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Latest in Google Algorithm Updates Favors Fresh Content – Will You Be The 35%?


November 4th, 2011

San Diego Social Media ManagementOn November 3rd, Google changed the way it indexes websites and delivers search results such that relevancy, or capacity for ranking, will rely more heavily on indexing date and content freshness. Affecting about 35% of Google results, this change reinforces what we’ve been promoting for years: in order to remain relevant in the ever-growing sea of online competitors, a regularly updated blog connected with at least the Twitter and Facebook social signals is essential. Your web publishing channels however must not only be recent but contain content that is time-sensitive.

How recently a webpage, blog or other content has been updated matters more or less, depending on the type of content—a recipe, for example, could be years old and still be as tasty as the day it was posted. On the other hand, if you’re searching for the latest news about Occupy Oakland, very fresh content is much more relevant to the user so Google is promising to ramp up about 35% of these such results.

There are three types of content impacted by this change to Google’s web search algorithm:

  • Recent events or hot topics, like the ongoing news of the day
  • Regularly recurring events, like elections, conferences or tournaments, where users are most interested in the most recent occurrence
  • Frequent updates, as when shopping for items with numerous model years

In addition to site and social channel publishing being considered strongly for relevancy, Facebook public commenting (on the social site itself or any other utilizing their commenting/sharing applets) the social site itself will now be indexed and may appear in search results. As we’d mentioned in our articles Social Media Management & The Semantic Web: “Voice Matters” and How Facebook’s New Social Networking Features Will Change Digital Marketing, getting conversation about your site or business going on the social media channels has had a demonstrated influence on search engine rankings. This new update from Google is geared towards what has been a rising trend stemming from their “Panda” update beginning rollout last February: show users timely, relevant content. It’s an evolution from giving clout to SEO content farms and a means of distinguishing which online presences are truly “alive”.

This update extends Google’s Caffeine update, an indexing launched in December 2010 which produced 50% fresher results than the previous index. At the time it was released, Google touted Caffeine’s robust foundation, which has made it possible to build an even faster and more comprehensive search engine that scales with the growth of information online. With Caffeine, Google analyzes the web in small portions and update the search index on a continuous basis, globally. As new pages are discovered, or new information on existing pages, these are added straight to the index. That’s what makes it possible for this latest update to function so dynamically as content changes minute by minute.

The good news for Google users is our search results are supposedly going to be, well, more relevant and timely. Will be interesting to see if it operates similarly to the function they’ve had for sorting results by how new (Any time, Past hour, Past 24 hours etc.). This time-sorting functionality seems only to provide truly better results than their default search when querying for news or other topics that truly are time-dependant.

For businesses seeking organic Google traffic and front-page rankings, the golden road may be as simple as ensuring you have at least three channels publishing content: on-site blog, Twitter & Facebook. Make at least one update per-week that is super timely, more if possible. Nearly every industry has something time-sensitive that can be published and shot-around on the social channels to encourage conversation. Timely content and conversation about said content is going to be key to keeping your business relevant on the web.

In a sense, it’s like all businesses wishing for ranking need to become their own publishing outfit, which is a lot of work! Some would say it’s not fair, as rankings based like this will undoubtedly favor companies with the pockets to afford the outsourcing of such publishing. We have developed a package for small to medium businesses who wish to make their voice steadily more prominent on the web via social media management and blog authoring. Contact us to learn how we can affordably add high-quality, search spider-delectable content streams promoting your site’s relevancy, and competitiveness, on the web. We also specialize in search engine optimized, custom WordPress design and development – our of-choice Content Management System (CMS) for adding blogs and e-commerce capacity to sites – in addition to search engine optimized blog writing & copywriting.