While the inner workings of the algorithms that govern how a website is ranked on Google or other search engines are kept as closely guarded secrets, there are trends that become apparent over time and through experience. One of these is that the “freshness” of your content matters. Your content has a bigger upward influence on your search ranking the newer it is. When you write a blog post or create a web page and it is noticed by Google bots and those belonging to other search engines it is at the height of its freshness. Overtime this freshness decays to a lower level.
Why is Fresh Content Important?
This makes sense when you think about it from the perspective of search engines. Google or any other search engine wants the most relevant and interesting topics at the top of their search engine results so that customers consistently find what they are looking for. The more people find what they are looking for the more people will use that search engine and the more money people will pay them for advertising.
Ranking sites by “freshness” is a logical way to decide which pages are going to be more up to date and useful. If you were searching for “top ten cameras” would you rather a post which was one month old be the top suggested site or a post which was two years old? The page which is two years old is likely to be completely out of date and won’t offer you any useful information and so search engines are unlikely to want to return this result to you near the top.
What Can Fresh Content Do For Your Website?
What does this mean for your website? Firstly and most obviously fresher content is better.
If you want to compete at the top of the search engine rankings you need to consistently produce fresh content for your website that is relevant and of a high-quality. Gone are the days when keyword stuffing an article or blog post can net you any serious gain in the search engines.
Secondly it is logical that a site that is more regularly updated with fresh content will rank higher than a site that produces fresh content less regularly. Consider two sites, both regularly updated and full of useful information on a topic. One produces new articles once a week; the other produces relevant articles once a day. Both sites are relatively fresh but the website which updates more often will be preferred, all other factors equal. This website is slightly fresher most of the time (since it will have updated more recently on most days) not to mention the added benefit of having more content.
Quick Tip List – Fresh Content =
- Higher Rankings because Google loves fresh content.
- More content for your readers to keep them interested.
- Keeps your website up to date with the latest information.
- Brings in more traffic and lowers Alexa ranking.
If you’re not sure if fresh content really works, just take a good look at this website. Hesham always publishes content that is of top quality and publishes often. This is a perfect example of how fresh content can build a fantastic blog.
Fresh Content Must Be Better
Fresh content is a big factor in the ranking stakes but that’s not the only thing you need. (content is not the only king you know!)
Again Hesham is a perfect example of this. The content he publishes on this site is fresh, informative, and of fantastic quality.
There are a few ways to create better content:
1. Content That is Better by Default
If you have a unique piece of content that not many sites have then you might be the best by default. Of course if there is no competition then your it! But just be careful because other webmasters will catch on and produce similar content. Being the best by default does not happen very often now and when it does it may not last long.
2. Fresh Content That is OK but NOT BETTER
Some webmasters create content that is not better than others, just on par. This kind of content gets them ranking maybe on the first page, but possibly not in position one. Not standing out with better content sees a short ranking cycle.
3. Fresh Content to Knock Off Evergreen Aged Content
I have some top ranking articles that have held their position for five years or more. I guess you could call this evergreen content. (Content that is always relevant) But the thing is, someone can come along and create a fresh piece of content that can out rank me at any time.
If someone tried to do this they would need to:
- Create an awesome article that is better than mine!
- Search engine optimize this article.
- Create authority back links leading to this article.
- Catch up with the social sharing and exposure.
- And more…
The first task in this list is a huge job in itself and the average Webmaster does not take the time to do this kind of thing. They just create content that will get them by. This is where the line is drawn between an average website and a top ranking successful website.
Therefore fresh content has to be better!
This leads me to my next point….
Never Settle For a Large Quantity of Fresh Content over Quality
However often you produce new content for your website it is still vitally important that you keep the quality high. Freshness without quality is better than nothing but will never get you to the top of the search engine rankings unless you have virtually no competition. The more up to date your website is and the more quality content you have the more visitors will flow to your site, but stop updating for just a few weeks and you’ll soon be seeing your competitors fast approaching in the rear view mirror.