Get More Traffic Using the SEO Fresh Content Technique
How to Increase Your Rankings for Certain Articles in Search Engines
In the world of SEO, content freshness is not only one of the oldest algorithms, but also one of the most critical factors for achieving higher search engine rankings. Regularly updating content is essential to maintaining and improving rankings, and failing to do so can lead to declining rankings and Page Deprecation.
What is Content Freshness?
Simply put, it’s the addition of new content to a website that Google recognizes when it visits and updates its search engine database. If changes are detected on the site since Google’s last visit, it signals that the site has been updated and can positively impact its rankings.
All pages on the web go through a page lifecycle from a search engine standpoint, with valuable content gaining better rankings over time if SEO guidelines are followed and an SEO strategy is in place. However, at some point, the climax comes to a maturity state, and a declining phase for most pages begins. This is known as Page Deprecation, and Google downranks these pages as it favors fresh and relevant content. The longer content is on the web, the older it appears to Google.
Even timeless articles, known as evergreen content, undergo a page lifecycle and can be downranked over time. Current topics, on the other hand, have an extremely fast page lifecycle, as Google knows that these articles quickly lose their relevance, such as articles about recent events.
To avoid the degeneration of pages and maintain or improve rankings, it’s crucial to continuously update content.
Positive & Negative Content Freshness
As soon as a new page with new content is created on a website, it’s considered to be fresh content. However, it’s important to ensure that these pages are of high quality right from the start. Even small pages like the contact or terms & conditions page can be considered fresh content, but they may not have significant benefits for search engine optimization (SEO).
Updating existing pages is another way to maintain content freshness, but it’s important to do so carefully. Changes should be between 20% and 30%, such as revising textual content. However, if a page is completely overhauled and bears little resemblance to its previous iteration, it may be considered a new page and could potentially lose its previous ranking. It’s crucial to keep important keywords intact during content updates. SEO professionals often use specialized tools to detect accidental removal of keywords or other changes to a document.
Adding pictures should also be understood as content freshness. Above all, images in SEO are often underestimated – I already wrote about this in the article “How to use SEO Optimized Images“. While exchanging images is also considered to be fresh content, Google is paying much less attention to this change.
Finally, user comments can be a valuable aspect of content freshness. The more comments a page receives, the higher it may rank. However, comments are rated differently by Google and are considered part of the engagement rate algorithm rather than classic content freshness. Nevertheless, comments are still an important factor to consider for maintaining website relevance and engagement.
Which Pages Should be Updated to Provide Content Freshness?
Logically, random pages should not simply be updated. Especially for websites with a high amount of content, a strategic approach is necessary. SEOs use analytics to find out which pages have lost sessions year over year (YoY). Here’s an example:
The article “SEO Strategy” had 13,000 sessions last year and only 8,000 this year, so it’s clear the article has lost more than 5,000 sessions, a loss of nearly 40% YoY. All articles of the website should be compared that way. The articles with the most losses from the previous year are the first to be edited, so that content freshness can be provided. This is how you can get traffic losses back.
It is also important to know that content freshness on a single page has a direct positive impact on the entire site. This means: if you even have a page changed or updated, Google will acknowledge that the entire website is constantly being maintained.
Changes on the website determine how often the Google bot will visit your website. If you update your website only once a month, then the Google bot might come only once a month, too. Because Google remembers how often changes take place on a website. The more often the Google bot visits your website, the more credits you will get from an SEO standpoint. The frequency of you performing content freshness on your website is one of the most important SEO factors.
A continuous SEO process is necessary for every website if it is to grow in the long term. There are websites that provide content freshness due to their nature such as news portals. But especially corporate websites that offer products and services and do not update their website on a weekly basis, run the risk of constantly losing ranking until they disappear completely from the search result pages. Therefore, continuous analytics checks and updates are one of the most important tasks during an ongoing SEO campaign.
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