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Fresh content and positioning. Why should you update old content?

It is widely known that the content on a website or online store affects the site’s position in the search engine. However, for the content to bring measurable results in the form of an increase in traffic and the number of conversions, it is worth taking care of them, both in technical and substantive terms. Do you always need to create new content? It turns out not necessarily. Everything because of achieving better results in terms of positioning, we can use materials that have already been published on our blog, website or store. What content to create, which is worth updating and how to do it? What do the terms recycling content, fresh content and evergreen content mean? Learn their meaning and use the potential of content marketing 100%.

Content marketing and its impact on SEO

Content marketing is one of the main factors affecting rankings in organic search results. Its use allows:

– tell Google robots what the page or subpage is about,
– contain key phrases with high potential, important from the point of view of positioning,
– increase website traffic,
– provide users with valuable and useful content,
– build the image of an expert in a given industry,
– increase conversion.

Publishing the content gives search engine robots a signal that the site is still working and is constantly updated. Unfortunately, creating new content, optimizing it in terms of search engine algorithms, and then assessing the potential in terms of profit take a long time. Therefore, before we undertake any content activities affecting website positioning, it is worth finding out what content is worth investing in.

Fresh content – does it affect positioning?

Users like not only valuable, but also current content. For the same reason, they are also valued by Google search algorithms. What is the so-called fresh content? This is content that:

– is associated with recent events that are gaining popularity (e.g. natural disasters, individual sporting events, presidential elections, information on celebrities),
– applies to events that are repeated periodically (Olympic Games, TV programs – e.g. Dancing with the Stars),
– it is updated frequently and is subject to numerous changes (e.g. product reviews, lists and rankings of the best equipment, which are updated at specified intervals).

The emergence of new, popular content arouses the interest of both current and new users – regularly published content increases website traffic and clickthrough rate (CTR), which can also affect positioning and position in organic search results.

What content should you choose? In an electronics store, attention should be drawn to an article about the most popular smartphones or useful home gadgets that improve everyday life. In turn, in the gadget store, an article about 5 best gifts for a partner may turn out to be interesting. What’s more, such content, although related to a specific event, will also be current next year.

Fresh content – what content is it?

However, it turns out that “fresh content” is not always closely associated with the date of publication. It is the search engine algorithms that decide which content will be matched to the user’s query. It may turn out that the “fresh content” will be an article from a few minutes or hours ago, but also from a dozen or so days ago or from the previous month. Example? In the case of the password associated with the presidential election, the search results appear published several dozen minutes ago, a few hours earlier and a few days earlier. In turn, the slogan “the best smartphones” we see both articles from a few days ago, and 2-3 months ago. Matching the most current results to queries related to current events is the result of two updates – from 2009 on indexing and from 2011 (the so-called Freshness Update), which affected about 35% of searches, and thanks to which today in the search engine we find content recently published.

Query Deserves Freshness – what does this mean?

Therefore, it turns out that Google algorithms prefer “fresh content” only for some queries. They are so-called Query Deserves Freshness (QDF). If Google considers the password to be “fresh”, the results will show recent material, but the time may vary – from a few minutes to several months, depending on the type of query. You can use such searches to create relevant content and increase website traffic, but it’s worth remembering that in the future, when the increased popularity of the query passes, the traffic generated by the material will also be limited. This does not mean, however, to opt out of fresh content, because they can be a source of many valuable links. What’s more, it’s worth choosing the right title for them – the year of publication visible in the search results can affect the increase in the clickthrough rate (CTR), which already has a direct impact on the position in organic results.

For queries outside Query Deserves Freshness, the date of publication of the article will not have a major impact on your search engine rankings. Examples of content for which publication time is not important include:
– recipe for pancakes,
– blog entry titled Which phone case should I choose?
– blog entry titled 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep.

In the above cases, not the date of publication will be relevant, but:
– value of user information provided,
– use of relevant key phrases in appropriate density,
– traffic generated by the subpage,
– authority of the site,
– popularity among recipients),
– valuable links to the site
– and many other factors.

Evergreen content in positioning – how to use eternally live content?

Somehow in opposition to dynamic content associated with current or cyclical events, stands the so-called evergreen content, which is eternally live content that does not become outdated despite the passage of days, months and even years and in the long run generates constant, valuable traffic. This type of content contains universal advice, tips and information that is not affected by the passage of time. The carrot cake recipe from 2020 is no different from the one from a few years ago. What materials are covered by evergreen content? Primarily:

– guides (how to choose an exterior door for your home, how to create a happy relationship),
– industry lists (5 ways to better sleep, 3 methods of coping with stress, 7 best natural cosmetics),
– case study,
– dictionaries of terms,
– answers to user questions and FAQ sections.

However, this does not mean that the content that users are looking for at all times, regardless of the season or season, does not require editing. Why? Because technology also changes over time. An example is the marketing and internet and positioning industry – the article on SEO myths from 5 years ago will look completely different from the one published in 2020. Therefore, if we have already created a text on such subjects some time ago, it is worth keeping a finger on the pulse and adapting it to the changing information and ways of positioners.

Fresh and evergreen content and SEO

Publishing new content usually involves either creating new subpages or updating existing ones. It is worth remembering, however, that adding content or updating it must be a thoughtful strategy, not “art for art’s sake.” If the newly published content does not bring value to the user, it probably will not bring you the expected benefits (more traffic, higher conversions). Therefore, when updating content, you should avoid practices such as:
– changing the publication date to keep the content up to date,
– cosmetic, minor changes on the page (in ads, user comments, JavaScript, etc.).

The higher frequency of updates of a given subpage and website generally causes Google robots to index it more often. A larger number of articles on a page or blog in this way generates more traffic, which indirectly affects positioning, but if this traffic is of little value (e.g. it will increase the bounce rate), then it does not have to be associated with an improvement in the position in organic search results. What’s more, SEO experts are multiplying examples of entries in top10 searches from pages that have not been updated for a long time. Therefore, the frequency of publication can affect website positioning, but does not have to, and there are so many ranking factors that it is difficult to predict the effects.

If the updates are not valuable to the user, then probably Google’s algorithms will not display them in high positions, and the content will not generate the increased traffic or conversions that we care about. Such actions do not make sense, because the content is created in order to achieve specific business goals.

Content recycling

Who said that created content can be used only once? The growing popularity of various forms of communication with users means that the existing material can be transformed into a slightly different one with little effort and reused. Examples?

– A tutorial entry on a blog can be a great base for an infographics or a podcast, and a series of tutorials material for an ebook.
– Multimedia presentation for training participants can be converted into a PDF guide (or vice versa).
– Graphics prepared for social media can also be found as an illustration of a blog post.

This reuse of already existing content is what we call recycling. These activities involve creating new content that is valuable to the user, based on existing content and has nothing to do with duplication. Content recycling can also consist of:
– article update, which we already have on the site,
– combining several old articles into one larger material (remember to redirect to avoid losing links to the material),
– extension of the guide,
– re-sharing the article on social media (containing content that does not become outdated).

What are the benefits of recycling content? Primarily:
– we save time – creating completely new materials would definitely require more energy,
– we attract recipients interested in a given medium (some prefer to listen to podcasts, others read blog entries),
– we are increasing the number of potential recipients,
– we support SEO and conversion – modern forms of content marketing, if properly optimized, also affect positioning,
– we “remind” the content of search engine algorithms that re-index the page, i.e. evaluate its content.

How to choose subpages that need updating?

It is worth betting on updating the content if:
– the content can (and even should) be supplemented with new, valuable information,
– the site has collected valuable links and you don’t want to lose them,
– the material ranks in the top 10 search results for interesting phrases, but does not generate conversions,
– The site has several articles on a given topic, but only one of them generates relevant traffic.

When to create a new article and when to update an existing one?

Why is it not always profitable to create a new article? Because new content, unlike existing content, doesn’t have valuable links (e.g. from social media). If we want to use their potential, and at the same time we have no idea for new material, then a good solution may be to supplement the content of an existing entry. In the case of new pages that do not yet have a lot of content, it is worth focusing on new content, because these expand the catalog of keywords, which will be visible in search results.

Step by step content update on the page

To assess which pages we should update, it’s worth focusing on a content audit. Thanks to this you will be able to verify which subpages bring the expected results, which do nothing for you, and which are potentially harmful. To this end, you can use tools that analyze the traffic generated by individual URLs. Among them are:

Google Analytics, which shows, among others bounce rate for a given subpage and the time spent by the user on a given subpage,
Google Search Console, indicating the number of views; if there are many views and the time spent on the subpage is short, it is a signal that the content may be unattractive.

Updating content can be divided into several stages:
A. Log in to the Google Analytics account and go to the Behavior-> Website Content-> All Pages section, where we will find the most popular entries on our blog. On this basis, we preselect pages that are worth analyzing in more detail. It is worth to read them again, compare them with similar materials available from competing companies or stores and think about whether we can expand, enrich or change our own content.
B. We use popular tools – Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The data stored in them will help us choose the elements to improve. If:
– you have a high bounce rate, increase the attractiveness of the content – for example, supplement it with eye-catching graphics, tables, charts;
– the data shows that the specific subpage has a low CTR (Click Through Rate), it is worth considering changing the meta data – title, meta description;
 – the subpage generates very few conversions, focus on visually attractive CTA (call to action).
C. After making any changes, it is worth following the results in the above-mentioned tools – in this way you will find out whether the implemented changes and enriched content actually brought the expected results.

There are content that will always be up to date. However, because technology is moving forward in many areas of information, current a few years ago, today is useless. Therefore, it is worth looking at your site in this respect and checking whether we can improve, update or improve the previously created content. To this end, you can bet on:
– interesting combinations (e.g. data in a table or in the form of diagrams),
– infographics,
– updating statistical data,
– posting the opinions of other industry experts.

It may also be necessary to verify keywords – phrases popular in the past do not have to be today. It is also worth interfering with internal linking. Why? Because while we often place links to existing entries in new content, we often forget to update existing entries with links to new subpages or blog content.

Content update and conversions

One way to increase conversions is to update and enrich the content. Many SEO experts have achieved amazing results in this way. Ireneusz IwaƄski ( increased the conversion rate from 0.54% to 4.82% in one day. An important content update can also be condensing information in one place. Lists with interesting links also attract users and increase conversions. How can this trend be used? If you’re writing an article about featured groups on Facebook, provide links to them. If you create a post about tools for a positioner, put in it links to pages of specific tools.

Use the potential of content in positioning.

The Content is King slogan is still alive, but in order for content published on our website to have a positive impact on positioning, you need to spend a lot of time and work. What’s more, user preferences and technologies are constantly changing, and website and blog owners must keep up with them. If we do not have time to create content on our website and update it, as well as regularly enrich or supplement and analyze the results, it is worth focusing on cooperation with an SEO agency. It employs both positioners responsible for technical optimization of the site, as well as content marketing specialists. Thanks to this, the team of experts will not only create valuable materials for the user, but will also update and enrich them as well as analyze their effectiveness. What’s more, by working with a marketing agency, you’ll also get a valuable profile of links that lead to your site. Only in this way – by focusing on comprehensive actions – can you count on the effects of positioning. Because content, although very important, is only one of the elements of SEO strategy.

Published inContent MarketingContent RecyclingCopywritingEvergreen ContentFresh ContentLinkParahraseParaphrasing ToolQuery Deserves FreshnessSEO