On The Page Factors: Content Freshness

Different searches have different freshness needs.

-Amit Singhal, Google

What’s a better way coming off a long weekend than talking about keeping your content fresh?

Content Freshness:

Content Freshness is more than just regularly updating your SEO wordpress blog or Web site. Adding new pages won’t increase content freshness either.


What makes content fresh?

Google crawls the pages of your Web site and measures all content freshness. They score each page according to search queries. However, Google still uses older content for some search queries.

Google uses a fresh factor to determine what needs to be updated more like:

  • Recent events – Iowa Caucus
  • Regular events – Sports
  • Frequent updates – Consumer Report reviews

Cyrus Shepard gives us 10 reasons content freshness influences rankings.

  • Freshness by inception date – Your pages become less fresh over time.
  • Document changes influences freshness – The amount of text changes on your Web page influences freshness. The more you write, the bigger (hopefully)  influence you get.
  • The rate of document change impacts freshness – Content that is updated frequently is scored differently than content that doesn’t.
  • Freshness influenced by new page creation – SEO blogs that add content everyday gets higher freshness scores than other Web sites that don’t. “Some SEOs insist you should add 20-30% new pages to your site every year. This provides the opportunity to create fresh, relevant content, although you shouldn’t neglect your old content if it needs attention.”
  • Changes to important content matter more – Changing new content is more important than changing other parts of your Web site and much older content.
  • Rate of new link growth signals freshness – An increase in links can signal fresh factors. However, beware of spammers that could hinder your Web site.
  • Links from fresh sites pass fresh value – Similar to above, if those Web sites that are linking to your’s are also ranking high in freshness will help in fresh ranking.
  • Changes in anchor text signals may devalue links – Changing formats  of your Web site could shift all of your incoming anchor text. So many changes could make the old anchor text no longer relevant and cause them to devalue.
  • Use behavior indicates freshness – Users who spend more time on your Web site will have higher freshness ratings than Web sites that spend less time.
  • Older documents still win certain queries – “Google’s patent suggests they determine the freshness requirement for a query based on the average age of documents returned for the query.”

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