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Google – Fresh Is Best

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday October 6, 2012 )

Do you have a stack of stale content kicking around your sites? I know I do. It would probably be wise to freshen it up a little.

Even “evergreen” content, articles and such that aren’t tied to specific one-off events or dates can get old and jaded. Maybe minor points become irrelevant or situations change.

Aside from that issue, there’s also the search engine ranking aspect. Google recently provided (a little) insight into some of the tweaking it performed behind the scenes of search in August and September.

There are 65 changes listed, among them was this:

“Imadex. [project “Freshness”] This change updated handling of stale content and applies a more granular function based on document age.”

If you have some older content that seems to be losing its rankings grip, instead of just performing SEO tweakery, take a look at the content in its entirety. Is it still totally relevant? If not, update it. Also add new valuable information to it if possible. A few minutes work can give it new life – not just in terms of its ranking, but value to the reader.

I’ve tried this on one of my sites and while it may be coincidence, I found substantially freshening old articles did see them perform a little better. I also update the publish date where relevant when done and re-tweet them. At the top of the article, I note “first published (x date), last updated (y date). Among other reasons, this is to signal to readers who may remember having seen the article before that there may be new useful information in the piece.

Another “fresh” related tweak Google recently performed was this:

#83761. [project “Freshness”] This change helped you find the latest content from a given site when two or more documents from the same domain are relevant for a given search query.

To check out the other 63 changes Google made to search in the last couple of months, read the related post on InsideSearch.


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