Rank First, Edit Second
A new way to look at the publishing process
In my work as a consultant prior to building Byword, I'd typically deliver thousands of articles to brands. A question I'd often get asked is:
How am I supposed to edit & review thousands of these?
This question is completely understandable in a traditional SEO context, but when we're using AI to generate large-scale content projects I'd argue that we have to look things from a different perspective.
When we're talking about thousands of pages, it's simply not viable to edit all of them prior to publishing.
This is partially because SEO is a long-term game, and the benefits of having pages rank sooner will likely outweigh the costs of having unedited content live. Equally though, not many brands can afford the sheer amount of resource required to edit that much content.
This is why my advice is to typically not edit the content, and just put it live. As and when pages start to rank, prioritise your editing based on what's generating the most traffic.
This approach has several advantages:
- By putting the content live immediately, we can get the pages indexed and on their way to generating traffic as quickly as possible.
- Not all pages will rank well, and this approach avoids spending time editing pages that won't deliver SEO value down the line.
- Admittedly there will be some false negatives here; pages that would've ranked well with proper editing. This is a small price to pay for the benefits that SEO at scale can bring however.
Some people I've spoken to object to the above approach on the grounds that they don't want anything live on SEO that might compromise their brand voice or image.
This is a fair concern, though I'd respond by saying that the risk is significantly lower than they might expect. The approach I'm advocating for is to let pages rank, and then immediately prioritise them for human review and editing as soon as they cross some volume threshold, for example 100 sessions.
This approach significantly mitigates any risk to just a small number of sessions, all while getting the benefits of being able to publish content and get it ranking as quickly as possible.