The Custard Blog

Words of wisdom from our team of online marketing experts

What Google’s ‘Freshness Update’ Means for SEO

Google has rolled out another update to its algorithm which is being called the ‘Freshness Update’ and is intended to promote newer content for seasonal searches and searches related to current events. But what impact will this have on SEO?

The Impact of Google’s Freshness Update

At first it wasn’t clear how major an update this would be, but Google have suggested that the update will impact around 35% of searches. To put that in perspective, the infamous Panda Update impacted 12% of searches – so it’s a big deal.

However, rather than being a problem for websites, as many people saw Panda, the Freshness Update could be a massive opportunity. The new algorithm is based around showing more up to date results for searches to do with current events and recurring events. So for example, searches for ‘FA Cup Final’ around May should bring up results for that year’s match, whereas previously we might have seen pages about previous years (based on number of links).

Similarly, searches related to current events won’t just bring up pages from a couple of weeks ago that got a lot of links, it will bring up results that could be just minutes old based on the fact that they are providing fresh content. I would imagine this will still be based on things like domain authority (so BBC will still appear higher than the average blog) and of course social media engagement which has become increasingly important.

How Custard Media Have Reacted

What this means is that a website – or in our case, an SEO Preston agency – that is on the ball could see huge spikes in traffic as long as they get the timing right. At Custard Media, we’re already putting plans in place that will mean that rather than seeing a story and scheduling in for a client’s blog post later in the week, we will be flexible enough to write about it there and then and get it uploaded & promoted quickly.

It’s not just about being relevant any more – it’s about being fresh and being first!

The Freshness Update & Local SEO

There’s also been some suggestion online that the local listings algorithm has been tweaked a little to give preference to listings that not only have reviews, but have recent reviews.

This makes sense, as a restaurant that has closed down might have 50 old reviews, but a newer restaurant might have got 20 in the last 2 weeks. Whether they’re positive or negative, Google wants to show the freshest information, so anyone with a Google local listing needs to encourage fresh reviews for their listing if they want to rank in this way.

In conclusion…

In a nutshell, this means that SEO is becoming more and more ‘real-time’ and any SEO agency worth its salt needs to be able to drop everything to take advantage of a big story that could be beneficial for a client.

If you’re interested in speaking to a proactive, dynamic SEO agency, contact Custard Media today and see how we could help your business take advantage of Google’s latest update.


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