What is the Instagram Effect in Technical SEO?

I want to share an insider term that we coined here at AI Growth Guys.  It is the other “Instagram Effect”. 

technical seo

We use this term amongst ourselves when we’re talking about technical SEO.  We want to share it with you so you’ll know how to take advantage of it.

If you Google “The Instagram Effect”, you’ll see links to a TV show.  

I haven’t watched it, but I get the idea.  The idea is that there are many ways that Instagram, and other social media companies, are making things worse.

Take travel for example, now it isn’t just about enjoying the moment in a new place with your family.  It is about getting the perfect photo to brag on social media.

What is the “Instagram effect” for SEO?

A ton of niche website owners and bloggers get pretty ticked off that their rankings stink on Google.  

We don’t blame them.  It’s annoying.

What they don’t realize is that they’ve constructed their website in such a way as to virtually guarantee that they get very little traffic.

Have you ever used Instagram or Facebook to post something?  Not for business, but just personally.

For example, you share a picture of your son’s birthday.  Or you share a video clip from your recent vacation.

What happens?

A lot of your friends and followers will see this post immediately and comment on it.

Then after 12 to 24 hours, the visibility of your post will fall off a cliff.  You might get 130 likes and 40 comments on the first day.  

And then nothing ever again over the next 5 years.

This is what we mean by the “Instagram effect” for SEO.

If you are using WordPress or a similar tool to build your website, which most people are, then you are probably making this mistake.

WordPress is set up as a blog, not a website.

What is the difference?

A blog puts all the posts in chronological order.  

It is easy to find the most recent blog posts.  

But, if you want to find an early blog post, then you’ll have to click “next, next, next” a bunch of times to arrive at the page it is written on.

Even if you think your site is easy to navigate, unless you know what you are doing with technical SEO, then you are almost certainly making this mistake.

Google is viewing your website as a blog, and after your recent post gets its “moment in the sun” for a day or two, it gets pushed into the background by the more recent posts.

A website, on the other hand, needs to be structured with categories, and a hierarchy of importance. 

Google needs to see where each of your articles are, how they fit together, and which ones are the most important.

If they “think” your articles are just a chronological series of posts, almost like a diary, then you will experience the SEO Instagram Effect.

The result is you won’t be able to find your pages on Google, unless you feel like clicking “more, more, more…” until you get to the 36th page.

Avoiding the Instagram effect is essential if you want Google traffic.  

So is learning how to improve your E-EAT score.

You should also check out our top SEO skill in 2024 as well as other important SEO ranking factors.

Author Andrew Best


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