Just like the way true fans to buy products from their favorite brand, similarly, Google loves fresh content.
It does not mean that Google always favors content, which is fresh. But if a search query needs freshness, Google definitely prefers fresh posts over the previous ones. Moreover, fresh content can have a great impact on SEO.
If you wish to learn the effectiveness and relevancy of fresh content, here read everything about it.
What is Fresh Content?
What does fresh content mean? Is it the content published today or one updated on a regular basis?
By definition, fresh content is the one, which is dynamic in nature, specifically in meaning. Hence, it is not much ‘new’ in relation to posting or time, but it holds a new meaning and discussed new data behind it.
Many times, people mix fresh content with the freshness of frequency.
So, let’s consider content, which has been published recently.
If you find a post, which is recently published and talks about ‘History of America,’ would you consider it as fresh content?
Surely not! It is because lots of posts are already available on this topic. Hence, the content, despite being published recently does not provide any information.
Moreover, the new post without any amplification and backlinks will find it difficult to rank, particularly when niches are competitive. In such a scenario, you need to make major link building efforts to dominate results within a novel page and this can be quite risky.
Frequency and Freshness – Relation between the Two
Frequency is quite same as freshness and often they intersect. However, this is not the case always. You can post something fresh on a daily basis or post fresh once a week.
Frequency ensures that the website is crawled often. It implies search engines use more of their resources on websites, which publish often as they need them. If you are publishing once in a month for the past year, why would Google visit your website every day? Sure, it would be a waste of resources.
But if you are posting the bulk of articles on your website on a daily basis, Google makes sure it checks the website innumerable times every day and index adequate results as early as possible and ultimately display the results to users.
Understanding Google Freshness Updates:
The aspect of fresh content began back in 2009. However, like most other events it became a huge conspiracy over the years.
1. Caffeine – The First Google Update:
The Google Caffeine update was introduced in 2009 and was a big deal then. This update is often considered today as an important Freshness Update. It is because Google uses phrases with fresher results.
Despite the update being announced in 2009, it rolled up in one year. It is because many people got it completely wrong.
There is no connection between rankings and Google Caffeine update. It focuses mainly on indexing. Indexing occurs when Google takes a look at the content and adds the same to index. It implies is holds the potential to get a higher ranking.
However, ranking is based on a much intricate algorithm. This algorithm was introduced in 2011.
2. Freshness Update – The Second Google Update:
The fresh content was ranking top even before the introduction of the first update from Google. An algorithm was developed in 2007 by Amit Singhal that preferred fresh content for some particular queries and subjects.
Such queries were known as QDF and Google preferred fresh content for such queries, which need freshness. The QDF is an abbreviated form of Query Deserves Freshness. For QDF phrases, Google shows up the most recent results.
It occurs in lots of areas as explained by Matt Cutt.
- Hot topics or topics related to recent events – Like natural disasters or celebrity news.
- Continuously recurring events – Like conferences
- Frequent updates – Like content that have new content added to it, like product reviews or something related to technology space.
There have been quite speculations, which states that only by altering the date of an article it is possible to make the content look fresh. Even, you can use algorithm changes to make Google set you at the top. But there are speculations that give fresh content higher ranking as the top.
Good examples of the same can be taken from SEO.
You might feel that fresher results rank higher than the previous ones. This is true to some extent, but it does not prove anything. It is because fresher results can sometimes rank below as well and they come from big websites like Hubspot.
But the ranking offered depends on lots of other factors as well. We will discuss the same in later sections. However, don’t think that if you are publishing a post recently, it will rank better.
What is Actually Affected by Freshness Update?
The Caffeine, as well as the Freshness Algorithm update in 2011, affected most new websites. It includes websites related to general news, technology, celebrities, politics, and more.
If you search for any topic related to these and similar categories, you will find that there is no post or article from 2010 or 2009. All of them are from 2019, or hardly one month old. Most of the articles listed are either day ago or even hours ago.
So, what do you consider in this situation?
Definitely, a post written in 2009 will serve no use for searches made during this year. People are always keen to know the latest in these categories and they even don’t click on outdated publishing. Moreover, Google is aware of this intent of users. Hence, it tries to match the best results.
Does Fresh Content Impacts SEO?
As already discussed, Google prefers fresh content in specific cases.
As stated by John Mueller, a representative from Google, updating content on a daily basis is a bad digital marketing strategy. And it would not help you rank better.
There were times when Google was more explicit and detailed in its answers. It is because Google does favor fresh content, however, only in specific areas.
QDF or Queries that Deserve Freshness:
Such queries are real and Matt Cutts has discussed the same before. There are a few search phrases like ‘top android phones’ which need freshness. Users wish to see latest and new posts, so you always have an upper hand if you are updating everything.
So, does that mean you can rank at the top by regularly changing the date of your post? The answer is no!
Does it imply that some articles will surpass other articles because of their posting date? The answer is yes!
But numerous factors signal freshness. Not only the date but the topic must grow popular on social media channels. Are these articles receiving new backlinks? So, is there anything that is happening now?
Are such answers contradicting to each other? I don’t think so. It is because Google is not perfect. It is also an algorithm.
Keeping Old Content Up to Date:
It is possible to rank better by updating old blog posts? It might help to some extent. But you cannot rank high by simply changing the date and even it is a kind of ‘hack.’
Google told users about one of the important factors, which determine freshness. And it is not its date!
Now, Google tells us that one of the vital freshness factors for the way the content is determined fresh or not is the time when a page is crawled first. So, if a page is published, the page can be changed and instantly it does not becomes fresh.
It clearly states that Google does not care if you keep altering the date.
So, does this mean that you must not update your posts? No!
It is of utmost importance to always keep your articles up to date. It does not relate only to the date, but also to quality, relevancy, and content.
If there are things, which have changed since the first time you’ve written an article, you must check and update the same. It is essential to make your content updates visible. It allows users to have a historical view of the events.
The important thing to remember is that the age of a domain or web page is not just the freshness. Updated content is also helpful for search engines and can help you score higher from content, which does not alter. In such a situation, the changing amount on a web page plays a vital role.
The age of the page is calculated from when it was first crawled. It is not only related to publishing date in the article, which can be non-useful as well. If you are making insignificant or small changes these changes will not make much effect on the rankings.
If you are aware that your post is outdated but you are now aware of how to improve it, you must use the Content and Keyword Optimization tool.
On one side of this tool, you will find a list of keywords, which you must use in your post to enhance its relevancy. Such keywords can be viewed as topics and must be covered when you are writing content. The keywords with dots are the most vital ones.
If you are aware of how to exactly do this, you can enhance SEO visibility by 700%.
However, you must remember that any change in content can lead to a negative impact as well. You must be prepared for this situation. If there is an article, which is already ranking on the top, it is quite better to leave it and check for other articles.
Posting New Content:
As I already discussed before, new content lacks distribution, links, and authority. It has higher chances of outranking older content. But publishing new content expands the numbers of keywords your website targets and hence leads to more traffic.
Simply, a post with higher frequency may not increase the overall ranking. Though it can lead to more backlinks, which results in better performance of domain over time, a post with a higher frequency is always guaranteed to offer increased traffic.
No wonder what others say, if there are thousands of followers and they check your post once in a week, but you make them read your content twice a week, you are increasing traffic for your website.
But for this, you have to post high-quality content. It is vital to structure the content well and you must have an account for the needs of your audiences. Don’t just blindly post anything.
Just be sure to use a keyword tool for maximizing your chances of gaining higher ranking on Google when new posts are created.
What Actually Impacts SEO?
In order to increase your SEO rankings by utilizing fresh content, here are some important factors that must take into consideration.
1. Targeted Keywords and Quantity:
If you are posting new content on a frequent basis, you can extend the search visibility by targeting novel keywords. This guarantees to drive more traffic if done in the right way.
2. CTR or Click-Through Rate:
It is an important ranking factor that has been proven and tested countless times. If users click the headline more and stick to your website, it notifies Google that your website is a good result.
CTR is impacted mainly by the following three aspects:
- Meta Description
- Title Tag
It is because all these aspects are disclosed in search results from Google. Just keep a track of where it is going and how many times have you seen the latest year in the title. You will find innumerable posts related to the same.
Using the present year in the title positively affects CTR, which can lead to higher rankings.
Should you alter the title every year? Probably yes! It is essential to make your article up to date. If you fail to do so, Google will catch up and levy penalty.
Also, you can redistribute and re-share the content as new on social media channels. It will let you gain traffic and new backlinks.
3. Domain Performance:
The performance of your website domain is related closely to its performance. If more content is published, distribute and target it properly to increase the number of backlinks to your website. This also results in better performance of the domain.
To Sum Up
It’s true that Google favors fresh content, but only to some extent. Freshness factors such as the current year in the title can affect CTR, which may lead to higher rankings. Finally, you can gain more links and ultimately more authority by publishing new content on your website.