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Google’s Freshness Update – What Does It Have For Webmasters?


Talk of the web-town is certainly the 17 modifications that have come with the 3.2 Google Panda update. Yes – it’s all about fresh content; but what do we have here for webmasters?

Here’s a quick run through on the updates from the webmaster-point-of-view.

What Happens In The Freshness Update?

The Google search engine is becoming smarter with this update. The freshness update is apparently customized to requirement. The search engine will provide the most ‘adequately fresh’ result for any query. For instance, while searching for updates on the Super Bowl, you’d obviously like real time updates rather than definitions of the super bowl! Take a look at this image:

Even the score card is seen here; making the search more relevant. On the other hand, there are other updates which do not rely on ‘freshness’ – like articles or content on health. But then again, looking as ‘latest techniques of Yoga’ would require newer results. The inclusion of ‘News’ updates in search queries too, is proving to be a welcome change. With the minor changes being added to the major freshness changes made last November, we can understand that Google is more interested in elevating search; providing results that are ‘more relevant’.

Are The Results More Relevant?

Recent algorithm changes have affected various sites and webmasters are still trying to figure out what the reason could be. Some webmasters are complaining that competitor sites with more spam links and more advertorials right on page beginnings are ranking better than them. What changes are needed, are there too many ads, should the ad sense value be decreased along with info links? These are various questions that will have to b e tried – tested – and answered.

How Are The Webmasters Affected?

Statistics mentioned in reports show that 30% searches will be affected by this update. Unlike other algorithm changes that hit a majority of websites, this ‘freshness’ restore is set to affect just some. And how is that – well, posts which are primitive, are less likely to show in results. And chances are that those pages are already dead; so no one’s at loss. Plus, this update will possibly affect 1 in top 10 results now because some amount of alterations have already been made previously. That brings it to about a 6 to 10% change in SERP based on freshness and subsequently, something that’s not affecting everyone.

Downside For Virtual Space:

Webmasters now face the potential threat of one more element stealing their prime spot on SERP: That is SPAMMING!! Imagine, the newer spam now have a chance to rule the web space. A few points:

  • New pages with appropriate keyword density rank better because they are fresh,
  • Old content is reported and appears to be new,
  • Old post is edited slightly and beats newer material in the most recent battle,
  • Does newness mean date of last edit or date of original post?

Somewhere, the freshness quest really throttles the relevancy test. Ask the webmaster and he’s now wondering – whether to create content that will live forever or simply create content that doesn’t need to last long and can simply decade in the pile of links. Guess, that’s the food for thought.

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