Content is king, right? That’s the old SEO mantra. Over the past few years we’ve read of the imminent usurpation of content from its throne, its death, its revival and its evolution. Now it appears that Google is upping content’s status from lowly king to Lord High Emperor Almighty Ruler Dictator of All. Google has added yet another update to its Panda algorithm and this one places particular emphasis on fresh content.
It’s the word fresh that is the key.
Everyone knows that it’s important to update blog content regularly; most people know that it’s important to update website content regularly, but it’s much easier said than done. Companies that don’t have a designated person or department managing their websites often don’t have the time or technical know-how to add fresh content to their sites on a regular basis. Companies that outsource their web needs to SEO companies or digital marketers might not have the budget to cover the regular creation of new content.
The time has now come for these companies to make a plan, because Google has stated its intention to give preference to the freshest, newest and most recent information published online.
According to Google, the new update will affect approximately 35% of all search results. Remember when the first Panda update came out and websites lost position and the hue and cry was enough to bring down the heavens? Well, that update affected only 12% of search results. That’s nearly three times less than projections for the new update. That’s a lot.
As mentioned, it can be very difficult for some companies to enact regular website updates. Small business websites may find it particularly difficult to keep creating new content. This skews the playing field in favour of big companies with big budgets and in-house IT departments; which goes against the spirit of the web.
Business blogs count. Blog posts don’t even have to be that long; as long as bloggers aren’t duplicating, scraping or plagiarising content they’re going to be ok.
An important fact to remember is that content doesn’t necessarily have to be written. New images (with captions, descriptions and tags), videos (preferably with transcripts), audio files and slideshows all count as content. Of course images, videos, audio files and slideshows all benefit from an introductory paragraph or synopsis of sorts, maybe even a conclusion, but these don’t have to be long.
Bear in mind, however, that while freshness counts, so does quality. Don’t go adding tosh just because you feel it is necessary. Maintain the integrity the website above all else.
Sandy writes for a number of blogs on a variety of topics, including SEO services, advertising, business, travel, education and climate change.