How Does Updated Content Affect Google Rankings?
One of the primary tenets of SEO is this: always have updated content. When Google reads, indexes, and ranks sites based on their content, it examines more than 200 criteria to rate Web sites for every key word. One of these criteria is how often a site’s content is refreshed.
Fresh Content: Google’s Web site rankings give priority to Web sites that stay current on the events in their field of expertise and that can show they are doing new things. Fresh blog posts, additional pages, or re-written pages show that the Web site is up-to-date and helps to encourage visitors.
“Major search engines not only rank pages upon relevant content…but by fresh content as well,” writes Loren Baker on SearchEngineJournal.com. “Even after your site has been ‘optimized to the max,’ your rankings will increase to a certain level and then not go much higher. To get to the top and stay there, your site should deliver fresh, relevant content on a regular basis.”
“Here at Master Google, each month we create one or two new writings for every client and put them on their site,” says Ali Husayni. “You can also refresh your content by re-writing your homepage – or a different page on your site. You are providing your visitors with identical information, but you’re giving the sense that your Web site is current – and that will get it a better Google Web site ranking.”
How Much Fresh Content? The more frequently a Web site is refreshed, the higher it will move in the rankings. For example, news sites tend to receive high Google Web site rankings because they’re updating their pages several times a day.
“We can create new Web site content for our clients as often as they like, but the expense could outweigh the positive effect if we refresh it more frequently than 2-3 times a month,” explains Husayni.
Other SEO experts support this idea. On SEO.com, Scott Smoot relates this story: “I noticed a huge drop in my traffic from organic search…It provided a powerful example of the need for fresh content…I hadn’t updated for almost 4 months. I have no doubt that other sites competing for my keywords were updating more regularly. I went into my site and submitted a blog post… just a ‘sorry I haven’t posted anything lately’ post…The result was a complete return of the rankings and traffic (and then some).”
How Much Contend Must be Re-written? No one really knows. Google reveals very little of its page ranking formula – and that information isn’t included. “If we revise a Web site’s content, we strive to re-write 100% of it,” remarks Husayni.