As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of jamesclear.com organization in terms of navigation and usability.
But it’s not just me. Let’s take a look at how Google feels about it.
tim.blog Google US Desktop traffic (semrush)
jamesclear.com Google US Desktop traffic (semrush)
Rankings for each site
tim.blog Google US desktop top rankings
Eight of the 10 highest volume searches where tim.blog ranks in the top 3 are branded queries related to Tim’s name or book.
Maybe you wondering how well his category pages do rank?
As far as I can see of the 213,739 keyword phrases he ranks in the top 100 for on Google US Desktop, only two of them are /category/ pages and it looks like by accident on the 3rd and 8th page of Google.
The number is so low, I actually had to double check that tim.blog wasn’t telling search engines not to index those pages.
james.clear Google US desktop top rankings
For James Clear’s site, you can see that of the top 10 highest volume queries he ranks for a series of the names of the category pages made into curated guides.
To rank first for so many terms is not a coincidence:
Other mediating factors to consider
Now I should mention a few things complicating this comparison:
Multiple blogs and partial migrations can lead to issues
Tim has had two blogs before tim.blog launched and fourhourworkweek.com (the second one) is still technically active. Even though most pages redirect to tim.blog, there are pages still being indexed in Google.
Instead of looking at this as an a disparate issue, I would say this is just another symptom of the same problem. Multiple blogs demonstrates a lack of planning and organization more than it excuses it.
Now Google is left to piece together the relationships between the entities of Tim Ferriss the person and his top selling book. Being not 100% sure what pages on what sites to rank for what queries means Google will probably just serve a “safer” result for those types of queries.
James Clear’s site is kept incredibly tight from an internal linking standpoint
There are no excess links or dynamic pages like /tag/random/page/4/ everywhere. In fact, most of his non-post pages aren’t even internally linked to except in the sitemap xml file.
The site is curated guides with links to all his best articles, the best of the best linked the most frequently.
For primary content type, Tim Ferriss is more focused on podcasting
Tim Ferriss’ content format of choice lately is podcasting and he has an insanely large podcast audience. The short version of why content format matters is, compared to text based content, podcasting is bad for (your site’s) SEO.
Given how pervasive he is, he probably isn’t losing sleep over the couple hundred thousand visits a month he could be getting from search. But it does seem like just the kind of thing he could give himself a 30 day challenge to change and see some outsized returns.
For this content series, here’s where we’re at:
Content audits with pattern recognition exercise From automated archives to curated hubs Navigability users and search engines alike love
- Aligning calls to action with key content
- Identifying and fixing content issues (dynamic content, etc)
- Content pruning decision tree
- Changing, moving, migrating things the right way
- Quick and dirty user testing
I’m also thinking about including a post or two on E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust). Or exploring/researching how Google might treat relationships between entities as a measure of trust and writing on it after this series.