Dear marketers of the world. Let me guess -- you've got some kick-butt content on your blog, optimized with specific keywords that have been ranking your company well in search engine results for the past year. You are now banking on these perfectly search engine optimized posts to keep your top-positioned seat on Google search results pages nice and warm for another year. Guess again.
Google announced on its blog today that it will be providing fresher, newer results for certain searches. The company wrote that its ranking algorithm, which impacts about 35% of searches, has been ameliorated to provide more up-to-date relevant results for "varying degrees of freshness."
The new algorithm appeals to the idea that different searches require different needs for freshness. Although there are definitely cases where search results that are a few years old will still be useful to the searcher, there are other cases when a search requires more timely results.
The updated algorithm will provide fresher results for three types of searches: recent events or hot topics, regularly recurring events, and frequent updates.
Here's how we inbound marketers are affected by the three highlighted developments Google shared today.
1. Recent Events or Hot Topics
When Facebook announces yet another update to its site, or Google+ releases a new feature for its product, the online marketing world goes crazy. New blog posts, tweets, commentary, broadcasts, you name it, go flying around the internet to get the word out. For people who want to know about the specifics about that topic quickly, they may just type in "Google+" and expect an answer, versus typing in "Google+ launches new Ripples feature." The results for that simple "Google+" search will now cater to information that has been uploaded as early as a few minutes prior.
Marketing Takeaway: As content creators, we know the importance of producing content in a timely manner. We publish content about breaking news-related stories in our industries in hopes of appearing in searches so that traffic from such will direct visitors to our websites. Google's updated algorithm supports this very practice, showing visitors more recent content. That said, this means marketers need to be extra careful when clicking publish. You may not have that extra minute to spot a glaring error and fix it—Google already has your post in its search results and someone somewhere may be reading it. When trying to publish that article in a quick and timely manner, don't neglect to take the time to carefully proof and edit your content.
2. Regularly Recurring Events
The idea here parallels the one above. If you're searching for when the exact time a certain HubSpot marketing webinar is about to air, you may just do a quick search for "HubSpot marketing webinar." Results about old webinars that occurred last week are unhelpful. The updated Google algorithm will provide results that display information for upcoming events. Meaning, any event that is about to or will at some point happen (such as regularly recurring events), not those that have already happened, will appear, which is likely what you are looking for.
Marketing Takeaway: YAY! Bask in the glory of knowing that prospects and customers will be able to discover and get information about your upcoming events faster. And if you aren't hosting events, get cracking! Event marketing is great key tool for face-to-face marketing to help your business grow.
3. Frequent Updates
Marketing Takeaway: This Google algorithm update empowers the importance of updating content. Just over two weeks ago, an infographic revealed that 92% of marketers agree that content is critical for SEO. This still stands true, but the importance of that content has exponentially increased. If you published a post about a certain industry-related trend a few months, or even a year ago, don't cross it off the list of blog ideas for the present or future. Change happens, updates can always be made, and new insights can always be revealed about a certain topic. Revisiting old post ideas and updating content will give you a better chance of remaining relevant in searches pertaining to that subject.
How else do you think Google's algorithmic update will impact marketers?