The Conley Index™

Whether you’re a publisher or a content marketer, you’re spending a fortune on content.

But is what you’re paying for any good? How do you know?

Measuring the quality of content is complicated, challenging and — particularly to some journalists — controversial.

But it’s also extraordinarily important.

Paul Conley is the creator of The Conley Index™ — a proprietary and trademarked method of quantifying the quality of editorial content. Paul has used the techniques of The Conley Index™ to measure — and improve — content quality at some of the biggest companies in the business-to-business world.

The key idea of The Conley Index™ is to measure the quality metrics that your brand values. This is NOT a one-size-fits-all approach. The Conley Index™ is designed so that a content-aggregation play can learn how it performs within the context of content aggregation. A hard-news site with a focus on breaking news is measured against the standards of classic journalism. Whether you publish how-to articles or investigative pieces, long-form narratives or 140-character tweets, The Conley Index™ applies specific, appropriate and targeted metrics.

Objective and consensus-based
The Conley Index™ is a consensus-based system. Rather than impose a set of standards or metrics, Paul meets with members of the content team and pushes them to reach consensus on a variety of quality metrics.

If the content team can’t reach consensus on the value of a particular measurement, it’s not included.

The result is that The Conley Index™ avoids subjectivity. Or, as Paul says, “I admire a well-crafted sentence as much as the next guy, but I won’t count the number of elegant phrases per 1,000 words and use it as a metric, because I can’t get consensus on what makes for an elegant phrase.”

The possible uses of The Conley Index™ are varied. You can use it to get a snapshot of how well a brand measures up to its own standards. Or you can use it to compare your brand to your competitors. Used in conjunction with more common measurements (pageviews, renewal rates, leads generated, etc.), The Conley Index™ offers clear steps to improve performance by improving quality.

For more on The Conley Index™, read this piece from Paul’s blog on quantifying quality.

If you’d like to talk about how The Conley Index™ could help your company, drop an email to