In 2003, Google, the world's largest search engine, developed the Freshness algorithm, which determines the relevance or freshness of content. In 2011, the search engine updated this algorithm and significantly increased its role in ranking sites. For which queries is content relevance a critical ranking factor? How does fresh content affect the position of the site in the issue? Read below.
- 1. Definitions of relevance by date of creation
- 2. Scale of document changes (pages)
- 3. Frequency of page updates
- 4. Creating new pages
- 5. Changes to important content strongly affect relevance.
- 6. Number of new links
- 7. Links from new sites and pages confirm the relevance of the pages-acceptors
- 8. Changes to anchors devalues links
- 9. User behavior is an indicator of content freshness.
- 10. Freshness does not guarantee quality.
- How to please the search engine
How Google Freshness Algorithm Determines Content Freshness
Google honorary associate Amit Singhal explained the principles for evaluating content using the Freshness algorithm. He argues that Google evaluates the temporary relevance or freshness of each site as a whole. Then the search engine evaluates this indicator in the context of each page, determining the relevance of the content to the user's search queries.
Note that for some types of requests, the freshness of the content is a critical ranking factor. Amit Singhal highlights the following groups of search phrases:
- Inquiries related to current events, hot topics. For example, "Novodevichy Convent Fire", "Polina Gagarin Eurovision".
- Inquiries related to regularly recurring events. For example, "Serie A last tour results", "dollar rate to euro", "The name of the cool series, which is now shown on TV + last series."
- Requests that relevant information is constantly updated. These include: "the best smartphone for business people", "list of fashion accessories", "reviews of Windows 7".
There are requests for which the content freshness factor plays a minimal role or does not play a role at all. Such requests include the following: "the works of Leo Tolstoy", "the first emperor of China", "the World Cup in 1990".
It remains an open question how Google uses the Freshness algorithm to evaluate single-type queries for which the time factor plays a different role. For example, it is clear that the list of works by Tolstoy was relevant 10 years ago and will remain relevant after 30 years. Does this mean that the search engine handles requests for "the book of Leo Tolstoy" and "the book of Victor Pelevin" in different ways? This question is put into discussion.
The following describes the specific data by which Google determines the freshness of the content. They will help you understand how relevant publications affect the ranking of sites. Use this information to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
1. Definitions of relevance by date of creation
Evaluation of the date of creation of the document - this is what all sensible people and robots begin to determine the temporal relevance. When you buy milk, look at the date of manufacture to buy today's product. By the way, marketers seek to replace the date of manufacture with a shelf life, which has nothing to do with the freshness of food.
When you rate content, look at the date it was published. It is clear that from the two materials with the title "Yandex updated the search algorithm" you select the one that was published in March 2015, and not in January 2013. You have already guessed that over time, the relevance of content falls. In other words, the news from March of this year will be less recent in February 2016.
2. Scale of document changes (pages)
Many pages of the site contain two types of content: permanent and updated. For example, on the main page of "Lenta.ru," practically all content is regularly updated, and only the site name and the navigation menu remain constant. But the page in the "Wikipedia" dedicated to BG, is updated less frequently. Boris Borisovich releases new albums, participates in new projects, and the editors of Wikipedia record this. With each update, the page becomes fresher, although it was created many years ago.
Google estimates the extent of the page updates. At the same time, the search engine understands that the freshness of the main page of "Tapes.ru" and the relevance of the Grebenshchikov page in "Wikipedia" need to be assessed differently. In other words, the scale of updates plays a role when it comes to two pages of the same type, for example, the pages in Wikipedia and Lurkomorye dedicated to BG. If you add a couple of new offers to Lurka, and rewrite half of the content in Wikipedia, Google will find the page in Wiki more recent.
3. Frequency of page updates
Google considers content to be more relevant on a page that is updated every day than on a page that is updated once a year. In this search engine differently evaluates the dynamic pages, such as the main "Tape.ru", and static, for example, the page in "Wikipedia" about Angela Merkel.
If the page about Angela Merkel in the Wiki is updated every three days, and the page about Francois Hollande is updated only once a month, Google finds the German policy document more relevant.
4. Creating new pages
Other things being equal, Google considers more recent sites that create more new pages. Imagine sites A and B, each of which has 1000 pages at the beginning of 2015. If by the beginning of 2016, site A adds 100 new pages, and site B only 50, then search engines will consider A more fresh than B.
Please note that the search engine estimates not the absolute number of new pages, but the ratio of new pages to old ones. For example, a hundred-page website that has created 50 pages in a year will be considered more recent compared to a resource of 500 pages that created the same 50 new pages.
5. Changes to important content greatly affect relevance.
Each web page contains main and service content. The main content is in the body of the page (tag). Service content is contained in sidebars, footer, header, navigation menu, various widgets, etc.
Changes to the main content affect the freshness of the page more than changes in the service data. In other words, you can swap widgets in some places, add or change meta descriptions, and work with other service content, but this will have little effect on the relevance of the page from Google’s point of view. But the content changes in the body of the page will make it more fresh.
6. Number of new links
If Google fixes an increase in the rate of growth of the link mass, it considers this a sign of the relevance of the content. Imagine the sites A and B, which write about the news of the automotive industry. On each site there is a review "The list of the best cars for the Russian hinterland". Last year, each review received 2 new links per month. And in the new year, users put on a review of site B five new links per month, whereas a review on site A receives the same 2 links. Most likely the site owner B updated the review. He added to the list of models of the 2015 car. This is rated by users. This is also rated by search engines.
7. Links from new sites and pages confirm the relevance of the pages-acceptors
Links from fresh sites and pages give more acceptance to resource-acceptors. Imagine pages A and B that have 100 inbound links. A refers to pages created between 2008 and 2010. And on B refer to pages created in 2014 and 2015. You understand that Google, other things being equal, considers page B more recent.
8. Changes to anchors devalues links
Imagine that you bought a website dedicated to cars. For some reason, you changed his subject and began to write about the cultivation of indoor plants. After some time, Google will notice a change in external links anchor. If earlier users entered something like "cool cars" or "test drive Mazda 6" into anchors, now they write about flowers and feeding.
When Google notices these changes, it clears the weight of the links. In other words, the site loses relevance for requests related to cars, even if the old content and the reference mass remain. In contrast, the search engine finds the resource fresh for requests related to colors.
9. User behavior is an indicator of content freshness.
When content becomes irrelevant, the behavior of users on the page changes. Provide an overview of "The best phones for business." In 2005, users read it to holes, and in 2015, the bounce rate rose to 100%. Why did this happen? The review is outdated: businessmen no longer use phones with a monochrome display and a mono signal, which can be used to prick nuts. The review was fresh in 2005, but hopelessly outdated by 2015.
10. Freshness does not guarantee quality.
As noted above, for some types of requests, the Google Freshness algorithm does not play a role or plays a minimal role. The world's largest search engine understands that freshness does not guarantee quality. To understand this, enter the query "Fyodor Dostoevsky" in the search box.
How to please the search engine
For this you need to please the audience. And users like to get up-to-date information that can be used today. To make Google Freshness algorithm your site fresh, update it regularly. Publish useful for the audience and relevant information. Update previously published material.