SEO: Are you fresh?

Google Caffeine(Astroblogging) Listen. I’ve got something to ask you. Now don’t take offense, but are you fresh?

Before you get your knickers in a bunch, it may surprise you to know that Google is asking the same thing each and every time someone runs a search on a topic. And the reason for this is that Google has changed the parameters of the search algorithm–again.

But lets backtrack and take a look at the recent changes Google has made to its search algorithm.

In June of 2010, Google announced the new algorithm changes which they dubbed the “Caffeine Search Index”. This how Google explained it:

Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before. . . With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before—no matter when or where it was published.

But in addition to this change, Google, not content with the results of their Caffeinated changes tweaked the algorithm even more, this time decided to blunt the force of the traditional sword of SEO strategy: keywords. In a bid to increase the Google Adwords program, Google changed the algorithm to read only those keywords that it deemed to be of commercial value.

And then like a schoolgirl unable to decide what to wear on a hot date, Google decided to tweak the algorithm even more to include the amount of social engagement a post generated. This took the form of measuring Facebook likes and links to other social media (except strangely not Twitter).

The result of these game changes was that smaller blogs and websites lost ground. Bloggers, like some of my friends at the Facebook group called Astrology Bloggers were taken by surprise by the changes as the amount of Google search traffic and number of hits dropped.

Now Google is upping the ante one more time with its latest improvement, that of assuming you want the most recent post on a topic.

Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.

So what does this mean for us astrology bloggers? It means we all need to post more frequently if we want to get our message across. It means we need to write more often on topics that are in the news, and it means that if we want our evergreen posts to be seen we need to do a better job of deep linking them in our “fresher” pieces of work.

So what are you waiting for? Get fresh!

Photo published under a Creative Commons license as displayed by Flickr.

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Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at starrynightastro@aol.com.
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