SEO Experts React To Google Algorithm Update

    November 4, 2011

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?

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