Keep it Fresh! Why Fresh Website Content Matters

Keep it Fresh Why Fresh Website Content MattersFresh Content is important on your website and it is CRITICAL for SEO.

It has been seven years since Google first implemented the technology analytics update to measure websites based on their “freshness”. Here is a snippet from Google explaining what the “Caffeine” search index means:

“With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before—no matter when or where it was published.”

This update essentially scores each page and orders search results utilizing these scores, giving consumers 50% faster and fresher results because they are taking small portions of the internet and analyzing them. Think of it like sitting in your favorite brunch joint, enjoying coffee. Each time they fill your cup a new layer is added to the top, the older layer may now be cold or stale and is harder to get to, compared to the fresh coffee layer on top. And wouldn’t you rather drink the fresh coffee? That is how Google sees fresh content as well.

Now, this may be an overwhelming idea to you because you may be thinking “Updating my website often is a daunting task to keep up on. I mean, the server comes around to refill my coffee every 3 mins. I could never keep up with that!”. However, we know what truly matters are QUALITY updates. So, leave behind the idea you need to go in and update your content every other hour or even every day (unless you are a news site!), instead take these five ideas into consideration.

This is what Google finds important when ranking websites for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. The AMOUNT of change on your page influences freshness
    • Here is an easy equation from Justin Briggs
      • U = f(UF, UA) or U = UA + UF
        • U = freshness factor
        • UF = How often your page sees change
        • UA = How much visible content, as a percent, has your site changed
      • To think about this in a realistic sense, updating larger, main body content is going to have more impact than updating javascript, ads, date/time tags, etc.
  1. The amount of time someone spends on your pages matter!
    • You want the update to provide quality text that will increase user engagement, increase the number of clicks to open your site and increase fresh links from other sites to your page. This will BOOST your ranking!
  2. When you add NEW pages with NEW content, you are also increasing your score. Some experts suggest adding 20-30% new pages per year.
    • Remember, Google is looking for QUALITY search results that provide SOLUTIONS
    • The more relevant the information is on your page to the search terms that are used (long or short), the higher your site will appear in search engine results
  3. Consider the frequency of fresh page updates
    • This is entirely dependent on your website’s function. Here are three factors to consider:
      • Do you report recent events?
      • Do you have regularly recurring events?
      • Do you have frequent updates to any information you are supplying?

According to Bill Slawski (SEO by the sea),

“Searchers want fresher content, they want to see what their friends and contacts have to say, and they want access to experts and authority sources and their thoughts on timely events and news”

Questions for you to consider when evaluating your website for freshness:

  • Does your business target an audience that pays attention to “trending” topics or hot products?
  • Do you have recurring monthly or weekly events?
  • What is new and exciting about your company in relation to what is new and exciting in the world?
  • What is someone who might visit my website searching for? Do I meet their needs?

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