We’re taking it back to 2017. Google’s Freshness Update that year included a significant algorithm update that introduced time as a relevance indicator. It caused some confusion for marketers, many of whom misunderstood the update to prioritize recent publication dates in raking results.
3 types of queries that “Freshness” algorithms apply to:
- Recent events
- Regularly recurring events
- Frequently updated topics
Freshness vs. Frequency:
With that third query in mind, Google doesn’t directly care how frequently you post or if you keep changing the date of a post. That matters more for search parameters from a user directly. Google cares about the relevancy of that topic.
So frequency is the rate at which you publish content, while freshness is directed towards the date a page was originally published. Google understands people want to know the latest trends, not outdated ones.
The Freshness Ranking Combination
So in an attempt to match the results to fit the user’s intent, they will take into account:
- the original publishing date + the possibly changed date
- “Significant” content changes
If you do not have both factors on a page, Google may skip over it in SERPs.
Wanna see direct examples of this at work? Check out the full Search Engine Journal post for details and direct sources from Google.