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7 Content Marketing Tactics To Rank Higher In Google’s New Fresh Results




If you haven’t heard about Google’s “Freshness Update” by now, I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it much more. The short story is that Google is now “Giving you fresher, more recent search results.“. Marketing Pilgrim took a look at this update as well. So what’s next?

Well, “new” content is now ranking higher for many searches.

Looking around at various search results across the board, some of the results are astounding. As Rand Fishkin pointed out, a Google query for “Top Chef Texas” is almost entirely composed of content that is just days old. Changing the number of results to 100 doesn’t help much, either.

So how do you leverage this? What can you do to try and ensure that you have a shot at “fresh” rankings?

The solution comes down to having new content. But if you’re selling something like iPads that don’t change often, how do you ensure that you have “fresh” content about iPads? Sure, you could write blog content every couple of days, but, really, what are you going to write about 100 times a year?

Here, I’m going to show you a few different options that you might not have considered, plus, I’m going to include links to software comparisons that you can use to get started publishing new, fresh content.

1: Cover Your Bases by Getting into Google News

Judging by the results, it looks like getting into Google News might help push you up to the top block of news results.

Beyond that, though, because the purpose of Google News is to organize and make new information searchable, it makes sense that being in Google News might also get you higher in the following results.

Here is Google’s article on news quality guidelines and technical requirements.

Once you’re all set there, suggest your site to Google News.

2: Use Proper Time-stamps in Your Content

As you begin to look through the “fresh” results, you’ll notice that they’re time-stamped. In other words, a clear publication date is found within the content and Google is displaying this in the search results.

At this Google News support item, they even go so far as to say that if they are unable to determine the publication date of your article, that it qualifies as a “crawl error.”

Here, you’ll see how to create a news timestamp for Google News, but they require that you be included in Google News, first.

This article is helpful, however, as it shows the kind of date format that they prefer, which is YYYY-MM-DD, or “2008-12-23″, for example.

If you don’t think your readers prefer this kind of time stamping, as someone who has written his own programs to extract dates from content, the best thing you can do is to have your date clearly displayed on a single line, preferably beneath the title of the article.

3: Blogging

Yes. Blogging. I had to include it.

It’s a technique that, if you’re a frequent reader of marketing blogs like Marketing Pilgrim, is so obvious that I’ll pass on extolling the virtues of blogging. You know what to do here.

Have Your Community Build Content for You

How do you write content every day about iPads? I don’t know, but a community of like-minded folks might be able to figure it out.

Building a community is a logical next step for us at Ontolo that we expect to begin undertaking in 2012. I don’t recommend it for every kind of company, but if you think it might be right for you and your customers, take some time to really think through the best way to set one up. As the old adage goes, “What you stick with, you get stuck with.”

4: Add Forums

Forums…the original social network. The benefits are the fluid conversations that happen. The downsides are that forums require a fair amount of work to be managed. Choose this option carefully.

Software: Comparison of forum software on Wikipedia.

5: Add Question and Answers Section

Yahoo! Answers first brought this idea to the mainstream. Quora made it respectable. StackExchange is bringing it to a multitude of technical niches.

Software: View this comparison on StackExchange. I can say that I’ve setup Question2Answer and it’s very easy. It also integrates very well with WordPress’s user database, right out of the box.

6: Add Your Own Social Network

If you think that forums are a big undertaking, try setting up your own social network. For this to work with “fresh” content, you’ll need to let your users contribute via their own blogs or to a community blog.

Software: Comparison of social networking software on Wikipedia.

7: Add Your Own Social News Section

Sites like Digg and Reddit have pioneered community news curation. News gets posted, voted on, commented on, etc. New content, all day, every day. Will this kind of site get into the “fresh” index? I don’t know, but it can afford you a stream of time-stamped content.

Software: The only software that I’ve seen that’s stood the test of time here is Pligg.

Wrapping Up

If Google is serious about this bet on fresher content being more relevant to searchers than more perennial resources (and it looks like with many things, they are), then our jobs as SEO’s shifts, too. Not only must we create great content, we’ll also need new content to continue ranking well.

About the Author
Ben Wills has been an SEO and link builder for over 10 years, directing the efforts of more than 1,000 clients. In 2008, he started Ontolo, a suite of web-based link building tools that helps you quickly find more relevant and valuable backlinks.

  • http://www.adigaskell.org/blog Adi Gaskell

    It certainly is interesting times Ben. Thanks for the summary. I think what will prove interesting is just how much weight the new freshness factor provides.

    After all ‘top chef Texas’ is a relatively niche term. If this works for more mainstream terms then you’d have to imagine sites with both fresh content and a good reputation would start cleaning up.

    Moneysavingexpert for instance could be regarded as such a site as it’s highly regarded and has lots of fresh content from its articles and forums. Will it start dominating for money terms like ‘loans’ and ‘credit cards’?

  • Paco

    Really good and usefull article.
    This, as you said, it´s going to be a big pain in the arse in some kind of business
    thx

  • http://cmomarketingsummit.com/ Stanley Rao

    Interesting Ben! Google wants fresh content!

  • http://www.seolatino.com Rafael Montilla

    This articles has a Great summary, it just come in hand.

    Thanks Ben!

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/seo-training-courses.htm Nick Stamoulis

    Blogs are going to become even more important for companies to stay “fresh.” If you were only posting one post a week it’s time to step up your game!

  • http://bit.ly/freetrainingcall Ted Peterson

    Hey Ben,

    Great update! I always thought the term “content marketing” was a bit of an oxymoron as all internet marketing should be content and relationship driven. I can see it in a whole new light now. Would love to see more about this subject as it develops!

    Thanks again!

    Ted Peterson
    http://bit.ly/freetrainingcall

  • http://trevnsteph.wordpress.com trev pearman

    Hi all…. first dunno if any of ya seen this but go watch it.. its relevant info.
    SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin, is the only responder I’ve seen who’s produced a video concerning the update.
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-freshness-update-whiteboard-friday
    My opinion is people that have RSS feeds to any of there sites need a constant flow of comments that will be identified by google with its time and date stamp and added as an insert to a particular domains website.. so firstly is your site SEO optimised and ranking on google, secondly does your site provide up to date material based on News,Celebs,Sport.anything involving regular freshly posted material even your blog post?lwith the likes of an RSS feed.
    third if your not in that league… I wouldnt panic about this update at all…it affects. 35% of queries people are following as an RSS feed for .ie celebs news sports that involve sites providing relevant up to date and timely feedback and not 35% of overall keyword search results that is seo optimised for a general blog,article,website of a specific topic thats full of relevant information…
    Thanks.

  • http://www.taxi2000.ro nekyian

    Very nice article! I am very anxious to see the first complaints about the new freshness update. This will hit really hard the small size companies that have an online presence consisting of a 10 pages website and have only invested in link building. From your article I can see that the content strategy have to be a lot more diverse.

  • http://www.activewebgroup.com Patrick Norton

    I think you have expanded on what many of us are now aware of. Content is king. That being said it differs greatly from site to site and type of business. A business that sells products likely does not have to change their pages nearly as often as business that sells financial advice. I do believe though that product pages on ecommerce sites will trend towards being more interactive, which by itself lends to fresh content.

  • http://www.hanoiproperty.com David Do

    Very good article, many thanks for sharing info

  • http://vgal.info Veronica Davis

    Great tips! For some, I’m afraid it’s going to be a tilt-a-whirl for a while. I had planned on adding a Q&A on a site a while back and it was really easy to set up too (I used the AskIt theme from Elegant Themes). On another token, never heard of StackFlow before – checking it out now!

  • http://www.herbal-urunleri.com herbalife

    i all…. first dunno if any of ya seen this but go watch it.. its relevant info.
    SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin, is the only responder I’ve seen who’s produced a video concerning the update.
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-freshness-update-whiteboard-friday
    My opinion is people that have RSS feeds to any of there sites need a constant flow of comments that will be identified by google with its time and date stamp and added as an insert to a particular domains website.. so firstly is your site SEO optimised and ranking on google, secondly does your site provide up to date material based on News,Celebs,Sport.anything involving regular freshly posted material even your blog post?lwith the likes of an RSS feed.
    third if your not in that league… I wouldnt panic about this update at all…it affects. 35% of queries people are following as an RSS feed for .ie celebs news sports that involve sites providing relevant up to date and timely feedback and not 35% of overall keyword search results that is seo optimised for a general blog,article,website of a specific topic thats full of relevant information…

  • http://www.herbalurunsiparis.com herbalife

    think you have expanded on what many of us are now aware of. Content is king. That being said it differs greatly from site to site and type of business. A business that sells products likely does not have to change their pages nearly as often as business that sells financial advice. I do believe though that product pages on ecommerce sites will trend towards being more interactive, which by itself lends to fresh content.