What is “Fresh Content”?
“Fresh content” is a new buzzword among the loophole crowd. Well, hey, it always seems like people are trying to fool Google with plugins and sneaky website tactics. At the moment, they’re trying to make old articles look fresh and updated, without actually adding relevant new content.
Big yawn. It looks like the Internet version of “mutton, dressed as lamb.”
Seriously, my stomach lurches when I see someone selling something that’s designed specifically to make Google (and other search engines) think one thing is going… when it’s actually just smoke and mirrors. Some of them are simply stupid. Others are downright dangerous for your ranking, as soon as Google spots the ruse.
The newest snake oil involves tools to make articles look fresher than they actually are. After all, talking about April 2012 Google algorithm changes, Matt Cutts said, “We try to promote content that appears to be fresh.”
I predict: Fake “freshness” will be the hot new plugin focus. (I hope it’s a short-lived trend.)
The plugins I’ve seen so far are simply adding blurbs from your recent articles to your older posts. I’m expecting additional plugins that draw “curated” blurbs from other sites, or RSS snippets, etc., and add them to old posts so they might look fresher.
In my opinion, that’s low quality “fresh content.” I heartily recommend against buying any product that’s scraping content or spinning anything so your old posts might look like you updated them.
Google isn’t stupid.
At InsideSearch.blogspot.co.uk, you’ll see exactly what Matt Cutts has said about freshness cues and how they affect an article’s ranking at Google. I recommend browsing that entire article for the April 2012 search engine updates.
Mr. Cutts specifically said, “We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.” (Emphasis added.)
Why spend time and money trying to fool Google? Is it really worth the short-term gains? Have you so little respect for your websites and your website visitors, that you’d try to lure them to an outdated article with fake “fresh” content?
If an article is still relevant, people will find it and link to it. You don’t need to try to deceive search engines.
If an article is outdated, maybe it doesn’t deserve to rank well among fresher articles on the same topic. Either update it with good, unique, fresher content, or accept that some older articles won’t rank as well as fresher, better ones will.
From my viewpoint, if people put as much time into adding meaningful content to their websites as they spend trying to fool Google, they wouldn’t have to fool Google. They’d have a genuinely useful, valuable website that ranks well.
So, before you open your wallet to the next scarcity tactic like “buy this before the price goes up at the Warrior Forum/Clickbank/JVzoo,” pause and decide if you really want to start down that “let’s fool Google” path.
Short-term, it may lead to more visitors and income. Theoretically, if you hop from one loophole product to the next, you can keep this game going for a long time.
Or, one of these loophole tactics or products could send your entire website empire to Google’s outer darkness. Is it worth that risk? For high-rollers with thousands of websites maintained by dozens of sweatshop outsourcers… maybe.
For anyone with integrity, who wants to weather any quality filters Google throws at them…? Not a chance. Quality wins, period and full stop.
If you want an older article to look fresher, update it to include the latest information. That’s authentic. That’s what earns the respect of your visitors, and promotes you to the rank of authority.
I won’t be buying plugins that provide fake “freshness” cues to search engines, and I won’t be selling websites that include those plugins.
My advice is to keep building your high-quality websites the old fashioned way: With useful content, updated to remain useful to repeat and new visitors.