Freshness as a Google Signal
For the sake of “freshness” I thought it would be a good idea to speak on this (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Watch Matt Cutts’s video on content “freshness” being a signal that Google uses for better ranking in the SERPS (search engine results pages). Then discuss your views with me below.
Of course it’s well known “freshness” is something that blogs have always been superior at. It is an easy platform for updating online content and Google has always rewarded that. HOWEVER…
My experience has been when it comes to “fresher” content it is beset with a lot of problems. Such as “fresh” search results getting priority over more relevant content.
As you know I have often criticized search engines in the past, finding more times than not “fresher” search results getting preferential treatment and making it harder to find the relevant content that I’m actually looking for.
But wait .. there’s more. Read on what Matt had to say:
“We have over two hundred signals that we use, and the thing that I would not do as a pitfall — the trap I would not fall into is saying OK, I have to have fresh content, therefore, I’m going to change a few words on my pages every day, and I’ll change the by-line date so that it looks like I have fresh content. That’s not the sort of thing that’s likely to lead to higher rankings.”
That sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it? But it doesn’t go far enough. Does it?
“It’s not the sort of thing where you need to worry about making sure that you’re rewriting your pages or changing words on your page just so you look fresh. So Google is relatively good about trying to suss out when it’s more helpful to be fresh and when it’s just you know sort of regular search where uh .. the web pages that were good yesterday were awesome today.”
Hmm, still not good enough Mr. Cutts. That “freshness” signal you fondly speak of is something that continues to be abused by the plagiarizers to grab a better position in the SERPS.
It is an excuse for posting every day with stolen, repurposed content. (In lieu of writing quality, original content on a less consistent basis because it is harder to do so.)
In fact I would go further to say it is the main reason why there are so many plagiarisers out there today. They know all about this “freshness” thing only too well. Something that blogs like Problogger et al are very good at abusing.
It’s too bad that Google isn’t good at “sussing out” that crap yet. Then again, that so-called “freshness” thing sells a lot of ads .. don’t it Google.
“Fresh” vs. original, quality content. It’s really a no brainer Matt. Clearly Googlebot still has a long way to go.