SEO Experts React To Google Algorithm Update

Skeptical and hopeful reactions to Google Fresh

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I’m not sure what other writers are calling Google’s algorithm update, as we’ve only had it for a day. I’m staying with the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method, and calling it “Google Fresh“. No doubt, SEO experts, webmasters, and even users will feel the effects of Google Fresh, with many of those people voicing their opinions on the changes. In fact, many have already sounded off. Let’s take a look at what they’ve had to say.

SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin, is the only responder I’ve seen who’s released a video concerning the update. He discussed the changes with Mike King of @iPullRank. One of the most important takeaways from the video is how they believe timestamps, specifically in the XML sitemaps could see a boost in terms of importance. A trend you’ll notice as you read more reactions.


Gianluca Fiorelli, of I Love SEO calls the update, “Caffeine 2.0″ and shared some interesting thoughts about how this change was brought about by advertising needs. Claiming that Google is driven by ad space, and needed to make changes to reflect this:

Google is an substantially an editor (even it will never recognize it) that sells ad spaces, and Search is still its main product to sell toward the advertiser. So Google needs to have the best product to continue selling ad space. That product was ironically endangered by Caffeine. With Panda Google tries to solve the content issue and with the Social Signals linked inextricably to the Authors and Publishers tries to solve the obsolescence of the Link Graph.

Ben Will, an author over at Marketing Pilgrim, has already devised strategies to succeed from the Google Fresh changes. He makes note that having correct and up-to-date time-stamps is of utmost importance, like Fishkin and King stated above. However, one of his strategies struck me as interesting. Adding forums.

Forums…the original social network. The benefits are the fluid conversations that happen. The downsides are that forums require a fair amount of work to be managed. Choose this option carefully.

One aspect of this change which I saw go unnoticed by most is how it will impact paid search. Jeff Allen, of PPCHero, believes the changes will have an important impact.

Google didn’t specify if this change would have an impact on paid search. However, their trend has been towards narrowing the gap between organic and PPC. Because of this, I would venture to guess it will have some impact in the future. Time will tell, but my guess is that advertisers in verticals affected by these changes (such as eCommerce sites selling SLR cameras) will want to keep their content fresh.

As I’ve read reactions, it seems to me that this could potentially be the most subtle algorithm update Google has released. Most of the strategies I’ve read in reaction to Google Fresh, are ones most have been trying to follow for quite some time. It’s always been about producing relevant content, and doing so on a consistent basis. If your site is based around a topic which doesn’t require timely updates, then this change probably won’t have an effect. That is if Google’s claim concerning recency only affecting certain topics holds true. On the flip side, if your site relies on current events or timely topics, you’re probably giddy about this update.

Have you noticed any changes in your results, since the Google Fresh update went live? Do you see vast potential for your site from Google placing more relevance on freshness?

Update: There have been more reactions to the algorithm update. There seems to be a divide over whether or not Google putting relevance on freshness will indeed provide better quality for readers. Most of the skepticism comes from those are unsure whether or not Google will know when recency should truly be important.

A user from WebMasterWorld had an interesting reaction to the update, “So you think the pro staffed sites have been at an advantage before? How about now? On the surface, this looks like the dagger for a lot of folks. Hope I’m wrong. A small enterprise of a few cannot compete with freshness of hundreds of staffers. I haven’t dug into this, but certainly this adds to the already pile of BS that a lot of us have been dealing with and now it’s another heaping truck full on my door step.

With all the changes, Google results must really have sucked. Guess it was a fluke to gain that market share on a system that so broke that it needs to be gutted. In real terms, there is something fundamentally wrong with ADD characteristics of a company that has 97% of mobile search and what 80%+ or regular search.”

Could the update lead to certain businesses creating blogs, simply for the aspect of showing up as a fresher result?

Businesses urged to create blogs, online video as Google changes algorithm to emphasise new, relevant content http://t.co/RZszfS7J 1 day ago via AutoTweet Connector · powered by @socialditto

SEO Experts React To Google Algorithm Update
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  • http://searchenginesolutions.co.nz Gary of searchenginesolutions.co.nz

    I’m all for this change and I expect Google will keep going deeper with this. For if we step aside from our marketers viewpoint and reflex on how we as average Joe searching for info, we want the best results the fastest, which we all no doubt agree with. We have seen this emphases since Panda kicked in earlier this year. I have very limited experience with PPC but the comment of Jeff from PPCHero above captures it exactly, fresh content, and thats what we all want, relevance and up to date.

    • George

      The idea that “Fresh” content is better content in more traditional web enterprises is a myth. Some of the best and most accurate information has been written long ago and been around for many years. Great content, no matter the age of the document, will continue to rank well. (read between the lines)

      I’ve told Rand in the past, and I’ll tell him again, don’t over analyze what Google is about. Think simple. Think like Google.

      The concept of “fresh” as a highly emphasized basis for ranking more conventional websites is rediculous, has been tried, and has failed. That’s been proven with past updates where Google has tried to devise ranking schemes around newer (fresh) content. There is no comparison between a news website (cnn.com) and a business website.

      Think about that. News rolls out by the second and changes constantly. It must be fresh to be relevant. A more traditional industry website does not. So how do YOU think Google handles that algorithmically. Do you really think Google treats them the same?

      I think the so called “experts” are assunming far more than they should on how Google ranks documents and why they make “tweaks” to important ranking factors and how much weight those algorithmic adjustments really carry in the grand scheme of website rankings.

      The conclusion is found in how much traffic variation you see in your website statistics. Is you site really relevant to what the searcher is looking for (or how they are searching) and is your website information really as good as you think it is?

      Those questions are answered not by you, or by google for that matter, those questions are answered by how the searcher responds to the information your website presents.

      From an SEO standpoint, yes, there are things you must do to maximize document relevance and importance, but no amount of SEO or Internet marketing can make up for crappy presentation or sub-standard document content.

      Alot of very useful tips in here IF you take the time to understand exactly what I am saying.

      • http://searchenginesolutions.co.nz Gary of searchenginesolutions.co.nz

        George, I think we are in agreement here as I am not saying “fresh” but “best”.
        I try to provide for my readers the “best” information, be that old or new, its what works best is best. I am very quick to exit a site if it is not clearly what I am after and surely we are all the same if we are searching, rather than surfing, we want the best info & we want it fast. This leads to Google analyzing the “bounce rate”, ie how fast one stays on a site, so again if we provide very good content, be that old or new, if it is very good content, well researched & tested, then our readers will stay on our site and navigate through our site, Google takes note & we get rewarded for this. So for me its quite simple, provide the best, old and/or new, relevant & helpful.

  • http://snapdealreview.com/ Snapdeal

    Best of luck to Google for new algorithm changes. I think the weigtage of press releases and sitemap submission can be next ranking signal. I have missed white board friday post from seomoz.

  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    Why oh why doesn’t Google simply give people choices anymore? Why are they moving more and more to an arrogant approach of search, where if you don’t like it, then go somewhere else. This is why Google+ will be nothing more than a novelty and Google’s search engine is loosing market share. If Google feels it’s a great addition, then let me choose if I want to use it or not. Google needs to take the Burger King approach to search and let me have it my way while letting another person have it their way. If they truly are about user experience, then the first thing you learn in business is to give the customer options so that no matter who buys your product and what options they choose, they’re going to get what they wanted.

    • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

      It’s not what you want it’s what Google wants … you are expendable.
      In the big picture there are those that are “now files” and ever more people (bios) to record (collect data on): every movement, thought, pimple … the more complete the file the more wealth it will bring the file holder (in this case Google).

      • Steven

        You should check out fairsearch.org, as they make it very clear what Google’s motives are. It’s the reason that Google is being questioned by the US government as to their business practices, as well as a lot of regulatory legislation regarding the internet being considered right now. Basically Google has done some very bad things, continues to do some very bad things, and so the US government feels necessary to step in and we all know that can only mean bad things are about to happen to the internet. We can all thank Google for getting the government involved and when the internet becomes taxed and regulated, we can blame Google.

        • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

          Google’s being “squeezed” by corrupt politicians!
          It’s what happened to Microsoft in the 1990’s. Microsoft was “wealthy” and wasn’t sharing (paying their fair [re-election campaigns] share). Microsoft only had one lobbyist in Washington spreading money around and couldn’t get the money around to all who wanted it fast enough so the bastard politicians drummed of an anti-trust issue and hauled Microsoft in. Finally Microsoft “understood” and retained many lobbyist and and spread millions upon millions around to all those committee members who were up for re-election (and for more than one election cycle) and when everyone “understood” the arragement was sealed for as long as Microsoft planned on being in business in the U.S. … well the rest is history … that anti-trust investigation faded away with nary a word printed.
          Same is happening to Google. It’s called “crony capitalism” … I prefer corrupt politics, extorsion.

          • Steven

            So you’re saying the only reason Microsoft got into trouble was for not paying out money to politicians and not the fact that Microsoft was trying to use it’s operating system to lock out software companies that were competing with Microsoft? Amazing. Somehow I must have missed that. Are you smoking crack? Google is engaging in anti-competitive practices. That’s why congress is asking questions, not because they didn’t get their hush money. In fact, if fairsearch.org did not send to all District Attorneys in all 50 states a 40 page letter, I doubt that Google would have been called in to testify in front of congress to answer the allegations that seemed to congress to be very real. At least real enough for them to call in Google instead of simply picking up the phone or writing letters back and forth.

  • http://www.mac-webmasters.com Glenn – Mac SEO Tips

    Expect ‘freshness’ to be very disruptive to the stability of top ranking sites. Particularly for those who had keywords ranking well and stable in the top 5 positions – expect time-stamped content to come and go from day to day – and shove more static content further down the SERPs. Worst case, it’s as if all public libraries moved the Periodical section near the front door – and really why bother going to those big clunky old dusty-musty books in the back…?

    • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

      The sad part is the shift in content creation that could happen from mostly what’s informative to what’s happening right now. I suppose if a lot of searches are about what’s going on right now you can’t blame Google for seeing a need in creating an algorithm for that. I still think that it should be an option than forced. It’s just ironic how Google tells us they want their search to be all about the user experience and part of that is to make search be more personalized (such as they did with location being a factor in search), but they keep on giving us algorithm changes instead of options. Panda to me seems more like it should have been a filter that users could adjust and so does the Freshness Update.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    As with every tweak there will be winners and losers. If the winners out number the losers then the consensus will be that it was “good” and vice versa.
    This question would best be asked in a couple of weeks so that the results can better be seen.

  • http://www.practicalsports.com Camping Dude

    If Google does indeed take freshness over quality, then we are up for a mass of spam sites ranking at the top. This has happened time and time again. Google will have to adjust it algorithm again to weed out spam, while the higher quality sites get hurt by Google’s experiments.

    George is correct when he stated “The idea that “Fresh” content is better content in more traditional web enterprises is a myth.”

    I think we have all been hurt by the masters at Google one time or another.

  • http://mercadeoweb.com Enrique

    I belive it will have a mix between freshness and quality…

  • http://developex.com/ IT consulting

    Looks like nobody cares about users that searches. Everyone is concerned about your content rank in serps. But google slightly push you towards ppc. want to be ranked number 0 – just above serp? few bucks per click and you are here…

    • http://www.snapdeal.com Snapdeal

      Algorithms changed frequently according to the change in trends of black hat tends to increase………

  • Tito

    I can’t believe I’m google free. My business doesn’t depend on them anymore. They wiped out my whole business in March. They de-listed my decade old site. I’m getting more business with social networks now than I ever did with Google. I think Google needs to be regulated like a public utility really. They are heading toward that net with these stupid algo. changes which benefits no one but Adwords.

  • http://adondeirhoy.com Adondeirhoy

    We have seen no changes on our site

  • http://adondeirhoy.com Adondeirhoy

    We have seen no changes in our rankings yet.

  • http://mercadeoweb.com Mercadeo Web

    Seems the “fresh” has not rolled out completely worldwide…

  • http://www.limoshop.co.uk/ Lisa

    This will have great affects in search engines. As its going to be again spammy type of updates and freshnes. How can anyone get a strong search ? If fresh news comes in then the SEO industry will perish and the backlinks and link building would be useless. Only social will be the medium, coz everynow and then new content can be added and make it fresh.

    I can also create thousands of content and upload it and try to make it fresh, this is not the correct thing what a search engine needs to do.

    Google needs to respect those old sites and quality content and not fresh content.

  • http://www.ewaysonline.com seoprasoon

    Then What’s the future of SEO??

  • http://www.pcnewsystems.com Realizzazionesitiweb

    The new Google algorithm, Penguin has overturned the SERP abnormally, unfairly, and unfortunately we see in the top few websites, we hope to correct the bug.

  • http://www.indianstudies.in jinumm

    new changes any effect on my website.its affecting over optimising sites ans others so do the the pages correctly only for viewes not for robots.google do the best

  • http://www.maccopacco.com sreejith

    Looks like nobody cares about users that searches. Everyone is concerned about your content rank in serps. But google slightly push you towards ppc. want to be ranked number 0 – just above serp? few bucks per click and you are here…

  • http://www.arredobagnopiastrelle.it Sanitari Bagno

    Basically Google has done some very bad things, continues to do some very bad things, and so the US government feels necessary to step in and we all know that can only mean bad things are about to happen to the internet.

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