What Google’s New “Freshness Update” Means to You!

On November 3rd Google announced the introduction of a new update to their Caffeine web indexing system that was originally pushed out in June 2010. This most recent update, affecting roughly 35% of searches, has become known as the Freshness Update due to its stated goal of delivering fresher, more recent search results.

In short, the goal of the update was to rank NEWER content HIGHER in the search results for most queries. To see this in action, just visit these sample results in Google for the queries NBA lock-out, Wall Street, Penn State scandal, football, and Black Friday 2011.

What you’ll notice is how the top-served content results are time stamped and annotated more visually than previously. Some results show these annotations in days, while others are in hours and even minutes (8 minutes ago). The takeaway here is that date-specific content is being served now more than ever before.


Currently, a vast majority of this real-time “fresh” content is tied to the following content areas: breaking news, hot topics (tech, gadgets, etc.), current events, celebrity gossip, video media, sports updates, and customer/product reviews. To see a nice breakdown of winner and losers of the recent update check out this great article from TechCrunch.

Now, here are 7 strategies we recommend you implement to evergreen your content and increase your chances of a freshness boost both for your own sites and those of your clients:

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