In 2011 Google released their Freshness update which was a highly significant change to the algorithm. The update was designed to build on the Caffeine update a year earlier.
The update when it was announced impacted over thirty percent of all searches, that focused on providing the user with newer-type search results, this made SEO guru’s take notice of it.
Why The Name?
The fresher results tag came from the official Google announcement regarding Inside Search Blogs.
Why The Update?
The prediction for the amount of data that will be generated for 2017 meant that Google had to act to accept all this new information, and keep up with the demand for newer and fresher material.
All this new content had to be identified, ranked and prioritised within Google’s search index. There was an investigation (ReadWrite) article that stated that up to 20% of queries asked daily have never been previously asked.
The greatest importance of this update is to prioritise recent content that is particularly concerned with news events, current trends etc. and where the user needs to know the latest data.
For instance somebody searching for a current celebrity boyfriend wants to know the latest one, not the old one. So content that is time stamped, with plenty of sharing and recent backlinks will now displace previous ranked content which has no updates.
Who Was Impacted
On the face of it the new changes affected roughly a third of all searches, and it also appeared that many sites gained from this change. This is an unusual trait for Google’s algorithm changes.
You must bear in mind that Google likes things like video portals, news sites and brand sites. The reason for this is that these type of sites regularly change their content.
Reaction to the Update
The reaction by the industry to the freshness update was on the whole positive, as many people understood the need for it. They also saw that it rewarded sites that were constantly updating their content which seemed very logical.
Added to this there was only a small amount of negativity in sites being affected badly, most of the change was welcomed and accepted.
The freshness update was widely accepted by nearly everybody, it was perfectly logical to implement it and impacted SERP’s positively.
If you have content that is date specific and has not been refreshed or updated by more recent or engaging news then this content should be a priority. It must be either amended or superseded.
Interestingly the update is not all about refreshing what you already have, but also how often content is posted that refers to the subject matter.
How Do You Recover from the Algorithm
If you want to recover from the freshness update there are certain things you can do.
- Look at existing content – Revisit your old content, look at particular information that drove traffic to your site and update it.
- Share the content – Share your content on social media, as associated noise about it can fuel rankings.
- Increase content frequency – Refreshing content is not the only practical thing you can do, try increasing the frequency of postings especially if they cover current events that are changing. Visitors are reading more content now than ever before, and they need the latest versions of the news.
- Use tiered creation – Add layers to your content, use videos, images etc. by layering your content it will give it a broader attraction in key ranking areas. Perhaps include new landing pages or add new additions to old URL’s.
- Look at your content mix – As well as recent blogs about current news events, create content that is classical and always pertinent i.e evergreen. This sort of content would include white papers, research papers, detailed technical information, longer forms of content, etc.
The Freshness Algorithm Update was a success, and if you are a little uncertain if your website is being adversely affected then why not consider taking advice of a professional point of view. Voova Digital are the experts on Google updates and everything connected with SERP’s, contact us today for our valued advice.