Latest updates covers the latest articles you’ve added to your website. This can be either to the website or to the blog (for some customers) embedded into the website. Fresh content affects ranking on search engines and affects how your visitors react to your website.
For some of our customers Google ranking isn’t a major issue because they are content to be found by their church name or similar. They (unlike our commercial customers) aren’t trying to chase specific keywords or keyword phrases to improve the search rankings. However the same principles that apply to improving search engine ranking apply to improving the experience of your site for your visitors.
In 2003 Google filed a patent called Document Scoring Based on Document Content Update. Since then Google has posted more and more patents which have filled out this patent to build up a picture of what Google thinks makes a great website.
One part of the document scoring is about freshness. Although Google never admits what it’s algorithm is, it seems likely that it is scoring it for freshness – that is when it was last updated and therefore how relevant it is. That’s not to say that all pages need to be updated regularly. Some information doesn’t change much year to year but some changes week to week or even day to day. So you need to think about the information you provide and consider:
- Is it time critical and if so how often should it be updated?
- Is there a natural regularity to it – should it be updated daily, weekly monthly?
- Is it a small change (like a team’s score) that needs changed or a complete article rewrite?
All of this can be explained in far more detail – if you’d like to know more please give us a call. However a few simple guideline might help.
You should review all the pages in your site every year including contact and about. Some pages you should review every month and some every day. Whatever the frequency you should make a point of getting the content fresh. You should also aim to add a significant number of new pages every year – some SEO companies suggest about 30% of the total pages should be new.
If you’re still unsure where to start a good measure of the freshness of your pages is how long people spend on them. Pages that are new will have a longer time on page than older pages. So using our analytics system you can look for older, tired pages easily and start by updating them.