When planning your website’s content marketing strategy, you might be wondering whether Google ranks web pages and blog posts differently. Content is essential for strong search rankings. With no content, or with low-quality content, your website will remain off Google’s radar and out of its index. You can publish content, however, either on web pages or blog posts.
The Technical Differences
Web pages and blog posts aren’t entirely the same. There are technical differences between them. A web page is a document written and rendered in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that reflects a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). When visitors follow a link to a URL on your website, their web browsers will load the URL’s web page.
A blog post, conversely, is a specific type of web page that’s designed for blogging. Blog posts are still written and rendered in HTML, and they still reflect a URL. Blog posts consist of ongoing content with blogging-related elements like author bylines, visitor comments, categories and tags. These elements typically aren’t found on web pages.
The SEO Differences
There are also search engine optimization (SEO) differences between web pages and blog posts. Web pages, for instance, usually earn more backlinks than blog posts. They consist of evergreen content that stays relevant for a long time. In comparison, blog posts are usually relevant for a shorter period. Because web pages stay relevant for a longer period, they usually earn more backlinks than blog posts.
Web pages are less likely to cause duplicate content issues than blog posts. Content is considered duplicate if it’s published on multiple URLs. For web pages and blog posts, content is always published on an original URL. Using blog posts, though, may result in the content being published on additional URLs, such as category and author archive URLs.
Blog posts are typically indexed more quickly than web pages. Blogging, of course, involves publishing new content regularly. People follow blogs to stay on top of the latest trends and news about a given topic. While some bloggers publish new posts on a monthly basis, most publish at least one new post per week. Search engines acknowledge the fact that blog content is ongoing, so they quickly crawl new posts for indexing purposes.
Web Pages vs Blog Posts: Which Does Google Prefer?
Even with their differences, Google treats web pages and blog posts equally. It doesn’t give preference to web pages or blog posts. Ranking signals aside, Google ranks web pages and blog posts the same.
Google recently confirmed that its algorithm gives equal weight to web pages and blog posts. During a Google Hangouts livestream in June 2020, John Mueller tackled this subject. A viewer told Mueller that his blog posts were generating less traffic than his web pages. The viewer then asked Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst why Google preferred his web pages. Mueller responded to the viewer by saying that Google doesn’t distinguish between web pages and blog posts when ranking content.
Based on Mueller’s response, Google’s crawler doesn’t look to see whether a piece of content is published on a web page or blog post. Web pages and blog posts are simply identifiers for content. They don’t define the content; they only identify where it’s published. Google’s crawler, Googlebot, doesn’t care if a piece of content is published on a web page or blog post. When it crawls the content, Googlebot will scan it for ranking signals while ignoring its identifier.
Choosing Between Web Pages and Blog Posts
You can publish your website’s content on either web pages or blog posts. Of those options, web pages are often easier to use. Blog posts require the use of a content management system (CMS) that supports blogging. It’s almost impossible to publish content on blog posts without the right CMS. Web pages don’t require a CMS. If you’re familiar with HTML, you can build content-filled web pages using a text editor.
By choosing blog posts for your website’s content, you can take advantage of blogging-related features. Blogs typically support visitor commenting, for example. You can enable visitor commenting in your website’s CMS. Once enabled, visitors will be able to leave comments on your blog posts. These user-generated comments will extend the length of your blog posts while making them more valuable to other visitors in the process.
While web pages usually earn more backlinks, blog posts outperform them in terms of visitor engagement. They keep visitors interested and engaged more than web pages. This visitor engagement can increase your website’s returning traffic. As visitors become engaged with your website, they may return after leaving it.
Blog posts are easier to format and edit than web pages. If you use WordPress as your website’s CMS, you can easily add subheadings via the Gutenberg block editor. You can also use the Gutenberg block editor to embed images, create lists, add quotes and more.
Some types of content should only be published on web pages. If you operate an e-commerce business, you should use web pages for your online store’s product pages. You should also use web pages for “Contact Us” and “About Us” pages. Blog posts are a poor choice for static content such as this.
Of course, you can use both web pages and blog posts. Many websites publish their content on both of these identifiers. Web pages are ideal for evergreen and static content, whereas blog posts are ideal for news, updates and other forms of time-specific content.
Google won’t rank a piece of content higher just because it’s published on a web page or blog post. Web pages and blog posts are both identifiers for HTML documents that reflect a URL. They don’t hold any direct bearing on search rankings.