Many of you may remember hearing something a little over a year ago about some “caffeine” thing that Google was working on. Caffeine was released last summer and was essentially a change in their indexing infrastructure – meaning the way they crawl and store pages in their massive index – to support a more changing content environment. The infrastructure change would allow content to be searchable almost immediately after it was crawled, providing a quicker, more powerful means for users to find a plethora of newer, fresher, more engaging, and more relevant content. Well, that’s all fine and good. Google heavily increased their means of acquiring and indexing content last year. So what’s new? Well, just last month, the Google was at it again, and announced that now, an actual algorithm change is in effect to support Caffeine related content. What’s the difference? Google’s ranking algorithm is what determines where each and every site is placed in search results. So what Google has done this time is they’ve given a ranking boost to sites with new, fresh content. And not just a tiny bump –
We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Building upon the momentum from Caffeine, today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.
So there you have it. Starting last month, 35% of ALL searches conducted in Google will have a significant shift in the ranking with a strong focus on newer and fresher content. That’s pretty darn massive, considering there are over 88 billion searches conducted each month on Google. (source: searchengineland.com) What does this mean for you? It means that you need to leverage editorial calendars for your site or your clients’ sites, to ensure that they’re always giving Google fresh content to index. It means that now is the time to be proactive in determining what types of content we’ll need, and when. It means that, to provide the most value for clients, the process of creating new content must not ever be one-off, but must be an ongoing building cycle. Content needs to be the primary investment in any site’s strategy. Think of content as your new acquisition strategy. Not only does content engage and influence your audience, but it also puts you in a better position of being relevant to searchers and most likely to be visible favorably on SERPs. In a nutshell, it means that the necessity to have new, fresh, always changing content is more pressing than ever. It means that having fresh content is no longer a “nice to have”, but an SEO survival requirement.
Even in the wake of Google+ and all of the social-in-search announcements, notice in the above instance (a simple search for ‘modea’), that even despite the number of shares in my personal network, the recent date made the businessweek.com article more relevant and important.
Yet again. Notice the news snippet from CTV.ca, 16 hours ago on this search for ‘chiquita’. The recent news trumps even their brand site, and not included in this shot, eatachiquita.com, Chiquita’s Twitter page, another news article from the AP in late November, and last but not least, Modea’s portfolio containing Chiquita content. And it looks like that one only showed because I shared it: