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← Is freshness an important signal for all sites?

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Showing Revision 1 created 10/12/2014 by Sherry Chen.

  1. >>Cutts: Hey everybody. We're back for another
    round of Webmaster Videos.
  2. The very first question, the most popular
    one, with 86 votes, comes from Ivan in Canada,
  3. who asks: "Google has expressed in the past
    that frequently updated pages get a boost
  4. in rankings (QDF), that seems to favor blogs
    and news sites over company sites, which have
  5. less reason to be updated often. How important
    of a signal is 'freshness'?"
  6. So there's a little bit of an interesting
    twist in this question, where, it's not just
  7. the case that just because something is frequently
    updated in terms of the pages on your blog
  8. or on your site that you automatically should be ranking higher
  9. so I wouldn't have that interpretation of
    freshness. Go back to what Andrei Broder wrote
  10. a long time ago in terms of thinking about
    the types of searches that people do. He wrote
  11. that searches could be navigational, they
    could be informational, or they could be transactional.
  12. And that expresses a lot of what people are
    looking for. Navigational, they might
  13. search for HP or IBM, they're looking for the home
    page. Informational, they're looking for how
  14. to actually do something, whether
    it's diagnosing the toilet or setting the
  15. default printer in Firefox, whatever. Transactional,
    they might be shopping, they might be looking
  16. for products.
  17. But that's just a very broad hierarchy. If
    you really drill down more, you'll see that
  18. sometimes people are looking for something
    that's fresh-seeking. So if you're searching
  19. for an earthquake, or some event
    that just happened, that would be QDF. That
  20. would be a query that deserves freshness.
  21. That's what QDF stands for whenever Amit Singhal
    talked about it. But not every query deserves
  22. freshness. So if it's a navigational thing,
    if it's evergreen content. Sometimes people
  23. are looking for long form content or doing
    more research. Then freshness wouldn't be
  24. counted as that much.
  25. So we have over 200 signals that we use, and
    the thing that I would not do, the pitfall,
  26. the trap that I would not fall into, is saying
    "OK, I have to have fresh content. Therefore
  27. I'm going to randomly change a few words on
    my pages every day. And I'll change the byline
  28. date so that it looks like I have fresh content."
  29. That's not the sort of thing that's more likely
    to actually lead to higher rankings. And if
  30. you're not in an area about news, if you're
    not in a sort of niche or topic area that
  31. really deserves a lot of fresh stuff, then
    that's probably not something you need to
  32. worry about at all.
  33. There will always be some SEO events,
  34. but there's some content that's evergreen,
    that lasts and stands the test of time, and
  35. it might be better to work on those sort of
    articles than just trying to jump onto whatever's
  36. on the top of Techmeme or whatever the story
    du jour is.
  37. So that's a little bit of a way to think about
    it. I wouldn't spend so much time thinking
  38. about freshness, just because it's one of
    the over 200 signals, that you sort of miss
  39. out on all the other signals.
  40. Now, if you're in a hot breaking area where you're competing with in Engadget,
  41. The Verge, if you write about video
    games, there's a lot of topical breaking
  42. news, then it is good to try to be fresh and
    make sure that you have content that's especially
  43. relevant.
  44. But it's not the sort of thing where you need
    to worry about making sure that you're
  45. re-writing your pages or changing words on
    your page just so you look fresh. So Google
  46. is relatively good about trying to suss out
    when it's more helpful to be fresh, and when
  47. it's just the sort of regular search
    where the web pages that were good yesterday
  48. were also good today.
  49. Hope that helps.