SODP Dispatch - 23 November 2023

When a headless CMS is right, best headless CMS platforms for news publishers, Google's 2023 search quality rater guideline update + more

Hello, SODP readers!

Enjoying success as a digital publisher requires staying ahead of evolving audience interests and mastering new technologies. One such technology is the headless content management system (CMS). To help our readers determine whether a headless CMS is the right way to go, we have put out a series of articles, including a guide to headless CMS and a list of best platforms that publishers can pick from.

In today’s issue:

  • From SODP: A quick guide to headless CMS + best headless CMS platforms

  • Resources: SEO tools

  • Tip of the week: Overcoming low or absent E-E-A-T

  • News: Google’s 2023 search quality rater guidelines update, the design journey of The NYT’s audio app, how a magazine uses comics to engage really young audiences



By Jeandré Taylor and Andrew Kemp

Decoupling digital content creation from presentation means teams can create, modify and distribute content seamlessly across various channels. This flexibility both enhances operational efficiency and ensures a consistent cross-platform user experience.

But, as with any strategic pivot, switching to a headless CMS comes with its own set of challenges. Integrating, scaling and maintaining a unified content strategy isn’t a simple affair and publishers need to understand these challenges before making long-term strategic decisions.

💡 What you will learn:

  • What a headless CMS is

  • Its biggest advantages and disadvantages

  • When to use a headless CMS


By Jeandré Taylor

best headless CMS

The headless CMS software market was valued at $592.43 million in 2022 and is projected to reach $672.09 million by the end of 2023. The market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.26% through 2030, resulting in a market value of $1.72 billion.

Given the headless CMS’s potential for publishers and brands alike, we’ve drawn up a list of the 14 best headless CMS platforms for 2024.

💡 What you will learn:

  • The difference between traditional CMS and headless CMS

  • Best headless CMS platforms, and their pros and cons



By Vahe Arabian

Overcoming low or absent E-E-A-T

This week, I’d like to re-share a tip from Cyrus Shepard – founder of Zippy who also works as a Google Quality Rater.

Many SEO experts find it challenging to impact the "Authority-Trust" aspect of E-E-A-T directly on their web pages. What is said about your site on external platforms holds more weight than your own claims.

If your site exhibits low or absent E-E-A-T, overcoming this with mere author bios, About sections, navigation tools, or expert evaluations of your content is tough.

To gauge external opinions about your site, follow these steps:

  1. Search for your website on Google.

  2. Click the three dots next to your site's URL.

  3. In the pop-up, select "More about this page."

  4. This leads to Google's "About the source" section for your website.

This section presents references to your site from across the web, focusing on your website.

About the source

If the content here is sparse or negative, it's a key indicator of where to begin enhancing your site's reputation. 

Actions you can take include:

  • Focus on becoming a cited resource, with company updates, starting with lower tier wikimedia pages towards the coveted wikipedia page and/or source. 

  • Evolve your content standards

  • Leverage UGC and commenting in niche topics to flag collective experiences. 

  • Improve image indexation of your most important stories. 

  • Increase brand citations on external sites by devising campaign-led digital PR with content assets.


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