Why Updating Your Site Is Good For SEO
What Are Search Engines?
All websites are reliant on search engines in some way. Search engines, in some form, have existed since 1995 when Yahoo! Search was launched, and they became relied upon more when Google emerged. Google developed a strategy to rank websites based on popularity by measuring how many other websites link to any particular site. That method has evolved into the driving force of today’s internet.
Before Google, websites were gathered into databases, and searches would yield results based on tags, or keywords, ascribed to them by the search engine. While keywords have remained a major factor in all search engines for many years, Google continues to push the boundaries of its strategy to bring the “best” websites to the searcher, adding other metrics to the calculation that yields results to any query. This is why Google is, without question, the industry leader and why search engines are the default method for anyone to find a website and information.
How Are You Ranked?
Google’s efforts to become the first source for internet traffic leads web developers to tailor their strategies to take advantage of Google’s process for determining search engine results. One of the most accessible ways to do this is updating your site frequently.
A number of factors dictate search engine results. The initial process for classification is “crawling.” Crawling is the term for software combing through the endless internet and reading the multitude of websites that comprise it. Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving to crawl more effectively. Each time a site is crawled, it is “indexed,” and its rank on the search engine results page(SERP) is re-evaluated.
While not the only factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, indexing and re-evaluation can cause a site to either increase or decrease among the SERPs. For this reason, it is important to update your site frequently AND ensure the update is productive. By that, I essentially mean while adding to your site, be sure that whatever you are adding will be useful to those who find it.
What Should You Update?
“Content is King” is a common adage when SEO is being discussed. For years, gaining SERP superiority was a simple matter of adding keywords, then it became a game of content. By adding content, a site could increase indexing frequency and utilize its plethora of keywords to gain an advantage over competitors, but remember, Google is constantly improving its search algorithm. One of the results of this improvement has been the recognition of useful content. SERP ranking is no longer only a matter of how much content you gather but how much useful content you provide.
What is useful content? You can think in the most direct terms here. If a user comes to your site with a question, they should find an answer. The most basic of information, your business hours or location, can fulfill this need, but realistically, you’re not going to change information of that nature very often. Time-dependent information is crucial here.
For example, many retailers offer a daily or weekly special in their store, and you may follow a business on social media to find such offers. This is a perfect opportunity for the retailer to update their site with relevant, useful information frequently. In this example, I would recommend tying the site updates into a larger SEO strategy. Still, the site updates will force Google to constantly analyze this site’s placement in the SERPs.
A small update will achieve indexing, but new content will provide greater benefits to your SEO. Articles and blog posts are going to supply the highest impact. When you add an article relevant to your industry, you will touch on many of the factors that Google prioritizes in their algorithm, assuming it is relevant. An article can provide information to answer one or more questions that a user is searching. In so doing, it may draw the attention of other businesses in your industry. That can lead to other websites linking to your article and website to help their users. Linked websites were one of the most innovative changes Google pioneered when it was originally launched, and if anything, that has become one of the bedrock principles of good SEO.
Did you ask about keywords? Articles pertaining to any practical application of your industry will have keywords woven throughout the content. Again, Google’s constant improvement makes its mark. Keywords became less relevant as an unattached word; however, they are weighted when coupled with information contextualizing that word, context that would appear in an article.
Ultimately, an article will provide engaging content that will cause users to stay on your website, come back to your website, and share your website with friends. This is the real goal with any website: gaining more traffic that can be converted into actions and patronage of your services.
Update for SEO Improvement
Whether it’s an article, interesting photography, informative commentary, witty remarks, useful links, new products, or any number of other reasons, updating your website frequently will enhance your website and the experience of your visitors. These updates will also cause Google to index your site frequently. As I mentioned, there are many other factors involved in the ranking of websites for search engine results, but frequent indexing of useful information and engaging content on your site will give you a competitive edge in SERPs.
Google: How Search Algorithms Work For more generalized information on how search works, go straight to the source.
If you want to get more technical, check out this article on the new reporting feature of Google Search Console.
If you want to read more about our insight into the upcoming Google Search update, read our insight into that topic,