What Qualifies as "New Content?"
by Ryan McMorrow
on July 5, 2012
Lately, especially with the recent Google Panda updates affecting much more than “less than 10% of search traffic,” clients have been questioning what they can do to better optimize their websites. The short answer, as with most things, is that search engine optimization combines a number of different factors including keyword relevance, inbound linking, meta page descriptions, and alt tagging images. However, with the update brings to the forefront an often neglected Google favorite: fresh, relevant content.
The question then is, “What qualifies as fresh, relevant content?” We’ve all seen attempts at this – sites try to optimize their content by writing for Google, and the end result is something like this:
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Want to write for Google? Don’t. It won’t get you far, and Google’s smarter than that. Try these guidelines on for size:
- Write informative content that you believe your visitors want to read about. The proper keywords and relative density of these words will appear naturally. If that’s not good enough or you want a hard and fast rule to stick by, around 5-7% of your content should be directly relating to keywords.
- 300-500 words are all you need to properly optimize your site for search. It’s not required to write a book in order for Google to recognize your content as fresh, relevant, and worthy of ranking. If a page exists to generate views, but accomplishes little else, Google (and your visitors) can see this. If, however, the content answers a searcher’s query, this content will remain fresh and relevant for a longer period of time.
- Tie your content together. If content is new, logic dictates that visitors will spend a longer time on that page (hopefully reading that content), than older, less relevant content. However, content can be “revitalized” if it is tied into other content that discusses similar topics. This is why you’re seeing more “Related articles” sections pop-up around the web. Keeping visitors on the site and engaged helps improve the authority if your site.