You’ve been hearing it for years: Fresh content is influencing Google rankings.
But just what does that mean? What exactly is “fresh content?” How often does content have to be posted to be considered fresh? How long does it stay fresh? Does it have to be brand-new content?
The answer to those questions is “it depends.”
Google looks at how the content compares to the keyword search to determine what kind of freshness is needed.
For example, searches for recent events and hot topics like the recent shooting at the Orlando night club or the BET Awards will favor content that is brand new. Searches for things like “best minivans for parents” or “reviews for stand mixers” would match with content that is frequently updated.
Google looks at search volume, news coverage and social media to determine what kind of searches would need fresher content.
No matter what the search term, however, fresh content is usually better than older content, even if that content is evergreen.
Here are a few ways that Google determines how fresh your content is:
Of course, Google will look at the inception date of your content.
This date may not be the same as the date your content was published. It is the date that Google first becomes aware of your content, such as through search indexing or linking.
As the content ages, its freshness score will typically lower. However, certain types of searches would favor older and established content. The key is to find a way to match your content with the search query performed.
Changes Made to the Content
Sometimes, you don’t need to write a whole new piece of content on a subject, but you do need to update older information.
In this case, Google will look at what changes have been made to your content to determine its freshness.
You need to be updating major sections of text and not just adding a new sentence or making tweaks. Don’t think that you can go through your document and change the adjectives and have “fresh” content.
If you have a minor change to make, you may want to just go ahead and rewrite an entire paragraph or two around it to get yourself freshness points.
Frequency of Changes
You can’t update your content every few years and expect results. You need to update your content more frequently to show Google that you have fresh content.
News outlets score high for freshness since they typically update their articles frequently, especially for breaking news. They may publish a story and then go back and add or edit information as they learn more details.
You can do the same thing with a resource on your site. Just add to it or edit it as more information becomes available. For example, if you had a guide on SEO, you would update every time there is an algorithm change or a new feature is introduced.
New content is the freshest content, and if you are publishing new content frequently, your site will have a high freshness score.
Industry insiders recommend adding at least 20 percent to 30 percent more pages to your site each year. As your site grows, that will mean adding a larger amount of content each year.
Not only will you create stronger freshness signals for Google with your content, but you’ll also earn more links thanks to your fresh, new insights.
If you are getting a lot of new links to your site, there’s a good chance that you are publishing new content. Google will see those links and reward your site with a higher freshness value.
Links from fresh sites are better than links from older sites that are no longer updating.
Just know that if you suddenly get a huge increase in linking activity, Google could see that suspiciously and treat the links as spam. Focus instead on steady link building to show Google that your site is fresh and relevant.
Traffic and Engagement
If a lot of people are coming to your site, commenting and otherwise engaging, that’s a good sign that your site is also offering fresh and relevant content.
Google will look at what pages users click on, how much time they spend on the page and other activity they engage in while there.
Some tool helps with your user engagement by getting the right visitors to your page. Our platform uses an advanced algorithm that better matches the content with users so that they stay on your site longer and engage more with your site. That helps increase your freshness ranking and improves your sales and conversions.
Take advantage of these tips to improve the freshness of your site and start getting the search traffic you need. You’ll get more brand exposure and increase your sales and leads.