Fresh Web Site Content and SEO
How Often Should You Update Your Web Site?
In a recent announcement on Google’s Official Blog, Google says, search results are like warm cookies right out of the oven – the fresher the better. In other words, with recent improvements to their algorithm, Google can now check for and provide fresher, more recent results more easily than in the past.
It’s easy to understand why fresh results might better serve a searcher, if you consider some very specific search types like looking for news about say, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – clearly, most of the time, you will be interested in the current year’s parade –as always, you can specify otherwise with additional details or dates, but it’s a safe bet that a more generic search is looking for information about the upcoming, or most recent event.
The same might be true about a tradeshow or conference and for sure with product searches – especially those given to rapid change and upgrades, like electronics and software.
Apparently this has long been part of the Google algorithm but now Google says with its current refinements, especially those that enable Google to crawl and index fresh content more quickly, this could affect “roughly 35 percent of searches.”
What Is the Impact of the Content Freshness Variable, For Site Owners
This is likely to be a good change for searchers, but what does it mean for site owners? In an analysis on SearchEngineLand.com, Barry Schwartz asks, does rewarding freshness open Google up to a new type of search SPAM – “freshness SPAM” where competitors just keep republishing stories, perhaps with minor changes, to increase and enhance their “freshness score” and bump up their rankings? And how does freshness affect relevance in general? Of course, Google explains that the algorithm, as always, balances many factors against each other, looking always for the best (which generally still means the most relevant and most authoritative) results to serve to the searcher.
Don’t Let Your Site Get Stale
As we say often, for you, as a site owner, be sure you yourself would be happy with YOUR site, if you were a searcher searching on your most important keywords! Be sure your content is relevant AND current. Do what it takes to keep your site looking tended and up-to-date. Old content makes a site look abandoned. Fresh content, like warm cookies, makes for a satisfying experience!
Tell us your experience with content freshness and SEO – have you seen an impact on way or the other?
And as you plan your site launch or overhaul, be careful of these common SEO pitfalls!