Fresh content has long been a crucial aspect of building your business’s online presence. But with recent changes to Google’s algorithm, updating your site with fresh content has become more important than ever before. Google now evaluates all of your content for freshness and scores each page depending on the type of search query. Search queries that always require fresh content include recent events, hot topics, regularly recurring events (e.g., the Olympics), and frequently updated topics (e.g., product reviews). That being said, old, authoritative content is more favorable than new content for certain queries.
Web pages are given freshness scores based on their inception date, or the date when Google’s search bots first indexed them. Freshness scores can boost a web page’s rankings for certain queries. As the freshness score degrades over time, its ability to boost rankings for those queries decreases.
The amount of change on a web page also plays a role in determining its freshness score. Large changes to the main body text of a web page tend to have the most impact. What’s more, content that changes frequently is scored differently than content that only changes once every few years. Websites that add new pages at a higher rate, such as blogs, also have a higher freshness score.
The regular creation of high-quality content also helps you build more backlinks to your website because by doing so, you provide other websites and blogs with content they want to link to. In turn, an increase in your website’s link growth rate could be a signal of freshness and relevance to search engines.
The Importance of User Behavior
User behavior is another indicator of a website’s freshness. If the content on your website is old and out-of-date, people will spend less time on your site. For example, if you have a summer event schedule for 2011 posted, people will simply return to the search results and visit another website to find up-to-date information. Google picks up on this behavior and scores your website based on its findings, so make sure that your website content is as up-to-date as possible.
Websites that continually publish new content give both users and search bots a reason to come back. The result is an overall improvement in online exposure and an enhancement in organic SEO. Your website must be fresh, relevant, and most importantly, useful. After all, the goal of search engines is to deliver results that are highly relevant to users’ queries.
Regularly assess your website’s content to ensure that it is fresh and remove information that no longer serves the needs of your audience. In addition, launch a blog if you haven’t already. Blogging is the easiest way to publish new content on your website. Blog posts tend to rank well in search engines, enable you to rank for a variety of keywords, and drive more traffic to your website. Adding new videos and multimedia content as well as the latest client testimonials to your website will also help to keep it fresh.
Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A.