunity for business to get in ahead of the curve, and we are making pillar page and content a main part of our inbound marketing campaigns and the campaigns we do for our customers immediately.
The worst that can happen is that Google do not make the move, and we are left with some great, long form content, written to be super helpful to our buyer personas, but that doesn't rank any quicker than a normal blog post.
No real risk at all then!
Note; we believe this is all a part of the Google RankBrain algorithm, which is basically a step below artificial intelligence for search engines.