Freshness Factor


What Is the Freshness Factor?

The freshness factor is a part of search engine algorithms that gives priority to newer more recently updated content for some search queries

The freshness factor stops outdated, highly ranking pages from appearing at the top of page 1, when newer recently updated content is more relevant to the search query.

Why Is the Freshness Factor Important? 

Freshness is one of the many elements Google considers when deciding where to rank your content. 

When you search for breaking news, you’re more likely to see high ranking pages that are just a few minutes old as opposed to older content that may have received more views over time. 

screenshot google search engine top story results freshness factor

When it comes to content that’s about recurring topics that are in development or rapidly changing, Google will always prioritise the freshest content.

QDF or ‘Quality Deserves Freshness’ is a model that attempts to determine when users want new content and when they don’t. 

The main categories are:

  • Trending topics
  • Recent events
  • Information that changes frequently
  • Recurring events

Is Fresh Content Crawled More Frequently?

It is widely assumed that Google crawls fresh content more often than stale content. When pages are crawled more often, there’s a higher chance that they’ll rank for more target keywords than those older pages that aren’t crawled as often. 

Frequently updating your content is a great way to ensure that Google is crawling your site and you’re giving yourself the best chance for ranking for keywords.

Aside from looking at Google ranking factors, updating your content is the best way of providing your audience with relevant information that they’re more likely to engage with. 

How to Optimise for the Freshness Factor

Leveraging Google’s freshness factor to your advantage can boost your site’s organic traffic and improve your rankings.

1. Update Your Site Regularly

If you don’t update your site regularly, Google will assume your content is old and not that relevant to users anymore. In Google’s eyes, inactivity equals staleness. 

For instance, if you don’t update your blog in a few months, Google will realise and downgrade your freshness ranking. 

2. Acquire Increasing Backlinks Over the Long-Term

A solid freshness score is granted to those sites that build up positive backlinks over time. Trying to rush loads of backlinks as soon as new content is published won’t actually do your page’s rankings any favours. 

3. Make Sure Your Backlinks Are Coming From Updated Sites

While plenty of backlinks show Google that your content is strong and relevant, the search engine will also investigate the source of these links. 

If a site linking to your page hasn’t been updated within the last month, Google will consider the link to be stale, lowering your overall freshness score. 

Backlinks have to come from sites that have a fresh ranking to impact yours positively. 

4. Improve Your Dwell Time

Dwell time is the amount of time users spend browsing your site. Google compares the dwell time of a user’s first visit with their subsequent visits. 

If users spend more time on your site following their first visit,  Google assumes that your content is fresh and relevant. 

How Can We Help? 

Worried your site’s content is going stale? We can help you come up with a relevant content strategy to boost your site’s freshness and push it up in the SERPs
In the meantime, why not try one of our training courses and start implementing some new content strategies today?