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Impact of Update Frequency on Search Engine Rankings

Update frequency is one of those things that is frequently thrown around in the SEO world as an important factor to consider. Google specifically addressed the concern of how frequent updates need to be in a great video, on the Google Webmaster Help YouTube Channel.

Rather surprisingly, Matt Cutts’ answer is that update frequency isn’t that important, at least not compared to the quality or your updates. Standing by Google’s long-time claim that the best way to get ranked well is to have good content, he explains that it is much better to wait several days or even several weeks in between updates if you need that time to research and write a well-written, unique blog post.

He points out, rather accurately, that having original, unique content is much better than being one of many different sites to report the same story. If, for instance, you are going to report on a news story, try to find some original piece of information, or take a unique position on the issue. Quality is more important than frequency for the sake of search engines, though for users, there’s not a clear winner. In terms of value, it is better to have original articles that contain unique value and that will compel users to go to your site to get unique content. However for the sake of getting return visitors, having frequent updates will increase the chance of users coming back, and the frequency at which they return, whereas rarer posts will not have as strong of a hold on the visitors.

Matt Cutts mentions that he will go days or even weeks without posting on his personal blog in order to make sure that he has a good story and a well-written blog post. How much you may want to do this really depends on what your aim is – there is some value to having lots of keyword filled content, but Google claims that they can tell the difference between repetitive content and well-written, unique content. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but the official advice from Google is that the best policy is to focus on quality much more then frequency or quantity.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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