What's in this article?

Where Freshness Matters
Where Older Is Better
How and When to Create Fresh Content

Google isn’t happy when some of your old content begins to gather dust. At least that’s the new claim from Moz. The search giant is said to be preferencing fresh content marketing more than often than not. Patents filed by Google, from as far back as 2003, reportedly show that keeping your content’s “freshness factor” up will put your business’s entry higher up in search results.

So how is Google crawling for fresh new content? Does older content still matter? And how should your business respond? Read on to find out.

Where Freshness Matters

Inception Date – When Google first indexes a piece of your content or its algorithm first notes a link to it, your content gets a metaphorical freshness date stamp. As time passes, the boost of that algorithmic freshness factor diminishes — just as you’re less likely to pull out those leftovers the longer they sit in the fridge.

Amount and Type of Change – Just because a page has been on your site for awhile doesn’t mean it can’t see a boost. Editing an established page’s content, for instance writing a completely fresh “about” page, would give you a boost. It also matters what’s changed on a page. Moz claims changing the main body text on a web page has a greater effect than updating JavaScript or secondary text.

Update Frequency – Pages that change frequently also may do better. Here, we’re talking about your homepage. Fresh blog post, news updates, and other such series installments that make up your homepage content can help boost its score. A site with frequent updates throughout the year is scored differently than one changed only a few times a year.

New Page Creation – Of course a website that posts new blog entries and news updates is going to be adding pages to hold that content. The rate at which those new pages are created is also a ranking factor, says Moz. Some sites reportedly add 20-30% new pages annually. While that may be overkill for some businesses, it’s good to know that an actively growing web page can help your SEO.

Origin and Growth of Links – With all the great content being added to your site, you should see growth in the rate of inbound links. Google also reportedly preferences this external signal that your content is strong and relevant. It also helps if those pages that link to yours are scoring well for freshness. An outside healthy growing website associating with your healthy growing website looks very good to the algorithm.

Where Older Is Better

Still, newest isn’t always best, in the real world or on the web. As Google Fellow Amit Singhal put it, “Different searches have different freshness needs.”

Authoritative content, content which continually gets high engagement, and content which gets steady and sizeable traffic tends to rank better than the latest hot take on the topic. In such a case, the search algorithm may prefer well-aged content.

If yours is one of those well-aged pages, this is good news. On the other hand, it can mean your new content on the subject could have more difficulty This can mean that your own fresh content may have a harder time competing.

How and When to Create Fresh Content

As with all SEO, the goal of your content marketing plan shouldn’t become too narrowly focused on freshness for freshness sake. Instead, remember that freshness is preferred because it adds value for your website visitors.

So to add the most value for your online visitors consider doing the following, which incidentally will also help your freshness factor:

  • Add new content regularly.
  • Focus updates on core body text content.
  • Update your homepage content regularly.
  • Grow your inbound links consistently.
  • Court links from healthy active pages.

Working to improve these aspects of your online presence will help your freshness factor and your overall visitor experience and you should see the payoff in your SEO rankings.

Need more advice about keeping your website content fresh and new? Call 313-338-9515 or email hello@kaleidico.com to learn how our full-service digital marketing agency can help you reach your content marketing goals.

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