Get More Traffic Using the SEO Fresh Content Technique
How to Increase Your Rankings for Certain Articles in Search Engines
by Dr. William Sen
Content freshness is one of the oldest and still the most important algorithms and features in SEO. Those who regularly update their content get better rankings in search engines.
What is Content Freshness?
Content freshness in SEO is when new content is available on the site. Google will recognize new content when the Google Bot visits the site and updates its search engine database. If changes have been detected on the site since Google’s last visit, Google will know the site has been updated.
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All pages on the web undergo what I call a page lifecycle from a search engine standpoint. A page with valuable content gets better and better rankings over time if SEO guidelines are followed and an SEO strategy is taking place. But at some point, the climax comes to a maturity state, and a declining phase for most pages begins. That is, Google downranks these pages. The reason is simple: Google does not like obsolete content. The longer content is on the web, the older it is from Google’s perspective.
Certain pages, especially those with a lot of links, have a longer page lifecycle because they are considered to be particularly valuable. But even timeless articles (so-called evergreen content) undergo a page lifecycle and are downranked after a while. 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.
The degeneration of pages can be avoided by continuously updating them.
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 is important that pages have high-quality content right from the start. Also remember, adjusting miniscule pages such as the contact page or terms & conditions page is also considered fresh content, but this has little or no SEO benefits at all.
When existing pages are updated, it’s considered content freshness. We recommend a change of not less than 20%, and not more than 30%. For example, if textual content is subject to revision. However, if a page is completely altered and has hardly no resemblance to what it was before, this would be considered a new page and therefore can lose its former ranking. It’s also important to keep the main keywords intact when updating the content. If important keywords were accidently removed when updating the content, this might also have a negative impact on the page’s ranking. Therefore, content freshness should always be accomplished by SEO professionals. They usually use specific tools that can see changes of the document and display keywords that have been removed accidently.
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.
The more user comments a page gets, the higher it will be ranked. However, Google rates comments differently. They are a part of Google’s engagement rate algorithm rather than count as classic content freshness. Thus, comments are still an important criterion for Google.
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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