Google’s QDF Update – How fresh is the content on your website?
Has your website been tumbling in it’s rankings in Google’s SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages)?
If so one of the things that you want to check the freshness of the content on your website.
In November Google announced a tweak to their algorithm called the QDF update, which gives preference to fresh content in their search results and they estimate that over 35% of search queries were affected.
So How Does Google Determine Freshness?
SEO expert Justin Briggs published an excellent technical article if you wish to dive into the technicalities.
But in a nutshell according to Justin, Google bases the freshness on a few key areas:
- Document Discovery
- Proportion of Change
- Fresh Rank
- Diminishing value
There is debate to the question if Google determines the “freshness date” of your content the first time their spiders crawl your page, the first time it is mentioned on the social sites, the first time it’s linked to, or the first time it’s indexed into their SERP’s but one thing is clear.
After you do publish a new article it is to your benefit to get as much exposure to this article as you can by:
Proportion of Change
Justin developed this mathematical formula that you can use to judge the proportion of change: U=f(UF,UA) and if you’re interested in learning more about it I would recommend you read his article.
But in a nutshell once your content is published Google will determine its shelve life based upon the interest your article has or its Fresh Rank.
Coined by Justin in his article, Fresh Rank is basically judged by the changing content on your landing page and the freshness of the other pages linking to it.
So basically it all boils down to this.
If you have dated content on your website that your audience isn’t linking to or discussing it’s going to become stale and “stinky”.
Once Google determines your content is “stale and stinky” it will fall into their 35% range and it will be discounted and your site will fall in value in their SERPs.
Do a site audit and ask yourself these three questions:
- Is the content on my site relevant, timely and useful to my customers?
- Does it meet the goals of my organization or company?
- Does it add value?
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