“Evergreen topic pages” – it’s a phrase which confused many when first used on the Online Journalism Review site.
Aiming to clarify the term and show how such pages will contribute revenue, Robert Niles has posted an explanation on the site.
The page does focus on a single theme. But neither a niche website nor a topic index on a general news website necessarily serves the function of an evergreen topic page. A optimized evergreen topic page ought to focus on a single element within a theme – not just sports, for example, but on soccer officiating in the World Cup.
I understand why this might be a tough concept for some news veterans. After all, what I’m asking you to create is in several ways the opposite of what we do on a daily basis writing for newspapers or broadcast reports. This is a different product for a news organization, but one much closely aligned with its core mission than fake front pages or coupon deals.
He explained that such pages are an aside to daily news updates, but can be used to supplement such coverage throughout time, with links to ‘evergreen’ topic pages which provide background information. The pages continue to fulfil online searches and provide a long-term additional income from advertising with limited maintenance.
I stumbled onto the value of evergreen content pages when I wrote my “statistics every writer should know” tutorial in 1996. I added AdSense ads to that site in 2003 and continue to earn several hundred dollars a month from those pages today.