Every buyer wants to purchase fresh goods because they’re safe and healthy, right? It’s also how the Google Team thinks today! They want to feed users with fresh contents, not just quality, because those are what they’re looking for – hot coffee with a fresh bread. But, apparently, it’s not the search engine that will eat what you’ll provide; it will just reward you for what you’ve done to achieve its goal.
You deserve, as the users do, to consume what you have worked hard for. But then how will you provide them with what’s new and interesting? Would you just continue writing “quality articles” because you believe that it’s the king for Google? Freshness and quality are two different things; you cannot equate one with the other. The former is more of timeliness, while the latter speaks of how your article is presented without violating the algorithm rules.
But, isn’t it that the freshness is merely an element of quality? Well, that’s what we don’t know. What is certain at this moment is that the “query deserves freshness”. It’s the query of users that Matt was trying to puzzle out. It’s on the time that they would search for something that they want to know about or derive at. To be clarified about the types of queries of users, the following are the classifications made by Andrei Broder.
Types of Queries by Andrei Broder
• Navigational – it’s when a user searches for a homepage or other site’s features that his query falls under this category. But the question here is, how can you provide a user with fresh content if this is what he’s looking for? It’s short and simple: update your pages regularly so when he visits your site for the second time, he’ll not see the same content again that would turn him off from your site.
• Informational – the users here are seeking for specific information or data that would enlighten them about something or anything that they urgently need. For instance, if a user searches for the benefits of a certain food supplement, then his query is certainly considered as under this one. Thus, for you to provide the users with fresh informational materials, you have to focus on timely yet factual contents; facts and time should always work as a team in your article; otherwise, mere allegations or theories would defeat or fail the essence of freshness.
• Transactional –as the term itself suggests, it’s because of certain transaction that a reader is motivated to search for something. He maybe wants to shop for a certain product, and from then and there, he’ll negotiate for the price or buy the item immediately. So, what are you going to update here? Obviously, it’s your marketing articles and business information that have to be updated. Why? Because how can a user transact with you if he has no way of doing it for your contact information is no longer in use, or the description of your product does not already fit its current status?
These types of queries are a very important guide for you to know what to update in your site, and perhaps, they were the hint of Matt when he mentioned it when asked about “freshness as an important signal in all sites”. The rule of freshness simply revolves in the purpose and interest of users. That’s what Google wants to convey because, again, it’s because of the users that their goal needs to be achieved.
How about the webmasters or those who provide information for the users? Are they just being used by the search engine for its own benefit? It’s quite frank to ask this, but what’s wrong with being honest, anyway? Can the sites also gain benefit if the webmasters will continuously feed fresh and quality contents? And how are they going to assess their effort or performance relative to that practice? Let’s answer these and other essential questions through the following analysis:
Does Google Favor Blogs over Company Sites?
It is being asked because freshness is always present in the blog sites, and not in the company sites that usually maintain quality. If we base on the current webmaster guidelines, it would seem that quality weighs more than anything else, but if on the statements of Matt, it seems that freshness is now one element that defines quality. It’s somewhat absurd for the two terms aren’t synonymous; they’re different in dictionary and in SEO. So what really is the truth about this? Can the Google team provide first the definition of terms before mentioning technical terms on their updates?
Freshness vs. Quality: What’s Best?
If you provide fresh content but the users don’t want it, then what’s the point? And if you maintain quality and readers are not interested on reading your content because it’s not fresh, then where’s the value of your effort? It’s really not good to imagine if many will get confused with the subsequent updates. The focus is the users, but how can you focus on someone or something that has no specific interest? Is this a “guessing game” for Google and webmasters? Let’s play this safely!
How Can a Site Benefit from Fresh Contents?
Apparently, if you abide with what Google says, then you’ll either be safe or get rewarded or both. And not only that, if you are successful in providing the needs of your users, they may eventually turn as your clients.
When and Where to Get Fresh Contents?
Today and tomorrow, and not yesterday. Fresh speaks about current time, but note that there are updates in the past that you can also use as supplement for your timely contents. Where? You can’t see this in a garbage bag; seek for freshness to those who provide it; news sites, and other regularly updated sites are a good source.
How Freshness Transmits Signals and Generates Traffic?
Does this still need to be asked? Perhaps, because others know the process of optimization, but don’t know how it is being followed or done in the web. If you have fresh contents, your “signal” among your followers will certainly go beyond what you can expect, and in the instance that they are already following your posts consistently, your traffic will be generated automatically.
Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Freshness, or vice versa – why not just mix freshness into quality? It’s not impossible; you can gather fresh updates or news and use them in making quality contents or articles. Let’s do it right! And always remember what Matt have said that freshness is only one among 200 signals Google is using, therefore even if you are a company website or not a blogging site you still can have the chances to rank. Remember that if you have a quality content that what a reader truly needs you will surely become visible in the SERPs.
The Critical Question is…
What if What the Google Wants are not What the Users Want?
Google says its main focus is the users, and the current rules seem to have been based on this aim. But what if what it anticipates is contrary to what will happen? Are the rules then have just been utilized for one big experiment? If that is so, then would it right to say that the sites will get affected merely because of experiments? What do you think?
There’s no assurance for victory in exchange of freshness from Google, but it is always implied that in every update made by its team, there’s something important which the webmasters should follow for the safe optimization throughout the web. Thus, like when you drink a coffee, you also have to consume what is being fed while they’re still hot and fresh!
Here’s Matt on Freshness
What’s your views? Please share it below.