How Fresh Does Your Website Smell to Google?

Randy Milanovic
Randy Milanovic Principal & Author, Kayak Online Marketing

Posted on November 19th 2012

How Fresh Does Your Website Smell to Google?

freshness search keywords

There are already lots of terms and buzzwords that factor into search engine optimization, so it's understandable if you aren't quite ready to start thinking about new ones just yet.

But, in the latest updates and changes to Google's algorithm, one key term has been coming up again and again – freshness – and it's one that smart marketers are starting to take note of.

So what exactly is "freshness" in a search engine optimization sense? It's just what you would imagine: Having new and unique content added to your business website on a regular basis.

In short, Google and the other search engines are beginning to reward businesses that add fresh content to their sites frequently. This isn't an arbitrary decision on their behalf. As the world becomes more and more focused on real-time breaking news, and most industries are evolving rapidly, searchers are going farther to find new information. For that reason, it makes sense for the engineers at Google and the other engines to do what they can to incorporate these fresh results more thoroughly. In other words, it's a matter of the search engines giving their customers what they really want.

But, as with all changes to search engine algorythms, it means different things for marketers. Here is what you have to know about freshness and your search engine optimization campaign:

Freshness is not the biggest factor in search engine rankings… yet.

Google has been placing more weight on fresh content in the past few months, and probably will continue to do so in the near future. It's worth noting that freshness is still a small part of their overall algorithm at this point, though, and applies more to certain topics and industries (like technology, for example) than a dozen others.

You shouldn't mess with a winning strategy just to make it newer.

As with any new development in search engine optimization, there are bound to be those who will overreact and take the concept of freshness too far. Even though all signs currently point to a preference for lots of continual updates, that's no reason to do away with a business website that's currently ranking well on Google and elsewhere.

Adding to your site gradually is a great idea.

So, if freshness matters but you shouldn't abandon your old site, what is a smart marketer to do? The obvious answer is to start adding new content to your site, piece by piece, in the form of added blog posts, new pages, and other pieces that can be layered on top of what you already have. That doesn't just allow you to keep what's working, but also to pursue your content strategy gradually over a long period of time.

It's important to add new content the right way.

Just as it's predictable that some people overreact to freshness, you can bet that others will attempt to get their content in all the wrong ways. Certainly, duplicating content, stealing from your competitors, or hiring "copywriters" from Third World countries is a lot faster and cheaper, but it's also likely to do you more harm than good. While freshness might be the newer wrinkle in search engine optimization, the trend towards unique, interesting, and coherent web content is much more powerful and important.

Although Google and the other search engines aren't putting a great deal of weight behind freshness yet, it's a fairly safe bet that they will emphasize it more heavily in the future. With that in mind, now is the perfect time for your business to implement an Internet marketing strategy that involves lots of new articles, post, and ideas that keep customers – and search engine spiders – coming back time and time again.

Do you need help putting together an Internet marketing plan that’s smart and delivers ROI? Contact Kayak today to find out what kinds of results we've achieved for other organizations.

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immersion white tin search thumb3Following Kayak's ethical online marketing and SEO strategies, our client Omni Circuit Boards was able to dominate Google search with an incredible FIVE page one results – originating from one strategic blog post. Download the screen shot. -->

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Randy Milanovic

Randy Milanovic

Principal & Author, Kayak Online Marketing

Randy is author of 2 books: Findability: Why Search Engine Optimization is Dying + 21 New Rules of Content Marketing, and Building a Better Business Website. He is the Prinicipal of Kayak Online Marketing.

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