After the infamous Panda update that left a lot of sites with lower search engine rankings, webmasters and business owners have been dreading another round of updates that could cause their rankings to plunge even deeper.
Google has recently announced another modification to its algorithm.
According to the official Google blog, this update, called the freshness update, affects 35% of all searches made on Google.
What the Freshness Update Means to Site and Business Owners
With Panda, SEO practitioners, webmasters and business owners were given the rude awakening that longer-lasting top ranking on Google should be based on content, instead of employing shady tactics and workarounds.
For instance, artificially increasing the count of incoming links from supposedly authoritative sites lost much of its appeal after the "authoritative sites" themselves saw a fall in both PR and SERPs.
The freshness update, however, places more importance on how often a site is updated with great content. To understand how it would impact you, you would need to know what types of search are affected:
1. Updated content. If you are selling digital cameras or smartphones, you would be affected by the freshness update. This is because those who are looking for information on the upcoming iPhone 5 or new Android handsets would want to see the latest information. If you do not update your site regularly, chances are your site would rank very low on Google searches.
2. Hot topics. Justin Bieber hooking up with Lady Gaga while attending an Occupy protest? People interested in recent news, events and hot topics would want the latest information too.
3. Recurring events. People looking for information on XFactor or American Idol results, NBA scores or an annual conference usually want the latest news. So unless they specify the date or the year, Google is going to show them the most recent content pertaining to these topics.
To put it simply, if the Panda update put more importance on high-quality content, the freshness update gives more significance to updated high-quality content.
The solution is simple: keep your business website or blog fresh. Make sure that you get a steady stream of blog posts every single day. If you have not invested in writing or hiring a writer for your blog, now would be a great time to do so.
The End of Evergreen Content?
This development made people think that they only have to focus on new content on their websites. As long as they release a blog post every day, then they got everything covered.
However, this update does not mean the end of evergreen content. Take note that the update only affects around a third of all searches. A great majority of content and Web pages are not going to be impacted by the freshness update.
Bottom line: evergreen content will still be important in ranking your site well on Google searches. So there really is no reason to neglect that page on how to create a Facebook like page, or Twitter best practices, or the five best pasta recipes on earth. You would still need to take time and update these pages as soon as new information comes along.
Put Up a Business Blog
If you still do not have a blog on your site, make sure that you plan for one now. A blog is still the best way to have fresh content regularly on your site.
Much more importantly, you should use a content management system or a blogging platform such as Joomla or WordPress that allows you to easily add and schedule your blog post so that you do not have to spend a lot of time on your site every day.