Content Freshness: Does Fresh Content Influence SEO?

By | May 19, 2020

Many bloggers believe that new or fresh content does a lot for your article on Google search. This is true for some type of content but not for all. There are actually some niches that have to be updated with fresh content all the time.

However, there are others for which the time of publishing the content does not matter. Having fresh content can affect how an article ranks on search engines. There are factors that can relate to such. These are considered “indirect freshness” factors.

What is Content Freshness?

Fresh or new content is content that is frequently updated, or was recently published on a blog. Fresh content is the reverse case of stale content – that’s content that isn’t up to date for so long.

Why is Content Freshness Significant?

Content freshness is crucial because users are eager to get results that are recent, helpful, and relevant.

About 9 years ago, Google disclosed an update to its search algorithm which was “created to better comprehend how to identify the type of freshness you so desire” for separate queries.

Thus, for instance, when you conduct a search for trending events, you may likely observe web pages that are just a few minutes old ranking on the first page. Sequel to these search queries, the search engines came up with a resolution that relevancy matters more than just age.

How Does Google Rank Fresh Content So Fast?

In as much as we all know that Google rewards fresh content in a particular situation, the subsequent technical question is how does Google quickly rank original content? The simple answer to this is the Caffeine online indexing system that was released about ten years ago.

When Google is in the process of ranking fresh content, the Caffeine online indexing system makes it possible for Google to find and index new content.

Then, our presumption is that Google will find, crawl, and index fresh content more frequently than outdated content. Does keeping your content up to date trigger Google to crawl and index pages more constantly?

Does keeping your content up to date speed up its crawling more frequently and, thus, make it rank higher?

Classical SEO knowledge signifies to us that fresh content ranks better.

I have a few areas to expatiate here:

  • What does Content Freshness signify?
  • Does Google crawl fresh content more frequently?
  • Is fresh content more important in some niches than others?
  • Does frequent crawling influence rankings?

If you belong to a big organization, it isn’t sufficient to find out that “fresh content is search engine optimization practice”. Investing money, energy, and time into hundreds of thousands of pages on your site is not a little investment – you want to be sure that your spending is worth the ROI you’ll get with time.

What Makes Fresh Content?

Is it the content that has just been published today or content with frequent updates?

Fresh content means content that keeps changing. It doesn’t have much to do with when it was published but relates more with what is new that your audience can benefit from.

This could be new in terms of meaning or new in what it contains. So, the freshness of content isn’t necessarily newly-published content. It is also not the same thing as the frequency of publishing new content.

If for instance, I decide to publish a piece about “World War II”, I will definitely be publishing it for the first time on my site. However, could there be anything novel or fresh about it? Except if there has been some new discovery about what happened during the war, there will hardly be anything I will be writing that has not been written about it several times before.

So, there’ll hardly be anything fresh about my content. And to make such content rank high on search engines, I will have to do a lot of work getting it supportive backlinks and amplifications.

How is Freshness Different from Frequency?

Freshness has to do with the relevance of the content and how it relates to the contemporary situations. For example, coping with the economic reality of the COVID-19 Pandemic!

Frequency, on the other hand, has to do with how often you post content. It could be every day or once or twice weekly, but how often you do it. The benefit of posting frequently is that it makes it possible for your site to get crawled constantly.

So, search engines will move around such sites frequently to find what’s new to rank. Now compare a site that publishes daily with one that publishes just once a month. Which sites do you think search engines will crawl more? Definitely, it will be the site that publishes daily.

Likewise, for a site that publishes up to 10 or 15 articles daily, Google will crawl that site several times in a day to find new content for indexing.

There are some websites that don’t publish every day but have their content always ranking at the top. This means that you don’t necessarily have to publish every day to get your content ranked at the top. If you publish contemporary and relevant content, it is easier to get it to even rank more often.

Now, what is the Big Deal about Freshness Updates?

The Google caffeine update goes as far back as 2009 and developed gradually over the years with Google always on the lookout for “fresher results”.

This is why it is called the Freshness Update. It is the update used to index articles. Indexing an article gives it the potential to rank. Google indexes your article by taking a look at it and adding it to its index. But it ranks articles with a different and more complex algorithm.

QDF (Query that Deserves Freshness)

There are some queries to which Google always displays fresh results or updates. For such queries, Google will display the most recent results. Such content includes;

  • Content that gets updated frequently such as product reviews or release of new versions of a product
  • Recurrent events such as conferences and seminars
  • Current affairs and trending topics such as COVID-19 updates and tech trends

As we know, the information in such niches is constantly changing; hence, the need for recurrent updates! Some bloggers believe that by changing the date on your post, you can maintain its top ranking.

Google can tell the needs of its users when they run queries; so, it is capable of deciding which type of query should have the most recent search results. For example, queries for trending tech gadgets and national economic news!

It would not make much sense to place a query for trending phones in 2020 and get a search result that includes phones that were made in 2009. Definitely, newer brands and versions have replaced the ones made in 2009.

Likewise, when a query is run on how to survive on the economy in this time of COVID-19 Pandemic, it will not be right to bring up economic survival tips of 2010 or even 2015. Because the current reality of the world’s economy is different from what it was several years back, coupled with the COVID-19 scourge that is ravaging the world and bringing down economies.

So, the Caffeine and Freshness Algorithm Update of 2011 affects more general news, celebrities, and technology. These are examples of categories of topics that require regular updating. Let us take a look at other examples of queries that deserve fresh results:

  • Top gadgets for 2020
  • COVID-19 updates around the world
  • Best tourism countries for 2020
  • Trending men’s clothing
  • Current scientific breakthroughs

Engaging in changing dates just to maintain ranking on search engines is not a good strategy and does not tell well of bloggers that do such. It is better to give the content a boost in order to align it with more knowledge or events that have occurred after it was published. This will boost your ranking and add more value to your audience.

Factors that determine an article’s freshness:

  • The date the article was published
  • The performance of the article on social media. If the article keeps generating traffic and shares
  • If the article keeps getting backlinks, it shows that the article has much relevance and so, it is still fresh
  • If the article contains current information on events, people, places, governments, politics, and the like
  • If it is a topic that stands the test of time

Updating Your Article for Freshness

Having fresh content on your site allows search engines to crawl through your site and update their index with your article.

Freshness is not derived by changing the date that the post was published. In fact, Google frowns at that type of practice. It determines freshness by the time the published page was first crawled and the value it adds to users at a given time.

It is important that you always keep your articles up to date in terms of the quality of content and relevance to the users. You can also make changes to the title too.

Make sure that any updates you make are clearly visible. You can also share these updates on social media platforms as new articles. This will help you generate more traffic and backlinks.

Also, make sure that the updates are not short, insignificant ones. The more you update your content, the more frequently it gets crawled.

You can use Keyword and Content Optimization Tools for your updates. This will guide you on keywords that you can use for your topic to give additional relevance. Look out for the very important keywords.

If you have content that is ranking high, it is better to let it be because, sometimes, instead of affecting your content positively, it can have a negative impact on it.

Newly Published Content

Newly-published content is lacking in many things. It does not have much backlinks and distribution. This can reduce the chances of new posts ranking high on search engines. But new content can have many relevant keywords that will enable it to generate high traffic.

And when you post frequently, you are more likely to get more backlinks that will lead to a higher performance of your Domain over a period of time.

To get high traffic, you will have to consider the needs of your audience and publish quality and valuable content that can get them to regularly visit your site. When you use targeted keywords, you’ll increase the chances of getting your work ranked high on search engines and getting more traffic.

How Do SEOs Get to Rank Your Site?

The Click-Through Rate (CTR) is one factor that helps get your content rank high on search engines. Having more audience to visit your website and read your content is an indication that your site has valuable or important content.

To improve your Click-Through Rates, you need to have a good Title tag, the right URL and Meta Description because they all reflect in the search engines.

Quality of Your Domain

This is affected by the number of unique domains linked to your website. Consistent publishing, the right targeting and distribution, and an increase in backlinks work to improve the performance of your Domain. Your Domain performance affects the amount of trust Google accords your article.

Conclusion

Having fresh content on your site does improve the chances of your site getting crawled and your content indexed. Getting your content indexed gives it the potential of getting ranked.

Updating with relevant and enriching content gives your post higher chances of being considered a fresh update. It is also important to publish new content frequently to increase the chances of your site getting crawled, although, it is not just frequent publishing that determines ranking but the relevance and quality of your posts to your audience.

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6 thoughts on “Content Freshness: Does Fresh Content Influence SEO?

  1. israel Olatunji

    Thanks for the helpful post on content freshness! Search engines of today are smarter than search engines of those days; they rank content based on a myriad of signals of which content freshness, link quality, Domain Authority, Page Authority, and other crucial metrics are part.

    Your ranking improves as you update the old content on your blog; and fresh content isn’t about newly published posts only, but post updates. Updating posts older than 18 months would result in a higher ranking.

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hello there Israel, Search engines are getting smarter and smarter. You mentioned all great pointers within your comment. Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts!

      Reply
  2. Ami

    Hi there! Great & thoroughly explained content! 

    I’ve learnt some practical things about the importance & meaning of freshness of page content versus just a recent date. 

    Content is well presented, easy to read & understand. 

    Thank you for an insightful article! 

    Just a question…would a few internal /external links throughout content boost Google ranking? 

    Kind regards, 

    Ami  🙂 

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hi Ami, I appreciate your feedback! And to answer your question. Yes internal linking is always good practice, as long as its relevant. As far as external linking, personally I stray away from. If a domain you link out to disavows your link from their site, you can get a serious drop in search engines rankings. Its best to concentrate on quality content that will naturally attract quality links. Thank you so kindly for stopping by! Feel free to drop by anytime

      Reply
  3. evans

    I want to say that you are doing quite an amazing job educating everyone With your review on how best to get ranked by search engine optimization which is the  reason behind successful Google ranking…the important of a fresh content in your blog cannot be overemphasized at it helps visitors stay focus on seeing things to read about…

    thanks for sharing I look forward to creating French wanted to influence my search engine optimization just as you suggested

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hey there Evans, thank you so much for the compliment. Ranking high in SERPS is priority for most if not all online marketers. Content freshness is a sure strategy to get you there! Glad you enjoyed my post, stop by anytime!

      Reply

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