Fresh content is important for search engine optimization (SEO) signals. That’s par for the course. That’s arguably SEO 101 right there. Many webmasters invest in writers and article creators (formerly article spinners until Google put a stop to article spinning as a viable SEO resource care of the Google Penguin update) in order to reap the benefits of having fresh content each time. Publishing blog updates that include a webmaster’s take on the freshest news, topics, and viral videos across the web is a surefire way to attract people to your website, since you’re able to keep yourself relevant that way.
Content Freshness versus Quality Content
Google itself has talked about how there’s a boost in rankings for any page that’s frequently updated, which means that new sites and blogs tend to get favored more by search engines than the more static sites out there that update their content once in a blue moon (or sometimes it’s a CCS update instead, wherein the look of the site is the first to change before any new content is added). Freshness, it would seem, is an all-important signal in the world of SEO. Nevertheless, webmasters should remember that fresh content doesn’t necessarily mean quality content. It’s much more preferable to post quality content in sporadic updates than regularly updated subpar content.
It’s still more important to have valuable, descriptive, informative, and useful content instead of just making updates for the sake of updating. Google understands that users prefer quality over freshness. Then again, freshness is still important, and quality content that’s fresh is the best-case update scenario. Quite a lot of websites update their content, but most of these updates are nothing to write home about, so they end up with blogs and whatnot that are rarely visited. It’s wrong to say that freshness equals quality that improves user experience, but it does play a part in making it likelier for people to visit your site in the interest of updates and current trends.
The Caffeine Indexing System and Its Impact
There has been a lot more focus on fresh content ever since Google’s Caffeine Indexing System was introduced in November of 2009. The third anniversary of Caffeine’s launching… November 2012…. marked a new “freshness” update that affected 35% of all websites, which means freshness has an even greater impact on search engine result pages (SERPs) than the Panda update, which affected only 11% to 12% of sites. Even though Panda remains a big deal on the SEO front, freshness is proving to be a factor as well. Freshness of content is also important because most users don’t think like webmasters.
Regular users have no idea what SEO or keywords mean and they certainly don’t care about a website’s ranking. What they do care about, though, is seeing a website get updated regularly, because a site that barely has any updates is the rough equivalent of a virtual ghost town. Google has been providing its users with fresh links and well-updated sites simply because that’s what they want to see on top of quality content. If you can produce both while still keeping abreast of the latest trends (which people will naturally flock), then you can take full advantage of Google’s increased concentration on freshness as an SEO signal.