Is Fresh Content A Google Ranking Factor?

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Similar to the majority of updates in Google’s history, search market reports spread quickly about how to “video game” the system.

“Freshness” is a common style among Google updates, spanning over a years.

And “fresh content” as a ranking factor has actually been an ongoing sight for SEOs, particularly amongst content online marketers.

To better understand the argument, we will take a look at Google’s “Freshness” updates, particularly what they imply and how (if at all) they impact search rankings.

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Reality or Fiction

The Claim: Fresh Content As A Ranking Factor

The speculation that fresh content may be a ranking factor started in response to a few significant Google updates and has actually grown out of control into quite the claim.

The concept behind “fresh material” started a couple of years before Google’s Caffeine upgrade.

In 2007, a New york city Times press reporter was enabled to spend a day with Amit Singhal (Senior VP of Browse at the time).

Throughout this time, Singhal spoke on the record about the service he had actually established to resolve the “freshness problem.”

It was a brand-new algorithm that tried to figure out when users desired brand-new information and when they didn’t.

And like all Google efforts, it had a catchy name: QDF for “question should have freshness.”

Caffeine (2009 Google Update)

If you believe Google core updates are a big deal now, wait up until you become aware of the Google Caffeine upgrade of 2009.

It was such a huge change that Google in fact offered developers with a sneak peek a couple of months prior to rolling it out.

Caffeine allowed Google to crawl much faster, therefore delivering fresher arise from a much bigger index.

The indexing update was completed in June 2010, starting the fresh material misconception since Google stated, “Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher outcomes.”

Freshness (2011 Google Update)

Google announced a “Freshness upgrade” in November 2011, four years after the New york city Times story broke.

In the announcement titled, “Providing you fresher, more recent search results,” Google explained that this was a substantial improvement to the ranking algorithm and visibly impacts 6 to 10% of searches.

Included Snippets Freshness (2019 Google Update)

Freshness updates did not stop there. Relevancy continues to be top of mind for Google as they look for to please user queries.

Pandu Nayak, Google’s present Vice President of Search, announced in 2019 that the company upgraded its search algorithms to keep bits present, fresh, and pertinent.

Danny Sullivan confirmed that the Included Bits Freshness upgrade went live in late February 2019.

Reports on how to optimize for Google updates spread quickly, and this was certainly true for fresh content.

Speculations distributed claiming that by upgrading content often, you might protect an SEO benefit or that updating the publication date of an article can make it look fresh.

Let’s take a look at the evidence behind these claims and whether fresh material is in any method a ranking factor.

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The Evidence: Fresh Material As A Ranking Factor

To decide if “fresh content” could be a ranking factor, we require to comprehend 2 things: what the “Freshness” algorithm updates imply and how they impact search rankings.


Question is worthy of freshness (QDF) is extremely actual.

Google’s solution focused on determining whether a search query is “hot,” suggesting whether or not the user desires the most up-to-date details on the subject.

The mathematical model looked at news websites, post, and Google’s own stream of billions of search queries to see just how much international interest there is in a particular topic.

For instance, Singhal shared what occurs when cities suffer power outages.

“When there is a blackout in New York, the very first articles appear in 15 minutes; we get questions in two seconds,” Singhal told the New York Times.

Such an unexpected spike in interest can represent that individuals are searching for brand-new information.


Sadly, lots of people got the Caffeine upgrade wrong.

Caffeine wasn’t a ranking upgrade. The intention behind it wasn’t even to impact rankings. It was a total restore of Google’s indexing system.

Indexing and ranking are 2 really various things.

Indexing is when Google first takes a look at your material and adds it to its index. That indicates it has the prospective to be ranked.

Ranking, nevertheless, is a totally different story, with much more complex algorithms behind it.

And while Caffeine focused on indexing, it was the Freshness upgrade that affected Google’s ranking algorithm.


The Freshness upgrade was an effort to comprehend when a user is looking for more recent info.

But “freshness” doesn’t apply across the board to all search inquiries.

Google shares details on exactly which queries are worthy of freshness on its How Search Works page.

Screenshot from Google”How Search Works,”June 2022

Google’s Freshness algorithm looks for to provide the latest details for trending keywords that fall under classifications such as:

  • Recent occasions or hot subjects: celeb news or natural disasters.
  • Regularly repeating events: the Olympics or Sports Ratings.
  • Material that regularly updates: best/reviews or innovation market.

Freshness is a complex subject in its own right, so it’s an excellent idea to learn about it if you’re targeting time-focused queries.

Google Representatives On Freshness: Offer Users The Respect They Deserve

Do we have an official answer? Yep.

In 2018, John Mueller responded to a concern asking, does Google prefer fresh content?

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verified thread, June 2022 Mueller’s”no”reply needs to be taken into context with the whole Buy Twitter Verified conversation. User @anilthakur2u had actually made a joke about title tags upgrading on December 31 to end up being relevant for the upcoming year.

Mueller replied, “SEO hacks don’t make a website great. Offer your material and users the respect they deserve.”

Here, here!

Just upgrading your publication date is a bad SEO technique and will not assist you rank better.

Want to find out more? Get the total Google Ranking Elements guide.

Our Decision: Fresh Material Is A Confirmed Ranking Aspect For Some Queries

When the question demands it, fresh content

is a Google ranking element. Does that suggest you should continuously change the publish date? No. Does it imply a short article could outrank other pages because of the date they were released? Potentially, if Google thinks freshness is critical to the user’s inquiry.

Please bear in mind there are a great deal of ranking factors, not just “freshness.”

You may be able to win a ranking boost by riding the wave of popular trends, upcoming events, or breaking news, but it is not an evergreen content method.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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