Roving Report: Google Has an Eye on Freshness

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Keeping web content fresh is a huge opportunity for web writers. Have you considered adding this service to your web-writing arsenal?

That’s the question Heather Robson, Wealthy Web Writer’s Managing Editor, asked during a recent webinar, which you can review HERE.

Freshness Matters

Freshness matters to the search engines, and it matters to readers.

Google gives more weight to pages and sites that are updated regularly. “This makes a lot of sense,” Heather explained, “because there’s a ton of deadwood on the internet now.”

If a brick-and-mortar business shuts down, some other business will come along to fill that vacant space. However on the Web, old businesses and old content just sit there.

Today’s Web is over 20 years old, and “there’s of ton of outdated information.” To ensure it’s providing good search results, Google looks at how often a website updates, and when a specific page was last updated.

If you have a page that was optimized really well and ranked highly a few years ago, you can expect Google to start looking for a newer page with information that’s more up-to-date.

Two Web-Writing Opportunities

As a web writer, you could build a business entirely on optimizing existing web pages and improving existing pages that were optimized previously.

For a page that was never optimized

When updating a page that was never optimized for SEO, you’ll:

  • Add SEO elements
  • Remove dated information
  • Increase the page’s value

Basically, you’ll think about the keywords people will look for on that page’s topic, optimize for them, and add the needed SEO elements.

To improve an optimized page

For a page that was optimized in the past that’s ready for an update, you’ll freshen it up to get Google’s attention and rank better. Focus on pages that:

  • Performed well in the past
  • Need updating
  • Have room to improve the SEO

Check for things like broken links, outdated information, or information that’s incomplete due to advances in the topic. And make sure the SEO is strong.

Update high-performing pages every six months to a year, Heather advised. If you offer this service on a retainer basis, you can make a good living doing only this for a handful of clients.

Whether you’re adding SEO for the first time or updating a high-performing page to improve SEO, follow these five steps.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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