In Topic, content is graded on a scale from "F" through "A++", based on an article's coverage of the Topics to Cover.
Do I need to get an A++ grade in Topic?
No. We recommend aiming for a B+ or A in most cases. Topic’s grades follow a curve such that a typical top-ranking competitor article is a B. So anything above a B will be more comprehensive than a competitor. The reason we don’t always urge publishers to aim for an A++ is because your focus should be on using the recommended topics to craft a valuable piece of content versus including topics arbitrarily for a higher grade.
Does an A++ grade always equal more traffic?
Not always. Topic’s grade is a simple proxy for comprehensiveness and can be easily gamed by stuffing keywords into an article. So it’s not as simple as “high grade = high traffic”.
You are still responsible for taking these recommendations and turning them into an organized structure with a clear voice and narrative. This takes critical thinking and is something that is currently impossible for an AI system to replicate.
We recommend using Topic as a way to better understand your readers' needs and guide you on what topics you should strive to comprehensively cover.
Why do I need to use Topic if an A++ grade doesn't always guarantee improvements in rankings?
For the same reason a pilot uses navigational instruments even if they can land a plane by sight. Yes, it’s true that there are sunny days where they could safely guide a plane with simple intuition and experience. But there are many more cloudy, rainy, or windy days where it can be helpful to have a navigational aid. You can think of Topic as a similar kind of tool, to give you x-ray vision into the key things your audience wants to learn. This way, you have a consistently better chance of producing content that will rank well in search. You still need skill and judgment to produce compelling content, but Topic’s tools make the experience easier and more consistent.
Why is the Content Grader giving me an F?
The Content Grader grades your content based on your coverage of topics. If your article is failing to cover topics identified as essential to the keyword, or covering very few topics compared to your competitors, then your content would get an F.
Note: Sometimes when you are optimizing an existing post, Topic might fail to import the entire text. Please verify that the text inside the Content Grader includes your entire post. If anything is missing, copy the text from your post and paste it into the Content Grader, and you should see your grade update.
What do I do if I have an A+ but I’m still not on the first page of results?
There are a few factors that go into ranking on the first page of Google. First, check the keyword difficulty. If many of the top-ranking articles are equally comprehensive, it may be difficult to move up. It also takes some time for Google to recognize changes to your content.
Topic helps you determine the key things your audience wants to learn. But it can take some time and a few tries to include the recommendations in an organized way that's natural and compatible with your audience. So don’t get discouraged if it takes a couple of revisions to see an uptick in traffic or ranking.