Google has thrown her fresh updates to the public!
Google’s latest update—which is being referred to as Google Fresh, has inspired a flurry of speculation and prognostication in the SEO community at large. This is to be expected, and is actually part of the normal state of affairs in the industry.
It’s only been nine-months since the Panda Update turned the world upside down for content farmers and spam slingers. In the past nine months it’s been necessary to beef up on great quality original content to stay ahead of the game and create a base upon which to build-up and achieve rankings.
Now along with ‘great quality’ and ‘original’—both of which describe quantitative metrics—a third metric has been added: ‘freshness.’
In order to cull dated results from the SERP, Google built out a function of their algorithm that scours XML sitemaps for timestamps, rating pages relative to the recency of their content-update in relation to the level of web-wide activity around the topics the site is discussing.
In laymen’s terms: how fresh your content is, is going to matter in terms of how you’re ranking from now on.
This shift in the algorithm’s ranking metrics will have some affect somewhere between 6% to 35% of all websites being indexed by Google according to their Official Blog, giving priority to those publishing new content to their domains regularly. Updating your content on a regular basis was already essential: now it is moreso.
As a freelance writer of web-content, this news warmed the cockles of my heart. Panda has already injected a huge amount of demand into the copywriting market. This new update will raise that demand to a fever pitch. When I heard the news my earliest thought-process could be summarized in two words: ‘job-security….[* Relieved sigh *]…
As an SEO or content-writer, you need to inform your clients of this change and recommend some of the following strategic shifts to stay competitive:
-More regular blogs posts
-A fresh draft of content on landing pages.
-Possibly an addition of automatically updating social media API’s or a built-in calendar that releases rotating content on a schedule.
-More offsite content (PR)
If you are a business-owner and not a professional SEO you should be advised: the importance of freshness will be relative to the keywords that you are trying to rank for.
If you are a Pencil Manufacturer or a Parking Garage Management Company, there’s a good chance that there is not a lot of activity around your keywords: your industry is in pretty much the same shape this year that it was last year. Your product this year, is the same as it was last year.
If—on the other hand—you are a New York Restaurant or a Chicago Hotel, the landscape around your business and your keywords is going to be constantly in flux.
Whereas previously when you were competing for geo-local search, you needed to mention fixtures—for example if you were a Chicago Hotel in the River North District it would be a good idea for you to mention Navy Pier, Merchandise Mart, Millenium Park etc.—now it will be necessary for you to occasionally mention current events in the area that are relevant to your keywords.
If you’re a hotel that will include everything from conventions to concerts to sporting events, and a whole host of other possibilities.
By emphasizing timeliness, Google is beginning to force SEO to merge with PR—a direction we’ve been headed in for a while now. There are two polarities that need to be considered in response to this update: timeliness and relevance.
If you’re producing content frequently, but it’s not relevant to your industry or your keywords it will be useless to you, obviously. On the other hand if your content is great, authoritative and high-quality, but you are in an industry where there is a lot of competition, and you are not releasing content on a regular basis, you will fall behind.