Google’s Freshness Factor Should Help Bloggers
Blogger may have gotten a break when Google recently announced they were implementing a freshness factor that would affect 35% of search queries.
The move won’t affect all search terms, but it will have a huge impact in certain keyword sectors. The decision makes a lot of sense from the perspective of searchers. When you’re looking for “Presidential Election” you probably don’t mean one from the 1800s. When you search for the “Cleveland Browns,” you aren’t looking for news of a beating they took in 2005, you want to know about a fresh mauling.
You get the idea.
You Gotta Be Fresh!
Google has been getting a lot smarter lately about searcher intent, and this could be another move in the right direction.
The decision is likely to have a giant impact for bloggers. So-called ‘evergreen content‘ could be taking a hit, while fresh content starts to take up more and more important online real estate.
The types of affect this could have on searchers range from beneficial to dubious. For some, it will bring disaster. For those who have been living off the fruits of their labors in the past, they may see their traffic numbers brought back to reality. They’ll probably have to blog much harder than they planned on.
For newer bloggers, there is no downside. They get a chance to compete on tougher keywords, as long as they produce a high-quality Panda-proof blog post they have a legitimate chance of higher visibility. This helps to ‘level the playing field.’
Does this represent movement by Google towards content over links?
People have been wondering for months if Google has moved off their primarily backlink-driven model of rankings to one that’s more based on content and personalization. There are examples in their search results of both types of sites. There are high-quality websites built with the user in mind ranking for terms, and there are dumpier web pages that are fueled by backlinks still there. So far, it’s not 100% clear what these rankings indicate, but many bloggers are choosing to stay on the sunny side of the street by building great content.
What about the spammers?
Of course web spammers would seemingly also have a huge advantage with a new freshness factor. If they have one talent, it’s the ability to rapidly mass produce content on any topic. Is Google so confident in their ability to detect low-quality ‘spun’ content that they are basically saying ‘bring it on to spammers?’ Maybe.
Google and web spammers are constantly caught in an eternal cat and mouse game, so it’s no surprise that they will be butting heads over “Caffeine 2.0.”
Surely the black hatters are salivating at the challenge. ”If they want fresh,” I imagine them thinking,”I’ll show them fresh!” After manically laughing they return to their WordPress and begin hammering out an over-abundance of fresh content.
For the average blogger who is constantly pumping out sticky content, this move is bound to put a smile on their faces! If you work hard, make really great posts, and promise to be a good boy or girl, you may finally start getting a bit of exposure in Google. Since you concentrated on your users they’ll appreciate the great job you’re doing and come back for more. That means you’re well on your way to creating a long-term successful blog.
This new bias towards fresh pages should also mean that company blogs like this one will remain in style. Blogs are a good way for companies to communicate with current and potential clients, and fresh posts are a great way to bring them on. By pushing out topical content of interest, a certain amount of one-time ‘readers’ will end up becoming customers. Fresh posts are now the lifeblood of a vibrant inbound marketing campaign.
What do you think of the new Google freshness announcements? Do you ‘gotta be fresh‘ or not?