Lauren Kaye

When companies create new custom content for their websites and see their search rankings soar, they might expect those results to stick. Unfortunately, that initial search marketing win can falter if marketers have not appropriately assessed their contents’ freshness.

Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts recently responded to a publisher’s concern about content freshness in a new Google Webmaster Help video, explaining when content deserves to rank first and when it doesn’t. The publisher writes that one of his landing pages ranked first for a targeted key phrase, but then dropped over the new few weeks.Google's Matt Cutts talks fresh content and SEO.

Cutts explains that search engines are responsible for returning the best-quality results, but often must do so with limited information. So, some SEO content might rank high when it’s first released if it deals with trending topics or breaking news. Over time, the same news content or landing pages that earned high search rankings for certain queries might fall as other sites with more relevant and fresh posts may assume top positions.

“There are some queries that deserve freshness (QDF), [but] there are some queries that are better served by evergreen content that’s been around for a long time,” states Cutts.

Google aims to help users find the most relevant results for their queries by developing algorithms that determine which sites are posting timely material and those that are considered long-standing authorities on specific topics. The freshness algorithm sifts through online content to give searchers the latest news and updates about trends and events.

News content marketing is a great strategy for hitting on timely industry queries that can connect brands with interested audiences, but marketers who want to rank higher for core key terms should also build out their websites with strong landing pages that inform as much as they sell. Updating even “static” content sections periodically can ensure they’ve got accurate information for readers and keep search engine crawlers coming back, helping brands remain on page 1 of Google SERPs.