Search engines are constantly evolving to keep up with changes in human search behaviour. Ranking purely based on long-tail, competitive keywords is becoming an outdated process.
It's important for marketers to respond to changes quickly and strategically, and implement new ways of promoting and optimising content.
So, goodbye keywords...welcome topic clusters!
Okay, so keywords are not going to become completely redundant. But the focus around topic clusters will require you to adapt the architecture of your website.
So what is a topic cluster and how does this link to a pillar page?
Topic clusters are a new way to organise your site's infrastructure by creating content around one topic which then is supported by a central page called a Pillar Page.
The Pillar Page is the backbone - the skeletal structure of this 'topic'. It supports the content, resulting in search engine rankings based on topic, rather than keywords.
When you think about it - it makes sense. If you have more than one page on your site linking to one topic, you'll want all of these pages to rank well, right?
The goal is to ultimately drive the attention to this main page - the 'Pillar'.
Do you now see the benefit? SEO is evolving to benefit us all, and this is a win-win situation. When the 'Pillar Page' links back to the supporting pages (blog posts) both succeed in achieving higher rank status on SERPs.
In this model, your blog content is more organized for the reader to jump from post to post learning more about a topic, and your URLs don't compete with each other for the same long-tail keyword -- because they're all ranking for the same broader topic.