How to updating old Content for E-A-T SEO
Let me guess, you’ve put in hundreds of hours writing content for your website, performed keyword research to find the best keywords to target, and tried to incorporate the E.A.T principles… But, you’re still not getting the organic traffic you are looking for.
I get it.
I’ve seen it happen countless times.
I have been an SEO consultant for more than a decade helping online businesses rank on Google. And, do you know what one of the biggest problems I see with websites that struggle to rank on the first page of Google is?
They don’t publish fresh SEO content.
These businesses have a range of high-quality articles and blog posts on their site, but can’t seem to secure the number one spot for their target keywords, and they are constantly outranked by competitors.
Why is this?
Because they do not have a consistent SEO content plan. They do not have a regular content schedule that focuses on publishing new content, while also keeping their old content fresh and up to date.
Google’s ranking algorithm considers the ‘freshness’ of SEO content as a major ranking factor online. So why do businesses not factor this into their strategy?
Because it is often misunderstood. There are a lot of misconceptions about what Google views as ‘Fresh SEO Content’, and unfortunately businesses struggle to find themselves on the first page of the SERPs because of this.
In this article, I will break through those misconceptions, teach you about what Fresh SEO Content really is, and help you understand the benefits of ensuring your content is always Fresh and Up to Date.
What is Fresh SEO Content?
Fresh content is more than just changing a few headers, photos, alt-text, or meta descriptions on your existing pages to make them appear "fresh" to search engines. And, it is far more than just updating the date on which your blog was published on your site.
Google caught onto this trick a long time ago. So, if you're doing that, I'd advise you to save your time and stop.
So, what does Google consider ‘Fresh’ SEO Content?
- Is brand-new content the only content that Google considers fresh?
- Is Fresh SEO content limited to current trending topics like you see in the news?
- Will upgrading existing content on my site make it "new"?
These are common questions that my clients ask me, so in this blog post, I will provide you with the answers.
How Google Measures ‘Freshness’
Back in 2011, Google revealed an upgrade to its ranking algorithm. Google stated that their new algorithm now "better calculates when to deliver more up-to-date, relevant results for varying degrees of freshness."
However, there is still disagreement about what exactly constitutes "freshness" when talking about this in the context of search engine optimization. How does Google decide what is fresh?
That's where the QDF comes in. What is the QDF you ask?
The Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) algorithm helps Google determines what search queries should focus on showing users new/fresh content, and when not to.
With their 2011 update, Google announced that Fresh content fits into 3 categories.
- Trending events or hot news topics.
- Regularly recurring events: E.g the Superbowl, or the Presidential election.
- Frequently Updated Content.
How does Fresh SEO content affect my ranking on Google?
Since 2011, the QDF algorithm update has helped the search engine better determine when to give its searches relevant and up-to-date results in terms of these freshness factors.
Basically, the Query Deserves Freshness algorithm knows when to provide users with new content, and when not to.
For example, if you were to search for a term like ‘When was the first Superbowl?’, Google is likely to show you evergreen content - older content that has a high level of authority, trust, and quality.
But if you were to search ‘NFL’ or ‘Superbowl’, Google is also likely to show you results of recent news events, trending topics, or frequently updated content in this area. This is because, in our era of digital media, people want to know what is happening right now.
How to Ensure your SEO Content is Fresh
While it's true that regularly updating older posts or covering breaking news can assist your rankings, creating fresh SEO content requires much more than that.
This is because there is more than one factor that determines whether or not your content is considered fresh. And, more importantly, Freshness alone will not make your content rank on Google. It is just one ranking factor that the algorithm looks at when deciding what results to show for each search query.
But, even if Google did not consider the freshness of content as a ranking factor, it is highly recommended to keep your SEO content as up-to-date as possible. Because, if you want to rank on the first page, you need to provide your audience with informative, relevant, and high-quality content whenever you can.
Quality should always be your main priority, as high-quality fresh content always has a better chance of outranking low-quality content.
Can Updating Old SEO Content Improve Your Search Rankings?
Actually, it can!
You can improve your search engine rankings by updating your old site's content frequently.
But, the question becomes - how much of your old content actually has to be revised to impact search engine rankings?
Google stated that a document that has a significant portion of its material updated over time might be scored differently from a document with a relatively small portion of its content updated over time.
This does not mean that you just change the year in your SEO title from 2022 to 2023. Or change the date that the article was posted.
If you do this, Google could totally disregard your content changes.
When you freshen up your content, Google wants to see large updates to the webpage. They want you to provide even more relevant information for your audience. This means you want to include any new developments in your industry, tools in your niche, or trending topics or news that relate to the original piece of content.
Publishing Timely Content
Fresh SEO content isn't just about creating content—it's also about being timely with it.
Following the news and trends is another key strategy when it comes to crafting effective SEO content. Google's Top Stories section provides a great starting point; by gauging what topics are included in those stories, you can see which ones have relevance for your own audience.
Additionally, look to see what people on other platforms such as Twitter are talking about; if similar stories appear there as well, it could be time for you to create relevant fresh content that appeals to that same topic.
If you strive to create timely content that is related to current trends, you give yourself the best chance of maximizing the reach of your SEO efforts. And you may even be rewarded with a feature in the ‘Top Stories’.
Top Stories aren’t just for news websites either. These results appear on any search that is trending or a topic of discussion for people online.
These are essentially trending keywords for which people demand fresh and timely content. People want to keep up to date with the latest trends online, and they desperately want to be 'in the know'. By taking advantage of timely content, you can be the source of information to provide them with important updates or industry news that they want to know now. This can lead to a major increase your traffic, leads, and conversions.
Does New Content Make a Difference for SEO?
Google rewards sights that consistently post high-quality content on their website.
However, people sometimes mistakenly believe that just by increasing the number of pages on their site, they will improve their search engine rankings. While increasing the number of high-quality, relevant pages on your site can boost visitor numbers.
It is also just as important to improve, update, and freshen up your old content.
Final Thoughts on Publishing Fresh SEO Content
As I have stated, Fresh SEO Content is not just about changing the year in your SEO title, or the date the content was added to your site.
There is, however, a case to be made for reworking a page's existing content and how doing so can boost rankings.
Not only does the age of a website or domain matter, but also its relative freshness. Search engines give more weight to recently updated content over content that hasn't been modified in a while.
Simply put, it's possible that Google won't notice any small changes you make to your page (a few words here, an image there, the article upload date).
When the content of a page is still relevant to today's readers, but it is completely revised and brought up to date, the result is can be a massive increase in visitors and search ranking.
If properly applied to your brand or business, the strategy of regularly publishing fresh content for SEO purposes can be extremely effective.
I specialize in helping businesses optimize their SEO content strategy and capitalize on Fresh content opportunities. If you need assistance in revamping your old SEO content and improving your website rankings, book a free consultation with me today! You can also follow my free spreadsheet how to improve content for EAT.
Written by Aaron Rain