Today Google announced a change to it’s algorithm that is said to impact 35% of searches, and what’s it all about? Freshness. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s all about fresh unique content and Google has made this abundantly clear in their changes today. Of course, as with most Google algorithm updates there is lots of confusion around what really happened. While you could read a long 12 paragraph SEO blog post about the changes, I’ll try to net this down to something more digestible.
It all started with Caffeine, a web indexing system that Google released last year which allows them to crawl fresh content, really freakin’ fast. Like the use of freakin’ there, I felt it was needed to keep this exciting! This means that Google now will be placing fresher, more recently written content, higher up in their search results. This change impacts 35% of searches compared to a mere 12% of searches that were impacted by the infamous Panda update.
So that’s the basics. Google changed their algorithm to reward fresh content. Now here’s one thing you might not realize. This isn’t the first time Google is including freshness in their algorithm. In fact they already impacted 17.5% of queries with their first freshness algorithm improvement, this just doubles the impact, i.e. fresh content is more important than ever.
“Google says the change is providing “fresh” content for twice as many queries as before. In other words, the old “freshness” algorithm had an impact on about 17.5% of queries. Now it impacts double that figure, 35%.” (Source: Search Engine Land)
As a web searcher this has been a long time coming. I can’t tell you how many times I search for something and find a site from 2004 when there are much more relevant sites about the topic. As someone who builds brands this is another huge victory making this year 2/2 for those of us that have been focusing on fresh content! Hat’s off to Google for another great move, as a searcher and online business owner I see this as a very positive move.
How can you know if your site(s) have been impacted by Google’s recent algorithm change?
I highly recommend that anyone that wants to understand how their site rank’s in Google use the free Google Webmaster Tools. By placing a tiny bit of code in the header of your site you can track how your site ranks in the search engines, and which terms are bringing you the most traffic. You can also see how your rankings change over time so you can understand how the latest change impacted your sites.