Google likes to deliver results that are most relevant to its users and it is this exact method that has seen Google become the king of the internet. That means that fresh, newsworthy and current information is what Google loves to push right to the top of search rankings.
Therefore, keeping things fresh on your website can be a massive leap forward in terms of search ranking and user experience, if you know how to do it correctly.
The first thing to understand is what really constitutes “freshness” in the eyes of Google. If you currently have a pretty much static website then simply moving around a few paragraphs or changing a few sentences will not be enough to entice Google to think that you are newsworthy. Therefore, simply having a small “Latest News” or “Updates” section is likely to do very little for your freshness factor.
Therefore, changing lots of your content means more freshness. Changing your entire homepage on a daily basis (such as some news websites) can mean you are really fresh!
Of course it doesn’t all come down to changing content. It also comes down to the creation of entirely new content and this can come in the form of new pages to your website, blog entries and so on. Some estimations suggest that you should be aiming for around 30% growth on your site on an annual basis, meaning that if your website has 100 pages at present, you need to have 130 pages in 12 months time to constitute being a fresh and dynamic site in the eyes of Google.
So how does Google know if your content really is fresh? For example, how does Google know that you are revealing some breaking news that has happened just minutes ago, or if you are just writing nonsense that was revealed many years ago on hundreds of other sites? The simple way is by analysing trends and keywords and look at who is linking to you. Obviously lots of new websites linking to your new content means to Google that whatever you are writing about is obviously current and fresh.
This freshness factor can work to your advantage to prove to Google that all these new links to your new content means that you are fresh and current. However, it also implies that as a backlink gets older, it loses value due to its lack of freshness factor. This also means that you need to be getting backlinks from new and fresh sites. Getting continual backlinks from the same old sites is nowhere near as good as continually having new and relevant sites deciding to link to your new content.
Google can also tell how current your content is by your bounce rate and amount of visitors to that page. Having an article about SEO Tips 2012 may get loads of hits and plenty of people hanging around on your site this year, but in 2015, Google is bound to see that few people are visiting that page and those that are are quickly leaving.
So, to summarise, to stay fresh in the eyes of Google, you need to be providing new and current information that will draw in visitors to come and stay and will get other sites linking to you. Continually adding fresh content should continue to keep the fresh visitors and fresh backlinks and hey presto, Google sees you as a site with plenty of freshness!