People often get confused about what fresh content is. Hence, it often gets overlooked while they are working hard to rank through their SEO endeavours.
But, in reality, fresh content is quite an easy thing to set your grip on. All you have to do is publishing frequently and keep on refreshing your content.
There is no better thing than having fresh and quality content on your website, only if the content has solved the queries of relevant searches properly.
Yet, if you have a bit of confusion left regarding the term “fresh” when it is about content, then this is the blog for you.
Stick to it as here we will be discussing the depths of fresh content, how you can master it, how you can implement it in your SEO best practices and what Google has to say about the same.
- Freshness is quite an important factor when it comes to content. However, just posting and updating your content is not going to help you achieve your goal.
- Your SEO freshness is important is you are dealing in a fast-paced niche and your content is news-related.
- Evergreen content as well as fresh content, both can make a positive impact on your rankings. So, include both of them in your content strategy.
Fresh Content: Definition
A piece of content that has been published, updated, or rewritten recently is fresh content. Google prefers this kind of content as it is high on accuracy, and so do the users.
If you have been uploading new content to your website and updating old pieces then you are making positive endeavours in order to update the freshness of your website.
However, it is not always that uploading new content regularly will give your website a higher indexing. But, if you start with a holistic approach of updating your old writeups on a regular basis, uploading new articles (as we mentioned earlier) and add new web pages, Google bots are more likely to pay your website a visit.
And, this is when you have a chance to boost your rankings with your content because the primary objective of search engine crawlers is to find content that users can find relevant and valuable. And, old, outdated content is not relevant.
If you are having
- No to low engagement,
- High bounce rate,
- Unimpressive rankings,
then it is high time that you start updating your website content.
Trust us, websites facing the abovementioned can get a sure shot boost if they start focusing on the freshness of their content.
- Update your website content. This will attract search crawlers, a.k.a., Google bots to your website.
- Focus on quality updates. Fill your website content with high-quality links, statistics, and valuable information. This richness will surely help your website get a much higher rank.
Here you should have an eye on the freshness algorithm update from Google. That will help you understanding what freshness really means to Google.
It depends on,
- The date your content is published.
- The date when Google bots discover your page and add it to Google Search for the first time.
- The date when Google bots crawled your page for the last time.
- The date when you made the last change on to your web page or content.
If you have updated and republished your content after it has been crawled by Google bots for the first time, then it is mentioned as “article:published_time”. Now, if your content was updated but was not published, then it is mentioned as “article:modified_time”.
How Google Measures Freshness?
Moz says, Google has a few factors that help it measure the freshness of a content. These are,
- When Google indexed your page for the first time: Inception date
- Large changes or updates made to your page mean more freshness to Google: Amount of changes
- Changes made to main body content add a lot of freshness according to Google: Changes made to the core content
- Frequency of changes is also a factor: Rate of changes
- High frequency of new page creation is a vital factor: Rate of new page additions
- If the backlinks attached to your content have high freshness score, that can impact yours: Freshness of backlinked pages
How Important of a Ranking Factor is Freshness?
According to Google’s Matt Cutts, if you keep on updating your content on a regular basis, that might not always help you in getting a higher rank. Freshness is a key ranking factor for fast-moving niches where your audience is looking for fresh and timely content.
Specifically for users too, there are multiple factors that make search results clickable. And, as freshness is such a factor that that is relevant for a particular group of search queries, it’s important understand where it matters depending on what your primary keyword is.
For Which Queries Are Fresh Content Valid and Where Not?
As we have mentioned earlier, there are certain categories for which Google prefers fresh content. These are,
- Latest events
- Trending topics
- Recurring events and news
- Reviews and other ever-changing information
And, then there are categories that do not get impacted by how fresh a content is. These are,
- Historic facts
- Evergreen topics
- Elaborative topics
Now, let’s go through a few examples.
Queries Where Fresh Content Matters
People who are looking forward to gaining knowledge or reading about the best trends regarding SEO would always prefer to go with the content that is fresh, as those content would encompass what is in trend at the moment.
So, when you are dealing in such a niche where recency matters, you need to update your content or post up-to-date content on a regular basis to stay on top. If your content becomes outdated, rankings will fall.
Queries Where Fresh Content Does Not Matter
But, when you are looking for something, such as “how to perform SEO”, which is an evergreen topic, freshness will not matter. The people who are looking for such a query will focus ore on the quality of information, rather than how new the blog post is.
How to Better the Freshness of Your Content?
So, now as you know how and where freshness impacts the rankings of your content, let us find out how you can better the freshness of your content.
1. Go Through Search Engine Result Pages
To find out the level of freshness that users are seeking for a particular query, you need to go through the results of SERPs. Check the age of the first 10 to 20 results. Find out what their average age is. But, most importantly, check what the age is of the content that are ranking on the top. That matters a lot too.
2. Publish Evergreen Content Consistently
Evergreen topics are not dependent on the freshness factor. The ranking of these blogs depends on the quality of information they provide and other ranking factors. But you cannot overlook the fact that when you create a new page for your website that also triggers Google bots to index that page, hence there is a good chance that freshness can make an impact on the rankings of your website.
So, it is quite clear that it is vital to keep on posting new content consistently from your website. The higher goes your frequency of posting content, the frequency of Google bots crawling through your website will go up and your too will.
3. Keep Updating Old Content
Google research publication says that as Google caters to so many searches every second, it is not always possible for Google bots to recrawl page every time as the amount of new content publication is so high.
So, here to solve this issue, Google crawls pages depending on how frequently content gets updated on websites.
So, if you want your content to rank, you have to keep updating your old content on a regular basis to keep your freshness score high enough. And, this will make it easier for you to get a higher rank with your time-sensitive content.
4. Prioritise Content That Has Ranked Already
If your previously crafted content has not scored a top rank already then freshness or updating it is not enough to push the ranks up high enough.
Although, if you already have a content that has managed to rank high enough, then make your endeavours stronger by updating it so that it dos not get outdated and you can hold on the top rank easily.
5. UPDATE Your Content
To most people out there, updating content is just about updating the publish date and the year mentioned in the title. But, according to Google, this is not enough freshness to help the content stay at the top ranks.
As we mentioned earlier in our article, updating your content is primarily about updating the body content. This send a very strong signal to Google, when it is about content freshness. These changes matter a lot more than just mere changes like changing the publish date and other date tags. So, updating the core of your content is quite crucial.
Fake freshness can increase your click thru rate, but that is not enough. It will help you gain more traction, but all of that is very temporary. If users keep on finding your content outdated in terms of information, your content ranks will fall.
6. Change the Publish Date
It is among SEO best practices that aligning the year of publishing your posts should be mentioned in the title of your blogs too. You should also include it in the URL for your post.
Although while going through the search engine result pages you will often come across blogs that have years mentioned in their titles that do not match with their publish dates. This practice is actually quite common.
7. Submit to Google
So, when you are done with updating your content, you can opt for resubmitting your sitemap on Google Search Console in order to make sure that Google bots crawl through your updated content again.
Google will eventually find all the changes that you have made. So, if you have made smaller changes, then it is not a mandatory thing to do if you have made minor changes only.
When Should You Update Old Content or Publish New Content?
It is among the best practices of improving content freshness that updating content in order to make Google bots to crawl your website more frequently and make it rank higher. Although it all depends on how valid is freshness as a ranking factor for the query your writeup is trying to solve.
Here you need to understand a few things. These are,
- You need to update your webpage frequently and keep on publishing new content on the particular topic on a regular basis, if freshness is crucial for your primary keyword.
- You need to update your webpage on a regular basis but if you find your ranking is still dropping, try revising your content and republishing it. Do this when freshness is vital but not a priority for your primary keyword.
- Create evergreen content on the particular topic if freshness is not important for your primary keyword.
So, let’s find out how to handle your content when freshness is the most important factor.
When Should You Update Your Content?
As you already know now that Google prioritises major updates over the minor ones, minor updates should be made so that your blog post does not become outdated with time. This is irrespective of being what kind of writeup it is.
Here the updates that you can make are adding fresh backlinks, updating images, updating headlines, and adding new items if it is a listicle.
This works the best for evergreen writeups.
When Should You Revise Your Content and Republish it?
When your old content has become outdated and minor changes are of no good anymore, it is the time to revise your entire content and publish it all over again. This is the best way to improve freshness of outdated writeups.
This treatment is for writeups which require to be tweaked completely in order to solve the queries of searchers. It is also a great way to revamp your evergreen writeups to resonate with their queries and makes long term impacts.
You can also try merging the several outdated articles into one single blog to gain the lost traffic back to your new post. You really would not want to lose all your traffic from high performing outdated blogs, right?
So, when you are done revamping and republishing your writeup, try sharing them on social media platforms to gain traction.
When Should You Publish New Content?
This works the best for topics that need to be covered on a regular basis. If your topic is about explaining new trends, then it is the best to update them with whole new trends, instead of updating old articles.
This helps lessening your endeavours and turning them into something lot more fruitful.
When Should You Refresh Your Content?
This too is quite simple. All you need to do is keeping a tab on a few things to understand when to refresh your content.
- Track performance metrics to understand how well your writeup is performing.
- Keep on checking query data to make sure that the traffic volume for your keyword has not declined.
- Check position history to see if any new pages have managed to drive traffic from your writeup.
- Keep checking whether the clicks and impressions have declined from your current writeup.
These points will help you understand whether to refresh your old writeup.
Wrapping It Up!
Fresh content aims to cater searchers with updated information with enhanced quality. The main idea is to keep information up to date.
This approach will help you attract high quality links organically, increasing CTR and engagement.
So, here is a quick wrap up of what we have covered in our blog.
- Freshness is a crucial factor but only for topics where recency matters. Such as, emerging trends.
- When freshness is not so important, there is no point in updating your article in smaller intervals. It will be of no help in outranking your competitors.
- Go through SERPs to find out for which topics freshness matters and where it does not.
- If freshness is vital for your picked topic, keep an eye on how your blog is performing and keep on updating it to keep up with the search queries and ranking.
- Check performance metrics to find out when you need to publish new content, when you need to update it and when it is time to revamp and republish your entire writeup.
Keep up with these to make sure that your fresh content achieves the best ranks, every time.