Reacting to Google Fresh

Google has done it again. Eight months after the groundbreaking Panda Update – an advancement that allows the search engine to devalue poorly written content – Google Fresh now judges a page based on the freshness of its content. Pages with stale content will eventually be weeded out, narrowing the field for SEOs and upping the ante for those still able to pass muster with Google.

The Google Panda Update was an algorithm released by Google in March in an effort to quell “shallow content” and improve searches by finding sites with the most relevant content. When interviewed about the newly released algorithm update, executive Amit Singhal explained that “We basically formed some definition of what could be considered low quality. In addition, we launched the Google Site Blocker earlier, and we didn’t use that data in this change. However, we compared and it was 84 percent overlap. So that said that we were in the right direction.” As a result of this update, many websites were demoted in the search rankings, including many prominent and respected companies that were using “black hat” SEO tactics.

Google Fresh has added to this, rating pages based upon how up-to-date their content is, in addition to all of the requirements contained in the Panda algorithm. So the question that comes to mind is how this will affect individual websites.

Sites that track ongoing events or constantly changing landscapes will be more affected by this change than sites that deal with static subjects. For example, the parking garage management industry probably hasn’t changed much since last year; if you’re in that industry, having some older content on your site is probably not going to hurt you.

On the other hand, if your site is all about Chicago attractions, you are going to need regular content updates since it’s a subject that’s constantly changing. Yes, Navy Pier and the Field Museum will be there year after year, but other things about Chicago’s landscape—drink specials at The Rail, special exhibits at the Art Institute and gallery openings —are constantly changing.

Consequently, if you are unable to keep up with site maintenance, then you run the risk of being negatively impacted by Google Fresh. There is a chance you will be lumped in with all of the other content farms out there that are so busy trying to outfox Google that they don’t even bother with fresh content … which is the whole point to this new update. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to always put forth quality, relevant, current content at all times.

Just as Panda sent the SEO community into a minor panic, so has Fresh, albeit to a lesser extent. The lesson that can be learned from these (and future) updates is to never settle for lower quality standards.  “Relevant” should be a watchword by now for one and all. Now, let’s work on keeping our relevant content current as well, and we won’t have anything to worry about … until the next update, that is.


This is a unique article written by Thomas Stone and published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

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Thomas Stone

Thomas Stone is a content-manager and a frequent contributor at both SEO Desk & Technected.

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