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Google Freshness Update – What it Means For You

The Google Freshness update is right up my alley. For those that know me I like to stay on top of what’s current and fresh. Whether it’s in music, technology or world news I like to stay on top of what’s happening and new or what is soon to come. I’m probably not alone, people in general would like to know what’s going on in the world around them. That’s why radio, tv, the internet and now social media have become so popular.

Now as you’ve all probably heard by now Google has released another update. For those that haven’t the other day, Thursday, November 3rd Google released the Google Freshness Update. Now before you all get worried about your search results this is not as big as the Google Panda update (also known as the Google Farmer because of its effect on content farms). While they say it’s going to affect around 35% of search queries, and Panda only affected 11%, a lot of sites are not feeling it like they did with the Panda update. That’s probably because most of us are not trying to rank for terms in niches that are constantly changing or maybe it’s because you’re keeping your blogs and websites current and fresh.

What is the Google Freshness Update?

The Google Freshness update is The Big G’s way of making sure you (the searcher) has access to the “Freshest” content available. With today’s world and the way we are using the internet these days it seems that everyone wants to stay up on the top topics that are going on in the world. Things like current events, celebrity gossip, what their friends are talking about and also experts in the areas that they are searching for. Let me give you a few examples.

Say someone types in “great gift ideas for Christmas” they don’t want to know what was popular 10 years ago. They want to know the best gifts to give this year. Trust me, you go and get your kid a toy for Christmas that was big 10 years ago they’re going to be something upset. But now with the Google Freshness Update You can just type in the search query above, without a time stamp (2011) Google is going to know that you want information for this Christmas coming up and therefore saving you from getting your kid a Power Ranger and therefore saving Christmas.

The Google Freshness update is also going to make sure you are given the most up to date, up to the minute news and current events from around the world. Now when someone searches for a term about one of today’s top news stories Google is going to give you the freshest stories according to when they were posted. Take a close look at your results and you will see that the time stamps on the results will go back according to time and date. While the first result might say 18 minutes the last one may say 18 hours or even 2 days before the date of the search depending on the popularity of the search query.

If you would like a more detailed explanation on the methods Google is using for the Google Freshness update Justin Briggs does a great job of explaining it in his post; Methods for Evaluating Freshness. In this article he goes into deep analysis of how Google looks at the inception date of a document and does a great job at describing how the Google Freshness update uses social media and information from microblogs to make sure the user always has access to the freshest and current results.

How is the Google Freshness Update Going to Affect Us?

Now what does the Google Freshness update mean to you and your fellow marketers? Depending on the search terms you want to rank for it could mean nothing at all but if your websites search queries are targeting terms that are regularly changing then this could be a problem. I don’t see it as being a problem at all; I think this is a great improvement for everyone that’s using the search engine for finding current information. And for those of us that work online whether it be in SEO or Internet marketing in general, as long as you keep up with maintaining your blog or website with current information you should be fine.

But those that think they can put up a post or two and hope to rank and stay on top of the search engines are going to feel this update the most. With the Google Freshness update, if you’re not keeping your website or blog current and up to date with the freshest content possible, don’t expect to keep your rankings or rank at all.

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