When consumers conduct a query about the iPhone, they most likely want information on the latest model, so results from 2009 won't be useful. In the most recent Webmaster Central video post on YouTube, Matt Cutts defends Google's inclusion of the date in site snippets offered in search results, deeming it one of the most useful result components for users deciding where to click.
According to Cutts, "back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth" (be sure to check out his stellar dinosaur impression), webmasters would often give false descriptions of their sites. This, he says, is why the meta keyword tag has no influence on Google rankings. Instead, he explains that Google has traditionally displayed keywords in context and the date in search results.
"The date as we infer it or when we first saw it whenever we crawled that page … is right at the very beginning of the snippet. Users love that because then they know [if a result is] relatively recent or evergreen content … or something that is really stale and out of date," says Cutts.
With this in mind, marketers must remember to update their content frequently to attract online consumers with recent results. As Brafton reported, ever since Google launched its faster web indexing system, Google Caffeine, clicks may be especially likely to go to the most regularly updated sites.
Companies trying to decide on a content marketing strategy that will help keep their sites fresh should consider using news articles. Ever-evolving news content can – and must – be updated for relevancy, and 78 percent of Americans go online to find news information, according to USC Annenberg's Digital Future report.
Plus, as Brafton reported last week, a Perfect Market study shows that journalistic content produces revenue for sites.