I think one of the most confusing topics for many is the difference between domain popularity and page popularity. Confusing them especially for people just getting started is easy. There are hundreds of factors that go into helping search engines rank a page that you should be aware of. In general, those hundreds of signals can be broken down into two categories: Relevance and Popularity.
Let’s Ignore Relevancy for a moment.
Relevancy is critical, but for the moment let’s look at how popularity plays a crucial role in ranking online.
When you start looking for patterns in high ranking websites, the first thing you come across is domain popularity. The more links a domain has linking back to it the more popular the domain is and the higher the ranking of the website. However, this does not mean a domain always outranks individual pages. They merely have the exposure and popularity of an extensive website like Wikipedia, Amazon, and other large websites in their niche.
Page Authority is what most people are after in the grand scheme of things, and they don’t even realize it. For most users, it is one of the more difficult ranking methods to achieve. Page popularity is based purely on a single page ranking well for specific terms that are being linked to, shared, and visited by many people online. For example, many people may not care about all the products Adobe offers, but one of their most popular pages is their adobe reader. So, this individual page ranks higher for specific terms like “PDF Reader.”
The EB and Flow of Domain Popularity and Page Popularity.
These two categories feed each other nicely. The reason for this is because a page that has high domain Popularity can help boost rankings of individual pages under its umbrella, even if the primary domain does not explicitly rank for a specific keyword. Due to domain popularity, even if a brand-new keyword is introduced to the search engines by a specific page on the domain.
The Domain Popularity can take a single page to higher rankings because it’s domain authority is higher than other websites in the same category. It may not be a number one result for that page, but the page does not have to work as hard to become a top search result.
On the other hand, page popularity helps boost the domains popularity. The more users that visit into pages that are popular on a website, the more popular the domain becomes. Essentially Page Popularity feeds juice in the opposite direction for domain authority.
So, while Domain Popularity Feeds down to boost pages, individual pages boost domain popularity by feeding more traffic by building popular keywords used on the website.
Relevancy for Domains & Pages
Relevancy is the balance for popularity. You see a page become extremely popular for some keyword, but relevance plays the role of keeping things balanced and putting a break on websites trying to abuse their domain popularity.
Relevance ultimately restricts how “relevant” a page or domain is for specific keywords or websites. As an example, a famous electronics website can’t start writing articles about politics and expect its domain authority to boost these articles because the domain popularity is high. The electronics website posting about politics for the first time must now go through the full spectrum of the algorithm to start to rank for these types of new keywords.
The domain popularity helps the process go a little faster, but ultimately it is like starting from scratch when it comes to the relevancy side of things.
Find Your Balance Between Relevancy and Popularity.
Don’t try to be everything, but always try to be something. If you genuinely want to start ranking consistently, start to work towards organizing your website in a way that matters. Think of your website as a fancy folder system that allows for easy navigation to find something. Your domain is your main folder, and your keywords are the main subdirectories that house all the information related to these keywords.
When you re-think the structure and use of your website, your domain popularity and relevance skyrockets in a way you have never seen before.