The big search engines like Google, Bing, etc., typically favor websites with fresh content. Updating your website with fresh content more frequently will result in faster indexing. So, let’s see what fresh content means to Google and how to create it.
What Fresh Content Means to Google
From Google’s perspective, fresh content refers to any content you recently updated, rewrote, and published. Search engines, as well as users, appreciate new content because it’s new and it may be more relevant or reflects current trends.
Since Google rolled out its freshness algorithm update in 2011, the search engine giant now favors websites that publish trending and time-sensitive content.
Every URL that is published online, has 4 dates associated with it. The first one is the date that you upload the page online. The second date is when the search engines index the page. The third date is when the bot last crawled the page. And the fourth date is when you last changed the page.
For example, any time you update and republish a page on your website after the first crawl, it will show that you recently edited the content.
However, the page will show as having been modified if you update it without republishing.
Now that you understand what fresh content means to Google, let’s quickly check how Google measures content freshness.
How Does Google Estimate the Freshness of Your Content?
Google measures the freshness of your website content through a number of factors. Here are some of these factors;
- The page inception date (when Google indexes the page).
- How often you update the page.
- The number of pages you have done to the core content of the page.
- How often you create a new page for your website. Your freshness score goes higher every time you create a new page, so the more frequently, the better.
- How recent are the backlinks to your web pages?
Is Content Freshness a Google Ranking Factor?
Content freshness is definitely an important SEO ranking factor. It gives trust signals to search algorithms. Users typically consider the freshness of content before clicking on any of the search engine results as well.
Here are a few of the query categories that allow for search engines to consider the freshness of your content;
- Recent events
- Trending topics
- Recurring events and reports
- Continuous, but constantly changing information like product reviews
In addition, search engines may or may not consider the freshness of your content for query categories like food recipes, evergreen topics, historical facts, or broad topics.
Best Practices for Improving Your Freshness Score
Knowing what fresh content means to Google is not enough to get the job done. You will have to understand some of the best practices for improving the freshness of your content. Some of these strategies are;
#1. Check Search Result Pages
One of the best practices for improving your freshness score is to check search engine result pages. Search for the keywords relating to your content on search engines and observe the first 15 to 25 results. Pay more attention to the top-ranking results.
For example, if you search for the “best digital marketing trends 2021”, you will get something like this:
From the screenshot, you can see that recency of content is crucial for this particular keyword.
#2. Publish New (Evergreen) Content Regularly
Publishing new content is one of the most effective ways to increase your freshness score. Do as much keyword research as possible and post content regularly.
It could be time-sensitive or evergreen content. Ensure that you publish content consistently. Like I mentioned earlier, the more frequently you publish your content, the more often Google crawls your website.
#3. Regularly Update Old Content
From what I have written so far, you can tell what fresh content means to Google. If you are unable to publish new content on a consistent basis, then you should update your old content, so as to attract the Google bots to crawl your website.
#4. Give Attention to Already Ranking Content
This is an area where most business and website owners get it wrong. Once their content begins to rank on Google’s first page, they tend to stop updating that content.
However, if you don’t update the content that already ranks for your website, then the recent content will outrank those pages. So, as you create new articles and additional content for your website, never neglect the content that is already ranking.
#5. Submit Your Content to Google through Search Console
Don’t just publish your content. Try to submit every piece of content you publish to the Google search console. Google crawls your content faster when you submit it to the Google Search console.
When to Update, Republish, or Publish New Content
You already know what fresh content means to Google. But when do you update, republish, or publish new content?
As mentioned before, Google bots may crawl your pages more frequently if you publish content on a regular basis.
This is what Ahrefs suggests about fresh content;
- If you operate in a niche where fresh content is crucial, try to update your page frequently or publish new articles on trending topics.
- If fresh content is important but not crucial, then allow yourself to focus more on updating your existing content. If your ranking drops, you should revise and republish the pages that are not performing.
- However, if fresh content is not important in your niche, create more insightful, valuable, and evergreen content.
How to Know if You Need to Refresh Your Content
Now that you understand what fresh content means to Google, how do you know if you need to refresh your content?
Here are some tips on understanding when it’s time to refresh your content;
- Track your page performance metrics. These metrics will give you an idea of whether to update or revise your content.
- Check your keyword and query data.
- Look at the position history of your website.
- Check your clicks and impressions.
If updating your content seems too much for you, we can help you handle your content marketing. Tycoono delivers leading content marketing services that focus on growing your business.