Is it Better to Summarize Your Transcription or Just Clean it Up?

Summarizing your transcripts can be a good idea to help your readers save time, but does it help your SEO efforts?

Video transcript:

Dave: You just gave me a really good idea. I think, let me run it by you.

David: Sure.

Dave: So, Larry and I, we do our podcasts, and we answer a particular question. Depending on the question, most of the time, we go on for a while, maybe 20 minutes or so. So, here’s what I’m thinking. What I’ve done a few times is, at the very end of it, it’s like, alright, Larry, so, we’ve talked about the answer to, how do I get my business ready to sell? So, let me summarize, Larry. Here are some of the key points we talked about, and then we go through like ten points. Any further comments, Larry, on that? No. Okay. So, then it almost is like, we should take that summary that we do and use the transcription of that summary on the site.

David: Why not? Why are you resisting putting the entire transcript on the site?

Dave: So, I’m saying that because that’s where we concentrate on making sure it’s really excellent and readable. Maybe, I will go through that and make sure that the transcription is really good as opposed to my VAs who’ve taken them the whole time for the 30 minutes. So, that way it’s good. And maybe put that at the top? I don’t know. What do you think?

David: So, I do like the idea of having a summary on the top. So, people can read a paragraph or two about what this is about to decide if they want to invest in reading the whole thing. If the rest of the transcript is auto-generated and full of errors, then it’s best not even to publish that.

Dave: Yeah.

David: But I would be afraid of not having a critical mass of content on your page.

Dave: So, it sounds like it might be a good thing to put the summary up at the top, almost like an executive summary. Make sure that it’s well-edited, and then put the rest of the… Even though it’s automatically generated. Initially, it’s gone through my VAs.

David: So, you could do it two ways. One is getting it on there with the summary to get it up.

Dave: Yeah.

David: And as time permits, take the time to edit the transcript, make it accurate, remove the ums and ahs, and all that, and then publish it. At that point, it can be published later. Because it sounds like the summary actually might be… If it’s less than 500 words, then it’s probably not a value to Google. But if it’s around 500 or even more in your summary, that might be all you really need.

Dave: But what I’m wondering is, you talk about really helpful content, and that summary is more helpful than everything else to somebody.

David: Well, I think the helpfulness has to do with uniqueness among other articles and content like that on the web. So, for instance, you could, I know you guys wouldn’t do this, but let’s say you recorded a podcast and just basically reiterated what everyone else has already said on a topic. That’s not helpful according to what I understand this Helpful algorithm update is. If you, however, are contributing to it, and saying something new and having a new and interesting perspective, maybe disagreeing with it a little bit, maybe adding some additional value, now that’s helpful. So, it’s not helpful in that the content is good. It’s helpful in that it’s good in comparison with everything else. We’re not just publishing it for publication’s sake; we’re publishing it because we want to say something additional.

Dave: So, are we then better off putting in the time, and like you said, researching and seeing what… Are we better off putting in the time and saying, okay, here’s what these ten are saying on this particular question, here’s what these ten sites are saying? Is there something that they are missing? And then saying, let’s talk about what they are missing.

David: That would be very helpful content.

Dave: Yeah. Or it would be like, hey, here’s what these ten articles are saying. They meander around here, so we’re going to break it down and give you a quick summary plus a unique take.

David: I mean, just think about that. If we forgot about SEO, that would be immensely valuable.

Dave: I mean, obviously, it would be best to do that, like every day, but we can’t.

David: Quality over quantity, right? What if you produced one less podcast because you needed that time to take this extra effort? That seems to me to be a good trade-off.

Dave: So, a lot of folks now, and I mean, this had been going on for years, people say you got to put out content, put out content, put out content, put out content. And the attitude, a lot of times, has been that within that quantity, you will get some quality.

David: Right.

Dave: So, don’t worry as much. A typical example is… Okay, let me back up. So, there was a study done at some point. I can’t remember which book, was it Talent is Overrated, or whatever, where they put people in a ceramics class where they were making cups and vases and all that. And it turns out, the best strategy for getting an A in the class was to produce a lot because you needed that practice. And then you could finally get the good one as opposed to planning and trying to take an hour on each little cup. It’s saying, I’m going to produce ten cups, and by the time I’m done with this, I will get a really good one. So, that’s kind of been the strategy from a content perspective that a lot of folks have talked about, right? Just keep going and going and going, as opposed to letting me research. Is that changing based on what we talked about?

David: I think that’s a great analogy. It’s a great way to describe exactly what this is aiming for, right? Yeah, because I’ll admit that I’m guilty of thinking that as long as I produce content, one of them is going to be good.

Dave: Yeah.

David: And that’s not what Google’s going for. It’s better to wait to do something good than it is to publish for publication’s sake. Of course, the challenge is that clients sometimes say, where’s my blog post this week? Right? Or they have some arbitrary number in their head that in order to get SEO, I need to be publishing this much. We have to change that attitude. But I think most people will get the idea that it’s better to have, I don’t know what the ratio is, one good blog post than four blog posts that just basically say the same thing as everyone else.

Dave: I have heard some guys talking about it in the past where they’ve done, I don’t know what the term that they used was; it was like some amazing long blog posts that became the authority because they put so much time and so much effort, that Google ranked that one really, really high.

David: Right. Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. There is a whole name for that strategy from a few years ago. And I guess what Google is saying today is you don’t necessarily have to have a 5,000, 10,000-word definitive book on a page for it to rank. You just need to be saying something that is contributing to the conversation.

Dave: Yeah.

David: Right? Say something new to contribute. And it’ll be really interesting to see how much content gets removed as people try to adjust to this algorithm. Right? How many thousands of pages and blogs are just going to be killed off? This is a huge challenge for service providers who pay a la carte. Hey, if you sign up for our SEO company, we’ll give you a blog post every week.

Dave: Yeah, I can’t do that.

David: No, you really shouldn’t. That would be a bad idea. But, I mean, it’s always been the pressure of, how good can it be if you’re going to get four a month? It’s just going to be a challenge.

Dave: Yeah, what we’re doing is like one a month, but it has to go through them. They have to approve it. Sometimes they make a lot of changes, other times just a couple. But it goes through them.

David: Yeah. I say that I, as the SEO, get to determine what you get. And some months, it’s going to be a blog post a week, and some months, it’s going to be one really, really good blog post. But, give me the flexibility to do what’s right for you, but don’t hold me to numbers because if you hold me to numbers, you’re going to get crap. Because the pressure’s always going to be to produce another.

Dave: Okay. Okay. Well, that was a great discussion.

David: That was a great question. It’s fun too. I love this.


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