Publishing compelling content is one the strongest ways to attract organic traffic to an eCommerce website, but the process increasingly depends on its sell-by date. Google and other search engines rank companies based on the freshness of any content that relates to the search keywords. Google measures “freshness” by looking for ties to current events, seasonal events, social media chatter and time-sensitive content. [1]

Of course, that’s just the best way to rank highly with search engine algorithms. The value of fresh content for SEO rankings is even more nuanced because customers and site visitors get bored if a given website doesn’t post new material regularly. The best content management systems enable marketers to update content easily, post new material and keep the sales platform fresh and dynamic. Some of the best practices to follow include: [1]

  • Creating new content regularly including articles, blog posts, catalog descriptions, videos and images
  • Updating the core information instead of boilerplate copy
  • Avoiding changes in the topic that can invalidate search results
  • Changing articles based on Google Analytics and customer responses
  • Updating links as well as content including the verbiage used around the links

Why You Need Fresh Content for SEO

Fresh content is probably more important than SEO optimization for engaging customers, encouraging conversions and attracting prospects. SEO is also important, of course, but don’t let a desire for freshness overrule common sense when existing content is working well. In other words, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Google determines fresh content using the following strategies:

Inception Date

  • The date that new content is created is used by Google and other search engines to determine how fresh the content is.

Core Content

  • Changing the core content matters more than changing less relevant information.

Amount of Change

  • The more changes that are made, the bigger the result in SEO “freshness” ratings.

Rate of Change

  • Content that changes more often ranks higher than content that’s adjusted only once every few years.

New Pages

  • Websites that add new pages rank higher than those that only adjust existing content.

Link Growth

  • The addition of authoritative links indicates content freshness. The links can even be those that relate to personal events and experiences such as an upcoming marriage, 50-year anniversary and other “inside” information.

Links from Fresh Sites

  • Links to fresher sites pass on some of that freshness.

Visitor Behavior

  • The more time that customers spend reading, viewing or interacting with content, the higher its ranking.

Adding Forms, Videos and Graphics

  • Adding new surrounding content can freshen a web page and increase SEO rankings. It’s easy to freshen the page by adding forms, blog excerpts, testimonials, infographics, videos, webinars, white papers and social media links.

Anchor Text

  • If the content has been changed many times, the anchor text may need to be updated. The changes could make the existing anchor text less relevant. It’s important not to change content too much without adjusting the anchor text accordingly.

Older, established Content

  • Fresh content doesn’t always rank better than content that has proven its value to customers by generating lots of clicks and user time studying it. Authoritative content that’s ranked highly for years might be left alone without suffering SEO downgrades. Also, downgrades might be less damaging than the loss of some top-notch income-generating content.

Customers use the internet to get the latest information, so updating content is an important task for companies that want to provide their customers with relevant, up-to-date information. Content marketing provides substantial value, so updating that content should never be viewed as a burden but an opportunity. One study found that content marketing generates 300 percent more leads than paid searches. [2]

Fresh Content for SEO Rankings Must Be Relevant

Social media members won’t share links to content that’s not relevant. That’s why changing content isn’t enough to attract and keep customers--the content must also grab attention and be relevant to the site visitor’s search. That’s why Google is constantly tinkering with its algorithms to determine the best ways to identify fresh and relevant content with high quality. Relevance and content quality are critical for both SEO and converting site visitors into buyers. Fresh content increases web authority by providing the following benefits:

  • Keeping customer updated about milestones, sales, industry trends, new products, etc.
  • Positioning the company as an expert on key subjects related to the products that they sell
  • Publishing new content that enables marketers to test different keyword combinations
  • Following up on complex topics with further information to generate greater customer loyalty
  • Building a loyal base of readers and/or viewers who visit the site frequently to find fresh content

Using Compelling Content to Generate Sales

Producing compelling content not only strengthens SEO but also sells products to website visitors. About 80 percent of B2B customers prefer their information from articles instead of ads. [3] Valuable, compelling and targeted content provides customers with the information they need. It’s easy to change content based on customer profiles when the platform is fully integrated. Providing customers with specific content based on their profiles is an excellent way to drive readership, increase sales and provide fresh content to different customers. Every time a website delivers different content or updates existing content, Google web crawlers take note of the changes and adjust the site’s SEO ranking.

Using an Integrated CMS System to Stay on Top of Content

An integrated website makes it easier to keep track of content and the dates when each bit of content was published. You can retool some content to keep it fresh by linking it to current events, changing the focus of the material (i.e. like a news, Facebook, Twitter feed) to target different customer profiles, moving content to different areas of the website and posting fresh material regularly. Integration makes it so much easier to track content, analyze results and adjust the content to make it even more effective. Why you need fresh content for SEO is to improve organic searches, but you need it more to keep your customers happy and engaged. Clarity is an SEO certified partner that can help with both creating and posting content, and also help with auditing and putting together a content strategy. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your content needs.



[1] 10 Illustrations of How Fresh Content May Influence Google Rankings

[2] 9 Stats That Will Make You Want to Invest in Content Marketing

[3] The Key to Updating Website Content Regularly (Without Losing Your Mind)

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