When it comes to SEO, content freshness is among the most important factors that Google focuses on to decide where to place your website listing on its search engine results pages. Google measures every single document for freshness. It then gives a score to each page, based on the type of search query. Although several queries demand fresh content, Google still uses older content for other queries. This is incredibly important information for online marketing and web design firms. Knowing this is of great value. There are three types of search queries that need fresh content: recent events, events that recur on the regular, frequent updates. Examples include:

  • Recent events: “Trayvon Market vs. Mike Zimmerman”
  • Recurring events: “UEFA Champions League Scores”
  • Frequent updates: “Honda Civic reviews”

It is important to note that the specifications of how Google’s search algorithm functions is still fairly nebulous. It is still mostly speculation, based on a limited amount of information; still theories, but certainly grounded in reason and logic. Nothing trumps actual experience. Taking some time to experiment, using trial and error, is highly recommended. Doing so can bring to one a deeper understanding of how the search algorithm operation. It’s just that it may take a good while – perhaps over a year – to learn something significant, but don’t let that time span discourage you. The knowledge extracted will be a burst of illumination that can and will accelerate exponentially. And this, no doubt, is knowledge that can be utilized to improve impressions and conversions.

1. Freshness by Inception Date

Any particular webpage is given what is called a “freshness” score, depending on its respective inception date. It is incredibly important to note that this score decays over time. The freshness score can help expand the visibility of a particular morsel of content for certain search queries; however, its visibility wanes as the content becomes older.

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2. Document Changes Affects Freshness

It isn’t just how old a webpage is that influences the freshness factor. What plays a huge factor is how much change one makes on his or her own website. For instance, the alteration of a minor sentence will not have nearly as great of a freshness impact as a larger change.

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3. Rate of Document Change

Content that is altered on the regular is scored differently than content that is altered less frequently. The frequency of content alteration is another factor that makes a big difference SEO-wise. For example, take a look at the homepage of Fox News. It makes updates to its website every single day, including on weekends. Fox News will get a higher score in the eyes of Google’s ranking methodology than a website that makes updates once a week, even if that one article gets greater hits than the hits Fox gets on all of its articles combined. True, that one article will be ranked higher than any of Fox’s articles, but overall, Fox will be rated just as high, if not higher, thanks to freshness of content. Of course, the content still has to be valuable and view-worthy. An article with nothing but keywords that is just incoherent will not do.


To be continued.