Is freshness an important signal for all sites?

Is freshness an important signal for all sites?

>>Cutts: Hey everybody. We’re back for another
round of Webmaster Videos. The very first question, the most popular
one, with 86 votes, comes from Ivan in Canada. Who asks: “Google has expressed in the past
that frequently updated pages get a boost in rankings (QDF), that seems to favor blogs
and news sites over company sites, which have less reason to be updated often. How important
of a signal is ‘freshness’?” So there’s a little bit of an interesting
twist in this question. Where, it’s not just the case that just because something is frequently
updated in terms of the pages on your blog or on your site that you automatically, sort
of, should be ranking higher. So I wouldn’t have that interpretation of
freshness. Go back to what Andrei Broder wrote a long time ago in terms of thinking about
the types of searches that people do. He wrote that searches could be navigational. They
could be informational. Or they could be transactional. And that expresses a lot of what people are
looking for. You know, navigational they might search for HP or IBM, looking for the home
page. Informational, they’re looking for how to actually do something, you know. Whether
it’s diagnosing the toilet or setting the default printer in Firefox, whatever. Transactional,
they might be shopping, they might be looking for products. But that’s just a very broad hierarchy. If
you really drill down more, you’ll see that sometimes people are looking for something
that’s fresh-seeking. So if you’re searching for an earthquake, you know. Or some event
that just happened. That would be QDF. That would be a query that deserves freshness. That’s what QDF stands for whenever Amit Singhal
talked about it. But not every query deserves freshness. So if it’s a navigational thing.
If it’s evergreen content. Sometimes people are looking for long form content and doing
more research. Then freshness wouldn’t be counted as that much. So we have over 200 signals that we use. And
the thing that I would not do, the pitfall, the trap that I would not fall into, is saying
“OK, I have to have fresh content. Therefore I’m going to randomly change a few words on
my pages every day. And I’ll change the byline date so that it looks like I have fresh content.” That’s not the sort of thing that’s more likely
to actually lead to higher rankings. And if you’re not in an area about news, if you’re
not in a sort of niche or topic area that really deserves a lot of fresh stuff, then
that’s probably not something you need to worry about at all. It might be better to, like an SEO, it’s not
like, there will always be some SEO events. But there’s some content that’s evergreen,
that lasts and stands the test of time. And it might be better to work on those sort of
articles than just trying to jump onto whatever’s on the top of Techmeme or whatever the story
du jour is. So that’s a little bit of a way to think about
it. I wouldn’t spend so much time thinking about freshness. Just because it’s one of
the over 200 signals. That you sort of miss out on all the other signals. Now, if you’re in a hot breaking, you know,
area where you’re competing with in Gadget, The Verge, you know. If you write about video
games, there’s a lot of like, topical breaking news, then it is good to try to be fresh and
make sure that you have content that’s especially relevant. But it’s not the sort of thing where you need
to worry about, OK, making sure that you’re re-writing your pages or changing words on
your page just so you look fresh. So Google is relatively good about trying to suss out
when it’s more helpful to be fresh, and when it’s just, you know, the sort of regular search
where the web pages that were good yesterday were also good today. Hope that helps.


  • I really do enjoy watching these SEO videos. I may not have a site yet. But Matt is very inspiring, and I feel that there is space to be competitive in google.

  • GetFoundOnlineTips


  • Максим Родионов

    It's OK now in Moscow.

  • Works in India 😀

  • Дмитрий Евдокимович

    И довольный такой… Натворит фигни и радуется.

  • EDM … Algo update … Totally sucks ….

  • Nw google retuning keyword stuffed … Sites totally unrelated content got higher ranking

  • What is wrong with use of Edm ? .. Edm should may have more good content .. They have less things to focuse …. Low qualite also come there like everywhere … But giving penality for all edm is not a good idea

  • After Edm update .. I feel .. Google results is more spammy .. Frequent keywords is retuning good results in general .. But if u search an different term .. And go in deep .. You can see the robot generated pages … Mix of youtube video title .. With another article content …unrelated tags … E.t.c .. If i go n create a site like that … I think i will get a loat deep search users … Simply robot work for me ….

  • Ramakrishna Siripuram

    Blogger naked domain problem…? how to fix it..?

  • I agree with others in the comment section, though a bit off topic. I have an Exact Match Domain name which I set up because I did a review of a writing course I went through. Instead of writing a one page blog post about it, I figured it would be better to organize the information on its own website to easily navigate through. I had full disclosures and everything. It's been deranked and replaced by less informative one page blog articles. Sucks. I put a lot of work into it and it's good.

  • Christopher Skyi

    A great example of how bad seo misses the obvious: freshness was used to justify freq. site updates in the way Matt describes as if that's all Google cared about, i.e., just change the page and Google will rank you higher. Stupid. Ask instead why Google values freshness or links and you'll start getting real insight into why some sites rank higher than others.

  • Kenneth von Rauch

    So, he's basically saying that if you're not a news site, just don't worry too much about it. 🙂

  • Had the same problem a few hours ago in Sweden. Could see it now though.

  • What if you are a media site for example a video tube with daily updates? Should you place latest updated videos on the first page or the historically best rated ones?

  • i still have few doubt over it

  • The biggest problem I see with this video is that it reflects Google idea that most websites are technology related content when in actuality, most websites are not. I'm in the technology industry but my clients are bricks and mortars businesses wanting an online presence. In my small city of less than 5,000 people with less than 300 businesses and organizations, we have over 100 websites and NONE are technology type sites. That's 2% of the population and, yet, we only have 22 bloggers.

  • Having 'fresh content' is not going to hurt you. If you have a company site in which the products and services remain relatively static you can always add a blog as a sub-domain and write fresh content about relevant industry topics and tie it into your products and services where relevant. The blog page can serve ads that link back to your products page leading to relevant products or services of topic. All things being equal how could this do anything but help you.

  • They aren't giving a penalty for EDMs, they're just removing an advantage that EDMs had solely because of the keywords in the domain name. Now they'll rank as they should always have based on their content, not because of their domain name. At least in theory anyway.

  • Muhammad Februriyanto

    i hope it'll help me alot… thanks google.

  • American English Conversation

    Scotty, get me to Warp 9!!!

  • Fresh content makes a big difference, just like fresh links. My EMD's and KeywordRich Domain sites faired pretty well with the recent update, but we write lots of unique content.

  • After Emd update … Many sites are not in Index !! s

  • Google should define "QUALITY SITE" .. Google is just an Article searchengine ?.. Matt cutts is always thinking about blog !! news websits !! Google Love Authority sites but ALWAYS that is answer for a querys is not good …Fresh content copy from a new blog by an Authority website … but that will #1 ..

  • Authority websites going aggersive now a days … not pulling usefull info just taking advantage of googles Love on Them ..

  • Great Video! Thanks.

  • MfP Website Marketing

    I'm glad he has cleared that up. I don't know how many conversations I have had with business owners who had also grasped the whole concept incorrectly. Some of them were going into their homepage daily just to change a few words!!!!!! Ludicrous.

  • Useful reply. Thanks

  • Oh .. Wow webmaster help .. Replaying to comments ?!! That is cool hop u guys sew my comment …Today i searched for a webcam driver … Spend 30 minis . never retuned a good info … All top pages are Robot Generated to that specific term .. And maid different pages an tags … The webspam team ia not seeing this ?? Or Very Aggressive way of using google adsense …I am familier with adsense .. But i clicked one accidently … Blented too much … I am not specofing site names …

  • This is an excellent explanation. Thank you.

  • where to ask questions , here in comments ??

  • Ryan Steinolfson

    Great explanation of the importance of Freshness.

  • I already knew it.

  • So how does a webmaster indicate evergreen content? In some areas of my sites material is intended to persist in a relatively unchanged state forever. For these low QDF is almost a negative marker for importance.

  • raghava innopark

    Fresh content is different from "useful content" to users, not all the fresh content are useful to users. so how search engine find at user level ?. so google must introduce some more points or updates to differentiate those two. must introduce voting method for every website and filter the websites from different locations and different peoples

  • Matt Cutts, you are aware that you guys are responsible for killing businesses over night with your random and excessive updates right? 😉

  • Ahmad Khoirul Azmi

    IMO, "Freshness" and "Quality" (useful, informative, descriptive, valuable, etc) are not the same. We (users) prefer quality to freshness. There are a lot of websites having updated content, but can we then say that the content is quality? If what you mean by "Freshness" is updated content, it may be right, but If you want to say that "Freshness" determines quality (valuable, what people want, what people expect, in the name of "user experience")… then you're wrong.

  • CononymousAnward

    But that actually answers the question of what Google prefers most – fresh or high quality content 🙂

  • CononymousAnward

    Besides, "diagnosing the toilet are setting the default printer in firefox whatever" makes perfect sense to me.

  • Matt Cutts looks like the confessor (the confessional behind) 😀

  • At the end of the day if you do good clean SEO and target the correct audience, you will rank well!!

  • I agree…the formula is quite simple when you look at it.

  • Very good point…if there is no substance to the content and its simply rewritten then its fresh but simply rewritten.

  • Visit: TechSenser

  • Diagnosing a toilet?

  • Nishant Srivastava

    Blog is must for every company website…

  • I agree every company should be filling the web with useless content about every little stupid thing they can think of to write about in a blog post. I know as a user I appreciate that and most certainly love wading through 10000's of blog posts to find what I'm looking for.

  • Have you ever ranked a site before? u2 unixolsc?

  • They should care why? You base entire businesses on Google search engine which is ever changing form….. what the F&$# do you expect?

  • you were cut off.. where is the rest of the video 🙁

  • QDF for lawyer and doctor websites – laws and human health hardly change in a generation. So why are lawyer and doctor webmasters so obsessed with blogging and new content?

  • Thomas Zickell

    things are constantly occurring in your industry rather your doctor attorney manufacturer or stories of things that have occurred in those industries.
    Imagine doctors being able to share cutting-edge information that they have learned just from another colleague or it came to them that is valuable, and the world is better off with that knowledge. it also makes you look a lot more human people enjoy interacting with others and I know when I go to a website I like the human feel

  • While freshness is definitely important, focusing on quality and crafting "shareable" contents are factors that you need to emphasize more on. With how Google's updates are headed towards (if they aren't there yet) user experience, "shareable" and quality contents will do your SEO wonders.

  • প্রিয়াঙ্কা খান

    Hi it didn't say I had done the work. Please look at the order page, at the instructions next to the lightbulb image.

  • Prem Nath Vishwakarma

    Super Stuff !

  • How you would find an audience if your content is good? Adwords?

  • See my vids & see awesome sk8 moves!

  • Dinesh Nuthalapati

    Thank You

  • ArtaGene Skipper

    Did help.  Thanks Matt.  Unless I missed something, write something relevant to what is good already and forget trying to be a news stand.

  • Pay India Bills

    Excellent as usual. Thanks for the info Matt

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