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Freshness Facts – How Fresh Website Content Can Influence Your Google Rankings

So, you’ve just started a business, built your new website or are simply new to SEO. By now you have probably heard that content rules and that it is a major influence is how your ranking is determined by the SERP’s. But, did you know that Google actually has a patented document-scoring program called “Search Engine 125”?

Many people have never heard of it and are completely unaware just how important having fresh content actually is and what it means to the ranking of your website.

Search Engine 125 is an algorithm that scores documents or pages on a website based on content update. What this means is that Google places a greater emphasis on returning fresher web content for it’s search queries.

Google Search Engine 125 Patent

If you’re curious just how Google scores your documents let us explain. Google measures all of the sites pages or documents and then scores each based on the type of search query performed.

Keywords that require the freshest content are things such as recent events or hot topics, recurring events such as sports or even frequent updates and world news.

A web page is given a freshness score based on it’s creation date, which decay’s over time. A high freshness score can boost a keyword or topic but losses it’s effectiveness over time as the page becomes older. The creation date is when Google actually becomes aware of the page or one of it’s bot’s physically indexes the page or discovers a link to it.

Another factor that plays heavily into the freshness ranking awarded by Google is page changes. By this we mean the amount of content on any given page that changes. Changing a single sentence or adding a keyword isn’t going to cut it here. Significant changes to 50% or more of the pages copy, usually above the fold, headlines and tags all determine a pages freshness score.

developing fresh website content

The rate of page changes also plays a vital role in the freshness score. Content that changes frequently as opposed to every few years will have a much higher freshness rating that those that don’t. Take for example The Tampa Tribune who’s home page content is changing daily based on news stories. A site like this has a high degree of changes and therefore results in a high rate of fresh content.

Another vital way to increase your sites freshness rating is the overall creation of new content or pages, thus a site that adds news pages at a higher rate than another will have a higher score. Some SEO’s agree that upwards of 30% of the pages on your site annually should be new, fresh content.
Keep this in mind but never neglect your old content if it needs attention. It could be just the boost you need.

Changing you important content matters more than just editing insignificant areas of your site. Content that is seen as not as important are items such as the navigation, ads, or content that falls below the fold. Generally speaking content in the main body of your site or page or above the fold is the most significant and warrants changes more frequently resulting in a higher freshness rating.

Another great way to score freshness points is to distribute links to your new pages, blogs and content. A higher rate of new link growth is a signal to Google and can inevitably result in a higher freshness score.

Be sure to be careful not to overdo it as an unusual increase in linking activity can be viewed as spam. Be honest and share your content or information ethically.

Another great way to increase your score and your rank is to share links with fresh sites to pass value to your own site and it’s content. A site such as Reddit who constantly has new content on it has a much higher freshness score than a site who rarely has new content. Links to you from sites such as this also help greatly. Make sure you’re aware of high quality sites such as this when distributing your links.

Content development

As you can see there are a number of factors that Google utilizes in it’s algorithm to determine your sites freshness score and in turn your ranking. Not to say that fresh content solely dictates your online rank, however it certainly helps when you’re attempting to climb the ranks within SERP’s these days.

Keep in mind, it’s all about quality content in the end not necessarily quantity. Make sure what you are writing about is what people want to read and you will find more shares, likes and interactions.

EV2 Agency believes strongly in content creation as part of any solid SEO plan. Let us develop and distribute quality content for your site today.