Google “Freshness” Update Helps A Bunch of News Sites

    November 7, 2011
    Chris Crum

A few days ago, Google confirmed that it launched a new algorithm update with freshness in mind. The update is built “upon the momentum” of Caffeine, the infrastructure update Google completed last year, designed to index fresher content more quickly.

This new update, the company says, impacts roughly 35% of searches. It’s designed to show more high quality pages that are only minutes old for queries related to recent events or hot topics.

Without specifying with keywords that you want the most recent event in a series of recurring events, you’re supposed to see the fresh ones – whether that be sports scores, earnings reports, TV shows, or other events.

You should also notice a difference in getting more frequently updated info on things where info changes frequently, even when it’s not a hot topic or recurring event. Google uses the examples of “best sir cameras” or ‘subaru impreza reviews”. Google tries to give you the latest info when it thinks it’s relevant.

There have been plenty of interesting reactions to this update from the SEO community – some skeptical, some hopeful. We looked at a few in a recent article.

SearchMetrics, which has provided data about the winners and losers of search visibility resulting from various iterations of Google’s Panda update, has released a list of top winners and losers from this “freshness” update.

Interestingly, both lists include plenty of big brands.

Here’s the winner list:

Google freshness update winners

Here are the losers:

Google Freshness losers

As SearchMetrics founder Marcus Tober points out, the winners list shows a lot of news sites, while the losers list consists of a wide variety of types of sites with no real clear category of site sticking out.