Talk of Google+ “pages” for companies and brands has stolen the headlines this past couple of weeks, but you may also have caught wind of the recent tweak Google made to their search algorithm. Essentially, the so-called Freshness update prioritizes the “freshest”, most recent information about certain topics in their search results.
Roughly 35% of searches (not keywords) will be affected by the Freshness update, but Google are quick to point out that only 6-10% of searches would have a noticeable impact. There are a few fantastic articles and videos published on this topic by some of the leading SEO experts, as well as a few winners and losers lists (as is the custom with a new Google tweak).
To summarize these articles in very general terms, the types of searches affected seem to be those that require the most recent information to be relevant. Examples of these are recent events, hot topics, recurring events (elections, conferences), and topics that are frequently updated, such as customer reviews.
For a PR pro, communicator, or marketer, one thing becomes clear: relevant, engaging, and up-to-date content on your website takes precedence, as content marketing and SEO PR become an even more important part of your PR, marketing, and communication strategies. And the effective use of digital newsrooms is a leap in the right direction.
Online Newsrooms in the Driver’s Seat?
Lisa Buyer, CEO of The Buyer Group, in her recent article on Search Engine Watch, believes that Google will use a company’s online newsroom as a source of fresh relevant content and information about that company.
By regularly publishing relevant, engaging content – news releases, images, videos, blog posts, or white papers – you could potentially improve your rankings for search queries that you feel are most important to your company or brand. As Rand Fishkin and Mike King say in their Whiteboard Friday episode about the Freshness update, “Content Marketing – if you’re not doing it, you’re crazy!”
As for the SEO PR aspect, the Freshness update allows you to respond quickly to events or breaking news about your company or industry, including negative publicity. Adam Sherk believes that the content you publish can also be used for online reputation management.
Quantity or Quality?
However, Lisa Buyer warns that a battle between quantity and quality could ensue. The Freshness update seems, at first, to reward quantity and frequency, over quality. This means that companies with more editorial resources have an advantage, whereas a one-person company that updates less frequently, but with equal quality, would lose out.
Google insist that “freshness” is merely one component and that quality is, of course, taken into consideration. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how much this tweak will really affect search results – and if bigger changes are afoot. In the meantime, I suggest you follow the discussions and monitor your rankings closely.
Don’t have an online newsroom yet? Perhaps it’s time to get one! With Mynewsdesk’s social media newsroom, not only can you publish and share your content easily, but you can also customize and embed the newsroom on your own website.