Google Content Freshness: How automated Content provides advantage in SEO

In principle, a regularly updated website is considered to be more successful in SEO: New content means that the website is indexed more often, creates more relevance and greater audience reach. All this has a positive impact on the ranking ( though rather indirectly).
In addition, there are special areas for which ultra up-to-date content that can (in some cases only) be delivered through automation gives a direct advantage in search engine optimization.

Content ages - but not at the same pace

What happens with content over time? Content ages because changes in product itself and in the real world will inevitably occur, planned or unplanned. Over time the gap between the static content, you have written once and the evolving reality becomes more obvious:

  • Initially minor discrepancies, resulting in significant errors in the course of time.
  • Content loses more and more its validity and relevance.
  • Content is no longer appealing and attractive!

(Source: 10 Illustrations of How Fresh Content May Influence Google Rankings (Updated))

According to this content that is updated recently must rank higher than “stale” content. But a SEO study by SEO-tool provider Ahrefs (on the base of 2 million random keywords) showed that only 1-2% of the pages on Google Position 1 are less than 1 year old. The average Top 10 rankin page is 2+ years old.

They summarize: The SERP is clearly dominated by “old” pages.

(Source: How long does it take to rank in Google? 2017)

What is more useful? Established or current content? The search engine dilemma

This observations demonstrate that search engines are confronted with a dilemma when they want to present their users high quality content on the first positions: On the one hand you have the decline of content and on the other hand content authority can only be build up over time. If content is sustainable and lasting you assume quality.

evergreen content fresh content
well-aged, many backlinks (takes time), established, proven relevant for the issue , sustainable and lasting Up-to-date, no “aging errors” relevant to the reader, reflexes their curren environment and needs
examples for issues: “the anatomy of the human brain” examples for issues: “The Top 10 Smartphones”

Query Deserves Freshness - Algorithm brings decision guidance

So you have to distinguish the actual needs of the user. For this Google invented the QDF (= Query Deserves Freshness) algorithm. This mathematical model tries to determine when users want new information or when it’s not important to get the most current information. For this Google observes blogs and magazines, news portals and search queries to detect “hot” topics to dectect search words and phrases that indicate the need for fresh content and with that the SERPs are constructetd: If the QDF is above average fresh content ranks higher than established content.

There are usually three categories with increased requirements of fresh content:

  1. The mentioned “hot” topics or recent events (“Meghan and Harry move to Canada”).
  2. Regularly recurring events (“olympics”).
  3. Frequent updates That means for issues that need regular update because there are frequent new information. For example, if you’re researching the [best smartphone cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [jeep compass reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.

For working with the AX platform this leads to following conclusions:

  1. The type of content that is most suitable to text generation is directly linked to the category “frequent updates”. For this you will automatically have an advantage over handmade text production, because your texts will get updates as soon as the data changes.

  2. In fact, you can even use the QDF as an indicator for your decision whether to automate your texts (or which part of your texts to automate): the more clearly your keywords are reflected on the QDF, the more you benefit from automation in terms of SEO.

  3. You can use text generation to be prepared to provide content for the second category “recurring events” or bind your content to recurring events or seasons to benefit from the ranking factor freshness.