Or another way, what is the shelf life of an online article that is well-researched and performed well with SEO? My highest viewed hub is just over 3 years old and still draws traffic. I noticed traffic seems to be waning in the last few days.
And, yes, I know there are many variables. What's your experience with how long an article can pull?
By and large, most articles fade away.
It's not my most well-researched articles, but my most useful articles that have stood the test of time.
In 1993, long before it was legal to make money on the web, the web culture was that everyone should contribute something -- ANYTHING -- to the growing repository of knowledge. So I wrote and illustrated a quick lesson on how to build a kite. The original website and host where I posted that article are long gone; it's moved about three different hosts since. Year in, year out, it gets about 30,000 visitors a year. I've tweaked it a tiny bit with SEO, but the content drew traffic before I knew how to do that.
That beats all my more esoteric, in-depth, well-researched, elegantly-written articles. I used to begrudge it. Then I realized the unversality of a kid making a kite out of tissue paper and straw is a lot more important than my natterings about ancient art and mythology.
I've got some articles 4-5 years old that beat it for weekly traffic; in every case they are useful resources or collections of fun things that people like enough to share.
That's not to say we shouldn't continue to write well-researched, exceptional content, but it's a reality check: what lasts and has the most impact is sometimes very simple. The key is, "What's in it for the visitor? And is it one of the few places on the web ehere they can get it?" The answer to those questions determines a webpage's longevity.
I have a number of hubs that have remained as ones that get high traffic for a period of 2 or more years. I have others that are just as good but that drop rapidly!
The article about the kite really is something. So it still draws about 30,000 readers (visitors) per year? Good point about looking at articles from where the reader stands.
Thanks, Bard, for your response. So 2 - 3 years is a good length of time it seems and possibly a bit longer.
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