What's More Important in Search? Freshness or Quality?

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It's been a while since we looked at one of the Google Q&A webmaster videos that Matt Cutts does, but I found this recent one particularly interesting, considering the emphasis that has been put on freshness in search engines lately.

How important is freshness to you as a search engine user? Share your thoughts here.

The user question in this particular video says:

Some people are under the impression that blogs are good for SEO only if they're updated frequently. How much does frequency play into PageRank for blogs & other dynamic sites? Isn't the content more important than the simple # of posts per day/week?

Matt's response is that it is indeed much more important to have quality content, but frequency can be a nice thing to have for the users.

Essentially, if you post more frequently, people have more of a reason to keep coming back. That can be good for page views. However, as Matt says...

"Whenever you're thinking about search engines, it's much, much, much more important to think about the quality of your content. For example, on my blog, I don't post every day. Sometimes I don't post every week. But I try to make sure that each post has something useful about it..."

Matt implies that you'll be better off in terms of search, if you wait until you can deliver some value to a post, rather than just crank stuff out that isn't that much different than stuff that's already out there. This strategy is likely to attract a lot more links, he says.

Quality is always priority one, but I don't think that's to say that freshness doesn't count. For example, as we looked at recently,

Google's time filters (which are more readily available to searchers, courtesy of the recent redesign of the SERPs), not to mention the realtime results Google often displays, can add some benefit to providing fresh content. Brian Klais, General Manager and VP of Product Mangagement at Covario had a very interesting post at Search Engine Land looking at how the time filter may even help smaller brands get some visibility.

Of course Google has gone out of its way with Caffeine to increase the speed at which it indexes content so it can provide the freshest results possible.

Do you take freshness into account for your search engine marketing strategy? Comment here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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