You are likely to have heard that Google uses the update feature to attract new users. This post will explain how you can use freshness strategies to boost website traffic free. It’s a quick and easy way to increase organic traffic in just weeks.
To see this spike in traffic, use Google’s freshness factor.
Let’s get started.
Google Values Fresh Content and Ranks it Higher within the SERPs.
Let’s say, for instance, that we have two search queries:
- Best HP Laptop chargers for IT professionals
- WordPress the most popular CMS
You will now be able to see that your first query needs more new content since there are always new HP chargers.
The most popular CMS remains nearly unchanged, with the exception of some technicalities. And it requires little or no content update.
Google generally has two types of freshness:
- Google prefers old pages to remain up-to-date in terms of content freshness
- Sitewide freshness
While consistency and sitewide freshness are important, this post is purely focused on content freshness.
Google is able to measure freshness. It can determine whether the content you have is new or not by a number of factors:
- Changes to the content
- Good user engagement
- New backlinks
- Published date/Last modified date
- Search terms that signal freshness
If you have been working in SEO for long enough, you might have tried to change the blog post date hoping to increase your CTR. Sometimes it works but it isn’t always that effective.
Google might not display the updated date of your blog post if you have not modified the content.
It is contained in the patent Google filed back in 2011.
“To ensure that every link’s freshness is not affected by a minor edit of an unrelated section of a document, updates to each document may be subject to significant changes (e.g. modifications to large sections or many different portions of a file) and links’ freshness may be modified (or not updated).”
Google may not consider small changes important, according to the patent. However, the extent of change has an impact on freshness.
Is it possible to fake freshness?
Moz did a different experiment in 2015. They changed the publishing dates for 16 blog entries on their website.
The experiment was able to increase their organic traffic by 66% in just four weeks. They only used one of Google’s freshness factors to fake it!
Google uses the Query Deserves Fresh algorithm to determine how fresh content is. It can identify the exact intent of a keyword by using Rankbrain and categorize keywords that warrant new results.
The QDF algorithm is, by definition: a mathematical model used to identify when users desire new information. This algorithm activates whenever there’s a big buzz about a topic or a surge of “mentions”.
Google monitors the following sources to achieve this goal:
- The trend in Search Requests (a sudden rise in some search topics)
- Google news (a new buzz)
QDF applies as long as there are multiple sites and searchers actively discussing the topic. Google will prioritize new results that are relevant to users’ search terms.
Google may view your content as fresh if keywords are used in your articles that are active around QDF monitoring places (as I mentioned above). It categorizes the topics it finds by analyzing the sources above:
Regular updates: Google expects to provide regular updates on these subjects, such as presidential elections and the NFL.
Frequent updates: This is for topics such as gaming, smartphones, and other technologies that require frequent updates.
My opinion: Google is a giant in the field of search engine optimization. It now provides topics with the freshness and innovation they need. For example, smartphones might be more topical than psychology.
The Concept of Content Decay
Google expects you to update your content in order to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages for certain niches. It determines the shelf life of content in any non-evergreen niche after which it is deemed to have lost its value.
There are many benefits to updating your content. You should consider updating your content to ensure relevance and freshness.
Many people feel it’s difficult to update existing content. They’d prefer to publish new material.
However, once you’ve created a content upgrading system with well-defined processes, it’s much easier than publishing new content.
Here are some reasons I started updating content that was already outdated.
- It ranks content much faster than new content because you’re working with old content that ranks well.
- It will increase user engagement and traffic to your site.
- It forces Google to update the timestamps for your content in SERPs. In turn, it increases CTR.
- It increases your earnings and traffic prior to website flipping (if possible), and increases the total value.
- You can combine these benefits with multiple posts to create a compounding growth impact on your site.
Why would I give old content a new twist?
I realized it was possible to lose my expected ROI on the content I haven’t updated. Because I’m dealing in old, trusted content, the ROI from content upgrading is higher than that of new content.
Don’t cut down on 4 posts per week and reduce production to 1 post. Instead, you should spend some time updating the old content.
I used Google Analytics to find the posts on the site that fulfilled all the criteria. You will see which of these posts are driving the most traffic.
After a while, traffic and rankings may drop. But it’s still preferable to be in the top 10
How Can You Adopt this Strategy?
First, make sure you have a budget to cover content upgrades and new content publishing. You must determine the content’s shelf lives on your blog in order to effectively implement this strategy.
Google expects more new content from those who are at the height of the technological exponential curve. Keep in mind the timestamps of your competitors
If you’re having trouble finding out the shelf life for your content, make a list of five keywords relevant to your niche and compare them with the timestamps of the competitors.
If the most popular pages on the first-page rank are updated in a period of fewer than five months, it could indicate that your content shelf life is only 5 months.
You must update your content whenever you notice that it is becoming outdated.
You might need to keep these in mind when you are creating an up-gradation strategy for every blog post.
If the content has been updated, you can republish it with the current date. Get some social traffic, inbound links, and social signals.
Google will find your post and display it in the SERPs if you don’t want to publish the date.
Plugin WP Last Modified Information
You can use the plugin WP Last Modified Info. It also has dynamic field support for page builders like Elementor.
CTR increases are also possible for people who stumble upon your blog through Google.
Keep in mind that Google is looking for fresh content. This means you need to have fresh backlinks as well as social media engagement.
Expectations: Because not all niches are the same, it is best to expect low traffic. If everything goes well, you’ll see results in a week or so, depending on your crawl rate.
Google values fresh content the most. So, plan a content upgrading cycle according to your content shelf-life. Update old posts frequently and see the magic for yourself.