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Does Google Freshness Update Values Content Recentness over Substance?

Does Google Freshness Update Values Content Recentness over Substance?

As Google continues to implement many varied algorithm updates to improve the search engine experience of their core user base, it is up to those of us in the SEO world to roll with the punches and ensure that our websites conform to any changes so as not to be negatively impacted and fall in the rankings.

But while the Google Panda and Google Penguin updates have enjoyed plenty of column inches in the past few weeks, many of the search engine’s most recent tweaks relate to last year’s launch of the Caffeine indexing system. As such, these changes place greater emphasis on recentness, rather than just substance, in determining relevance.

Freshness is a valuable commodity for the average search user, who uses engines such as Google to make specific, and often time sensitive, queries. It makes sense then that Google would attempt to improve it criteria for favouring fresh new (and relevant) material.

Of course, it is important to remember that Google could not simply favour freshness over relevance at the expense of high quality content, and with the raft of new determiners introduced to the process another important factor is a classifier introduced with the purpose of promoting fresh content but excluding that of low SEO quality.

If you run a poorly optimised site with harvested junk content, it will not matter how frequently you update, because all of the other indicators used in Google complex web of relevance will determine that your site is low quality and not relevant for the search user.

Taking all of April’s various algorithmic updates into consideration, we don’t learn a great deal that we didn’t already know. Google implements a complex ratio of substance indicators and freshness indicators to constitute relevancy. This is most effective in search queries which focus on breaking news or current events.

Andrew Redfern, Director of Hitsearch explains: "It is incredibly important to post as often as possible and keep content fresh, but quality will always take precedence. The rules which have long constituted good SEO are just as relevant as they once were. Present regular, high quality content which engages web users as an entertainment or information source, and in time you will reap the benefits of a burgeoning audience base, a greater authority and improved ranking."

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