Google’s Freshness Score – How Fresh is your Content?

Google Freshness Score

Internet marketers had a pretty good idea how the Google algorithm worked before Panda came around. It was easy – target a few keywords, write content geared towards those keywords and build backlinks. Create, maintain, repeat. Though this process was giving internet marketers what they wanted, it wasn’t giving Google what they wanted and they have responded with a range of algorithm updates and more frequent updates. The most recent one is called the “Freshness” update.

This one is a bit different than the Mayday and Panda updates. It doesn’t specifically target a type of websites (Panda is still handling that). Instead, it was designed to make the searcher’s life easier. For the Mayday and Panda updates, it was all about taking out the trash – making sure that when people searched for something, they didn’t get useless filler content. And now that they have that handled (for the most part), it’s time to move on to making the search process more fluid.

That’s exactly what the Freshness update has done. Google Freshness is all about making sure search results are, well… fresh!

Google has designed a metric called “query deserves freshness”. This metric is used to determine whether or not a search query needs frequently updated news. So if you search for news on “Wall Street”, that’s obviously a query that deserves freshness.

But if you search for “cutting discs” that’s not a query that deserves freshness. So the “Wall Street” query is affected by the Freshness update, whereas the “cutting discs” query isn’t.

What does the Freshness Score mean for SEO?

If you’re not in a niche or market that deserves freshness, your SEO strategy will remain largely unaffected by this most recent update. However, if you are in a market that deserves freshness, you’ll have to start doing a few things different.

A few examples of niches that deserve freshness may include, Political News, Celebrity News, Sports, TV Show Websites and anything that has to do with recent events, hot topics, regularly recurring events, and frequent product/service updates.

As a rule of thumb, if your niche is “in the news” or is rapidly changing, it probably deserves freshness. So what do you do if you’re in one of these niches? Easy – provide fresh content!

If you’re in the “celebrity news” niche, whenever something important happens, be one of the first people to write about it. If you’re writing reviews on products, whenever a new model launches, be one of the first people to write about it!

If you are not producing updated content to match with the news in your niche, you’ll fall behind on the rankings.

The Good News

If you keep updating your content, your website will rank on the top of page 1 even if you don’t necessarily have that much “SEO authority!”

This is because Google’s new algorithm wants to display content as quickly as possible. It doesn’t necessarily matter where that content comes from, so if you can be one of the first people to publish news, you’ll likely rank very well on Google.

If you’re in a market that is affected, don’t panic! Instead, focus on providing frequently updated content to your readers. This way, you’ll have a better user experience on your website AND you’ll have a great chance of ranking on page one of google.

Want to know more?

Freshness Factor: 10 Illustrations on How Fresh Content Can Influence Rankings