When marketing a website, there are many, many variables that must be considered. Now, more than ever, one important variable that must be high on that list is fresh content. For a website to really be successful in today’s competitive market, it needs to have fresh content. Here are some ways to make sure your site looks fresh and exciting in Google’s eyes.
Google loves sites with content that’s both relevant AND fresh. No, this doesn’t mean that you have to try to mess with your content every single week, but it’s important to consider either adding a new page or two or revamping some of your content every once in a while. Updating just a paragraph or the order of the navigation won’t do much. Instead, try to completely update whole pages of content.
Having a blog on your domain that you update often would help Google to think kindly of your site, as a blog counts as fresh content. Think about what kinds of updates you could give your audience. Is there any news in your industry? Within your company? Do you have any ideas about how you could get customers involved in commenting on posts or submitting them? Get creative!
Make sure to build your blog on a subfolder page (mysite.com/blog), rather than a subdomain (blog.mysite.com) or new domain (myblog.com). A subfolder keeps a good amount of the authority that your domain already has, whereas a subdomain or new domain does not. A page will benefit from being on an already powerful domain or subdomain.
Link building is important in general, but it is also important when looking at site freshness. If you have some new links every month then your site looks fresh, especially if those links are from other fresh sites. Be careful here, though, because Google could detect something fishy if you’ve got too many new links in a short amount of time.
Google takes user behavior into account when ranking search results. A page that users spent time on will look better than one they clicked on, then navigated away from right away. People are naturally going to stay on your site longer if you’ve got up-to-date, fresh content.
On November 2nd, 2011, Google announced that they had released a new update that can figure out when to give the searcher really up-to-date content. Depending on the content/purpose of your website, this update may not affect you. For instance, search “Decision 2012″. This phrase uses Google’s new results update, as you can see by the very timely results. Most of the results have time stamps from the last couple months or days, even though popular content exists from 2010. Now, search “house plant”. See the difference? No time stamps or recent news stories appear in the results, as they did for “Decision 2012”.
Whether this Google update affects your site or not, it is important to keep your content up to date, fresh, and interesting. Think about the sites you visit on a regular basis. Would you keep going to them if new stuff didn’t pop up? Also, watch your competitors’ sites. How do they keep their content fresh? Just make sure not to copy them. Use your creativity! The writers of Field of Dreams got it right: If you build it, they will come.