I run a medium pop culture website (ranked 52 thousand and something), and have noticed in the last few years that certain keywords generate a lot of traffic for me.

The keywords I use were very popular a few years ago, but don't seem to be reported on other websites and Google Trends indicates there is next to no interest in these terms.

My concern is that by continuing to prioritize posts based on these keywords, I have cultivated an audience that cares more about these keywords than most.

If I make a post on this topic, I will easily get 100k views, while posts that are frontpage stuff on competing, vastly more popular websites will not get anywhere near that.

Is this a case of me cultivating a specific audience, or are my website stats indicative of general trends and interest in the wider population?

Are there tools or methods I could use to get to the truth of the matter?

It's important to me that I don't just make assumptions and treat them as fact or ignore contradictory evidence, as that would be arrogant and foolish.

  • 1
    Would you stop writing about these topics if you found out that it was only your existing users that cared about them? If so, that sounds like a recipe for killing your website. It sounds like Google has identified your site as the authority on the subject. Are you worried that you are missing new topics that are becoming popular with a slightly different audience and limiting the size of your site? Oct 3, 2018 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you've a decision to make about the direction and audience of your website.

Are the keywords generating traffic also targeted to a certain niche audience, or are they general keywords that were popular from a few years ago? Is the website traffic today better or worse than it was 1, 3, 5 years ago? Medium pop culture websites may be better off having a niche, since the alternative could be worse - low traffic for popular topics where they lose out to large influential websites. If you don't want to own the niche, and would rather expand into other topics, that's fine, but do so carefully.

In setting your strategy, don't look at just Google Trends. Make a list of keywords you're ranking highly for and bringing in traffic, and a list of keywords you want to rank for that you aren't getting traffic from. Then use tools like AdWords Keyword Planner or (better) Moz's Keyword Explorer to compare your popularity with what's out there and figure out how hard it would be to rank for the new keywords.

Most likely, your best bet will be to fork your content: publish both for your existing audience and your intended audience. That way, you still retain your current fans - and your ad impressions, if you're running ads - while chasing a new audience and experimenting with new topics.

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