Fresh is Best – Especially When it Comes to Web Content

    June 16, 2005

By now it has probably been emphasized by practically anyone with insight into search engine optimization – myself included – that keyword-relevant content is extremely relevant in any search engine optimization (SEO) plan.

What might not have been as equally stressed but is equally important is the major role that fresh or regularly updated content plays in maintaining search engine rankings. Even after the initial optimization process including optimization of meta tags, alt tags, key terms, and implementation of linking campaigns ends a website can only reach so far on a major search engine such as Google or Yahoo!.

What sets a highly ranked website apart from the rest is one that is regularly updated with relevant, keyterm-rich content. It says to search engine spiders that a website is legitimate in providing information on the topics included in the title and header tags, that the site is active and being attended to and not just taking up server space, and that the site’s size and quantity of information are both likely to grow – which is a very appealing factor for search engine spiders that love to crawl large, well-structured websites.

For many website owners it is difficult to maintain a website, especially one that is constantly updating products or adding new services, without the added task of having to regularly stay on top of content updates, as well. But it is a necessary inconvenience, especially for websites that aspire to stay on the front page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) and aim to make it into one of the coveted top three positions.

There are a number of helpful solutions, though, that website owners or managers can use to alleviate some of the added pressure. But, of course, where there is a solution, there’s usually a price tag attached. Any good search engine optimization firm has writers on staff who have expertise in or are familiar with writing optimized web content. In most cases, websites hire out their search engine optimization projects to one of these firms, so it would go to reason that they could also contract with their SEO firm to provide their website with fresh content on a weekly or monthly basis.

Another way in which a website can stay on top of what’s new is by actually becoming the news source. There are two ways in which this can be facilitated: 1) By doing regular press releases either on company happenings or in response to recent industry news, a website can both increase its keyword density and its size, and by 2) utilizing customizable feeds such as the increasingly popular RSS feed by which incoming and outgoing news links are constantly at a websites disposal, a website can ensure that it is always in the loop about the latest keyword relevant news and content. Prices for RSS feeds are varied depending on what type, the reciprocity of links, industry, etc.

A final, and probably the oldest and most cost-effective way to maintain fresh content is through the incorporation of a weblog (blog) onto a website. A blog, which can be manually or automatically updated depending on the software, allows for the posting of regular material and content in regards to the website’s topic area and opens up the site to further linking possibilities.

Whatever your method of achieving it, successful content additions are essential in getting and staying at the top of the search engine results pages.

Chris Winfield is the President and Co-founder of 10e20. He has written for various organizations in the past and frequently speaks with the media.