Keeping Your Site Google Fresh for Search Engine Optimization
If you been following us for while, or know anything about our search engine optimization strategy, you know that having fresh relevant content that will engage your visitors and provide the answer to what they are searching for is very important.
The new Google Fresh algorithm update
On November 3rd Google Fellow Amit Singhal posted on the official Google Blog about a new algorithm update that is intended to give searchers “fresher, more recent search results”. The premise behind the algorithm change is pretty basic: people are often searching for current results.
The impact on your search engine optimization plans really depends on if you already incorporate regular new content or not.
Updating your Search Engine Optimization Plan
It’s time for a little search engine optimization tuff love. For most of us creating new content that is valuable, engaging and useful to our site visitors on a regular basis is a real PITA. Unless you have a full time writer on staff it usually involves someone doing something that is both outside of their general duties, and may even be uncomfortable. But here’s the deal; if you want the organic traffic you must continually produce this high quality content for your readers, it’s a basic fact of search engine optimization.
Your SEO plan, if it did not already, must now include regularly published new content on your site. Why? Because Google just basically told you that it is putting a lot of weight on the freshness of your stuff, so its importaint for search engine optimization.
But here’s the catch: The Google Fresh update is only intended to target searches that have “freshness needs”. So what you should be asking yourself is what aspect of your product or service would trigger a “freshness need” to Google?
Here’s a quote from Amit’s blog post:
“There are plenty of cases where results that are a few years old might still be useful for you. [fast tomato sauce recipe] certainly saved me after a call from my wife reminded me I had volunteered to make dinner! On the other hand, when I search for the [49ers score], a result that is a week old might be too old.
Different searches have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers.”
Finding keyword phrases that have a “freshness need” and are in line with what you provide to your visitors may now be a great way to get fast, relevant, top search results and can add a big boost to your search engine optimization efforts. Here are a few topics that Google has identified as having a “freshness need”, it’s certainly a good idea to incorporate them in your search engine optimization efforts:
- Recent events or hot topics
Are there any recent events or hot topics that relate to your business that are currently trending on the Internet? (Some current examples might include the occupy Wall Street protest, the NBA lockout, or any other major news event that is currently occurring.)
- Regularly recurring events
What regularly recurring events involve something that may be of interest to your readers? (Conferences, meetings, trade shows, sports score updates, corporate events, earnings updates, etc…)
- Frequent updates
This category opens up a whole new bag of tricks for anyone involved in retail. Most consumer products are updated relatively frequently. For example if I was to search for “Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Reviews” I am more likely to want to a review of the most recent version of the vehicle, not how the prototype worked. This reaches much further than vehicles for search engine optimization purposes, it works for almost any consumer product; toothpaste, TV’s, cameras, weight loss products, etc…
How much fresh content should I include in my search engine optimization?
Well “it depends”… I know – the ubiquitous non-answer answer to an important search engine optimization question. But the truth is: it does depend on a lot of factors; here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How much quality content are you and your team/resources capable of creating?
- How much fresh content do your top competitors produce?
- How often are there updates or events that focus on your industry?
- How often is fresh content included in the results for your keyword searches?
Thinking about, and researching the answers to these questions for your market should leave you with a pretty good idea of the volume and frequency of content you need to produce to meet your search engine optimization goals as they relate to the Google Fresh update.
Always keeping your capabilities in mind you can estimate whether you need daily, weekly, or monthly updates to include in your search engine optimization plan and stay fresh in the eyes of Google and your visitors.
Even if your business does not have anything going on in any of the categories above, it is important to publish something new at least on a monthly basis, growing your site and visibility for your products and services and anchoring your search engine optimization efforts in great content.
For most seasoned SEO’s this update came as no big surprise, having fresh relevant content on your site should always be part of your core search engine optimization plan.