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Is Your Website Fresh Enough For Google Panda?

Published on Nov 10, 2011

Summary

Read 'Is Your Website Fresh Enough For Google Panda?' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
IsYourWebsiteFreshEnoughForGooglePanda On November 3, 2011, Google updated their Panda algorithm to further incorporate “freshness” into their Website rating equation. What is Freshness? In a nutshell, Google has altered its algorithm so it can better determine when a viewer is looking for the most up-to-date information on a particular subject or product. According to Google, “search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent.” For example, if you’re searching for information on buying a computer, you’re probably looking for info on the most up-to-date Mac, Dell or Hewlett Packard (unless you’re a collector of old computers). Google wants to make sure you’re receiving the most recent info on these types of searches. “Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.” What Types Websites Does this Affect? Google has given us three main categories where freshness will play a larger role. They include any Website that:
  • Covers recent events & hot topics
  • Has regularly recurring events
  • Requires frequent updates
Sites that are directly affected by the latest Google Panda update need to produce fresh content just to keep pace with the competition. Selling timely services or products that relate to a holiday, graduation, elections, etc, just got harder. For more details on these three categories, visit Google’s press release on their latest update. What Websites Aren’t Affected? There many companies, therefore many Websites, that don’t fall into these categories. For the most part, their products and content remain static. If your Website, and your competitors’ Websites, are all full of static pages — then according to Google you shouldn’t be greatly affected by the freshness algorithm. No harm, no foul. I don’t agree. In the case mentioned above, you may not lose any ranking in search engine results — but you’re also not gaining any! In remaining flat, or on par, with the competition you’re not differentiating yourself in any way — at least not to Google. Sure your content may be svelte, but you’re not any fresher than your competitors. What I see here is a huge opportunity for this type of business to lift their Website above and beyond anyone else in their respective industry. Think about it. If you have solid, quality content AND you’re providing freshness — you’re going to rise up in Google’s ranking, making you more visible to customers. In other words, you’re gaining an advantage. How to Add Freshness to Your Website It’s clear that no matter what your business, adding freshness is going to be to your benefit. There are two ways you can add freshness to your site: 1) Constantly rewrite content for each Web page. If you want to torture yourself, and your writers, this is the way to go. 2) Create a blog. This is an effective way to add freshness to your Website, and position yourself as a source for useful information to your customers and potential customers. If you have an existing Website, make sure the blog is built into it (via CMS or HTML, depending on how your site is constructed). A blog that’s not actually part of your site won’t add freshness. One Final Note When creating fresh content, make sure it’s filled with relevance and quality. When Google Panda “takes a bite” of your Website, you want it to notice heirloom tomatoes, all-natural ingredients and robust flavor — not junk food. Related Links: - Google Panda and the Myth of Keyword Density - Google Panda Do's and Don'ts: Is Your Website Optimized Correctly? - Google Panda and the Black Hole Effect Business Blogs blog