09 Nov Google’s Latest Update: “Freshness”
Ever since the Caffeine update in June of 2010, Google has been improving its ability to update their index more and more quickly. Using that technology, they recently made another change to put their emphasis on the most current information available.
Websites with new information will be listed ahead of older sources, but to what degree we don’t yet know. Obviously this will not be the only determining factor. Relevance will still play a critical part, as will all of the other criteria, but we know that a large portion of the search results will be affected by this, around 35%.
What this new algorithm change means to you.
Our next step is to figure out how this will affect each of us and what we can do to a) avoid damage and b) use this to our advantage. Let’s look at the various factors that could be influenced by the new Google update.
We will have to wait and see how Google will use the new rankings in terms of link authority and PageRank, but it stands to reason that if newer sites are Google’s new favorites, and newer sites link to your site, then your site should benefit from the freshness of those links.
In other words: if your links are from fresher sites, this can only help your site look more important.
Recent events or hot topics.
Keep in mind that how much this update is going to affect your market is dependent on what keywords your customers are using. Searches for information that doesn’t change a lot will not be affected. If you search for “civil war battles”, there probably isn’t anything new out there to compete with. However, if you search for “Presidential candidate”, You probably don’t want to see information on John McCain or Ross Perot.
If your main competitors are newspapers and magazines, this update will make things harder. You will need to work extra hard to keep current info on your page to stay up with those websites. How to do this?
Report on relevant current events.
Respond to changes in your industry and with articles and advice.
Be proactive and reach out to your readers on issues that may directly or indirectly.
Post a blog
First and foremost, if you have been listening to the advice of your skilled SEO expert, your site should already have a blog and you should be making updates to it as frequently as possible. Google hasn’t told us what criteria that will be used to judge what they consider “new information”, but blogs have always been the best way to get your info that freshness factor we have been after you to promote for a long time.
Make frequent meaningful updates.
A website is a source of information and should never stop growing. Very few websites exist without new information for long. No matter what your website is about there should always be new info being added to it. New products, new studies, reviews on products, new technology. Find out what is new in your industry and comment about that on your website.
If your goal is to manipulate the search engine’s results, there are things you can do to get yourself to the top of the list for a short time, but if you really want to succeed, your goal will be to make your site deserve to be at the top of the lists. Use this new info to help you deliver what your clients want, and search engines will reward you for it.