How Does Authority & Freshness Affect Google Rankings?

Okay, April has past, Google has again turned the screw on internet marketers yet again, but what is all the fuss about?

I am a great admirer of Matt Cutts. Even though some of my older sites have been hit kinda hard, I have for a long time looked to produce quality, informative content. personally I welcome the changes in the hope that we can finally say goodbye to crap spam sites whose sole intent is to make a quick buck.

I am happy to report that after some testing my end, I produced some positive results. But let’s break down what actually is going on.

I’ll list what Google have said then break it down so you can understand what it means, hopefully in sensible English.

1. Smoother ranking changes for fresh results. [launch codename “sep”, project codename “Freshness”] We want to help you find the freshest results, particularly for searches with important new web content, such as breaking news topics. We try to promote content that appears to be fresh. This change applies a more granular classifier, leading to more nuanced changes in ranking based on freshness.

2. Improvement in a freshness signal. [launch codename “citron”, project codename “Freshness”] This change is a minor improvement to one of the freshness signals which helps to better identify fresh documents.

3. No freshness boost for low-quality content. [launch codename “NoRot”, project codename “Freshness”] We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.

1. This isn’t difficult to grasp when they say things like “We want to help you find the freshest results” They want quality!

2. They want freshness in quality meaning they want to see you regularly provide newer fresher related content. I have certainly noticed an improvement here in my own stuff already. I have been climbing pages simply by updating my content, this doesn’t mean blast it out there!

3. Again, they reiterate the need for both freshness and quality. In a nut shell, this is what they want:

  • Good Quality
  • Targeted
  • Educational
  • Regularly updated

Anchor text too has been hit just as hard by these changes with multiple first page listings for keywords sure to be a thing of the past. Don’t be confused by this, they still require anchor text to find your site in the first place, only now, it needs to be relevant to the content on your site. Another reminder that they are out of favor with blogging networks. As long as your anchor text relates to the rest of your site then you’ll be fine.

Stuff your content with keywords and you’re in for a tough ride!

Authority Rules

All this talk of authority, but what is it?

When you hear the word authority, automatically you tend to think of big, like Nike or Coca Cola. Whilst these two giants are indeed an authority this isn’t what they mean. They just want you to actually know what it is you’re talking about. They want your material to be educational to the reader but more importantly ‘TRUE’! There is little point providing well written content for your site that is “factually rubbish”! High authority means good quality, educational factual information. Authority = Well written, without fluff.

When your sites provide value, then you will need to mix it with other higher authority sites that relate to your niche. If you haven’t already I suggest grabbing a copy of my bookmarking with steroids report that will help you do just that.