The 5 SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 5 – Along with website performance and other SEO tips Website Freshness works for small businesses of every type in many ways – more content means more indexing which means more web search listings.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 5
- In Part 1 we looked at how website performance plays an even bigger part in SEO in 2018.
- In Part 2 we listed many simple On Page SEO Tips.
- In Part 3 we took a look at how Structured Data can alter your Google Foot Print.
- In Part 4 we explored the growing trend of voice search and how it affects keywords.
- Now in Part 5, we explain why website freshness is important to SEO and examine the best ways to keep your website fresh.
Although the Freshness Algorithm change in late 2017 often gets overshadowed by the likes of Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Mobile First, RankBrain, and others, it affected approximately 6-10% of the listings, with the overwhelming majority getting a boost having “fresh content” on their website, while the sites that fell in the search listings had none.
So Website Freshness in a Big Deal.
And it could very well give your small business an online edge against your competitors.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 5 – Website Freshness
Your website should be a healthy, living, breathing entity on the internet. Every update you make to your website once it goes “live” on the internet plays an integral part in its interaction with visitors, customers, and the 2 biggest search engines (Google and Bing). However, a website without any further updates of any kind will now be viewed by search engines as a “dead” website (Google actually refers to them as “static”) — with no life and nothing new to offer anyone. On the other hand, if you update your website on a regular basis (we are talking every few days here – not weeks or months or years), Google considers it “Dynamic”.
And the Freshness Algorithm knows your site is “alive”.
How Google Scores Fresh Content
Google blogged once that “different searches have different freshness needs.” So much like you look for freshness dates on milk, or the perfectly fresh produce, Google looks for fresh content on your website, then rewards you with a better search ranking.
The implication is that Google measures all of your website (text, images, etc) for freshness, then scores each page according to the type of search query. While many queries need fresh content, such as a particular Sunday football game score, Google still uses some older content for other queries, like the Apollo moon landing for instance.
These are the types of Google searches most likely to require fresh content:
- Recent events or hot topics: “earthquakes” “weather” (or news in your industry)
- Regularly recurring events: “NFL games today” “CWP training classes” (calendar type events)
- Frequent updates: “our best new item” “this new service provides…” (new products or services)
Website Freshness Metrics
- Born On Date – This is the first time Google crawls your brand new website. It’s the day your website goes “live”. This “born on freshness date” gives an immediate SEO boost which decays over time as the content gets older and older. As time goes by without any updates, Google labels these as “Static Sites”.
- New Content – The age of a webpage isn’t the only freshness factor. Search engines can score regularly updated content for freshness differently from content that doesn’t change. In this case, the amount of change on your webpage plays a role. For example, the change of a single sentence won’t have as big of a freshness impact as a large change to the main body text, or adding new page regularly, which Google calls “Dynamic Sites”. This is why a professionally set up business blog with content marketing and SEO is so important. This keeps your domain “active” with fresh content.
- The Rate of Document Change (How Often) Impacts Freshness – Content that changes more often is scored differently than content that only changes every few years. In this case, consider CNN or USA Today, which update multiple times a day and have a high degree of change. Google bots crawl and index sites like these as often as you and I breathe. But a google blog stated it best…“For example, a website whose content is edited or added to often will be scored higher than a site whose content remains static over time.”
- Google Also Measures User Behavior – What happens when your once wonderful new content becomes old and outdated? Your freshness has faded. For example, your website has a blog and the last entry was over a year ago, or you have a schedule of events or a calendar and the last entries were months, or even years ago. As content becomes outdated, potential customers spend less time on your site. They press the back button to Google’s results and choose another website. For instance if a year ago a user spent 4 minutes on your site, and then this year 15 seconds looking at an empty blog, news or event calendar. This factor called ATP – Average Time on Page, and is a big SEO factor on rankings as well. It’s important enough to say again. The longer someone stays on a website domain, the higher it will score in searches.
The bottom line is keeping your “Old” domain name “New” with fresh content, most easily done utilizing content marketing, is one of the very best ways to increase your webpage SEO, which in turn, increases your domain authority.
Instead of revising individual pages, fresh websites often add completely new pages (and new URLs) over time (as is the case with Content Marketing). Websites that add new pages at a higher rate earn a higher freshness score than sites that add content less frequently.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 5 – Website Freshness – Web It 101
More Fresh Content = More Frequent Indexing
The more frequently you update your website with articles, pictures, videos, and new web pages, the more frequently a Google (or Bing) search engine bot will stop by to index your website. When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content and keywords you provide.
So there you have it – Have a fast loading website that passes the Google mobile test. Load up with On-Site SEO. Use Structured Data for operating hours, events, reviews, products and services (which helps with Local SEO). Adjust keywords to reflect voice search parameters (more long-tail) and keep your website fresh with active content marketing.
And you WILL grow your business in 2018.
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