Fresh Content Reigns Supreme
You may have heard the phrase “Content is King.” With the latest algorithm update from Google, two modifications aid in content’s ruling power over search results: relevancy and timeliness. With this update, perhaps instead of “King,” a more apropos phrase would be “Content is the Fresh Prince.”
Thursday, November 3, Google announced an update to keep search results “fresh.” This unnamed algorithmic update is related to the Caffeine infrastructure update that found a way to crawl more information faster. This freshness update is said to affect 35% of searches, which sounds alarming when you consider that Panda was said to have affected only 12% of searches. So what can site owners do so they don’t take a hit like with Panda?
If there were a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Google” updates, then “DON’T PANIC” would undoubtedly have to be printed in large friendly letters on the cover. In the case of the latest update, most sites don’t need to panic. This Google freshness update seems to have had a subtler effect than the Panda change.
The purpose of this Google algorithm update is to provide search results that are relevant. For example, Google says that someone searching for “Summer Olympics” is likelier interested in the upcoming Olympic Games rather than the ones from the 1900s. This is a safe and logical assumption. A relevant article written in today is also more likely to be given a higher search listing than an article from last month.
Since this is logical and pretty much common sense, most site owners are already on top of the game just by updating regularly and removing irrelevant content. An important thing to remember though is to not only regularly update the content, but also make sure the sitemap is kept updated.
Keeping Up with the
For sites such as colleges and schools with more “static” content, the impact of this update won’t be as extreme as it would be for a blog about celebrities or a news corporation site. In other words, sites that compete for search queries about events or news will have to work harder to stay up-to-date with new and relevant content.
Take Kim Kardashian for example. Searching for her a week or two ago might have yielded search results about her wedding to Kris Humphries. Searching for her a week ago would have led to news articles about her filing for divorce. But searching for her this week is littered with news posts about her already regretting her divorce. To stay in the top search results, celebrity gossip sites really need to be on top of their game to keep up with the other posts about the Kardashians.
“Different searches have different freshness needs,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal wrote in a Google blog post about the update. “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.”
A site competing for search queries about static keyterms such as “Massachusetts Medical Assisting Program” won’t have to work as hard as sites competing over current events and topics. Unless there is a breaking news story, these “static” results won’t experience such rapid change in listings. But that isn’t to say a site with more “static” content can just sit back and relax. Keep trying to find ways to stay fresh and see if you can relate to recent events and hot topics. If there is any news about your brand, post about it in a timely manner and be sure that any recurring updates or new stories are also covered. And always, keep an eye on the competition.
Getting Social & Trending Topics
You might have noticed that social sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be some of the fastest ways to find fresh news. Sure the Trending Topics on Twitter are often dominated by Beliebers (Justin Bieber followers), but they do offer a good insight about what people are searching for at the moment and are interested in talking about. You might also notice a lot more Twitter posts slipping into the tops search results with this Google freshness update.
Some form of blogging --- whether using a microblogging service such as Twitter or a full-length blog – is an easy way to capitalize on the latest Google update. The newly generated Google search results are including a lot more article links, not domain links, so a blog helps provide those types of links about topical events. Just don’t start a blog and expect magic. You have to frequently update with quality content.
Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm to make sure users are getting the greatest experience possible from search results. The trend in Google changes continues to emphasize content.
PlattForm will continue to follow and report on the frequent Google and search engine updates to help keep your site relevant not only for the search engines, but the people using them.