Observations and Insights

Why is Fresh Content So Important?

Chuck Bankoff - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I received call from a noted cosmetic surgeon in Denver a few months back. His issue was that he was stopped and cited for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).  This made the local newspaper (the online version) and despite the fact that he was acquitted, his business dropped off substantially.

I don’t know about you, but before someone takes a knife to my face I prefer they not be intoxicated. Apparently this is unavoidable in some pubs and taverns I’ve been to…but that is another story. In this case his potential patients easily found this out simply by Googling him by name.

He wanted to know how to make that article disappear. The problem is that content on the Internet is forever. You can’t make it disappear; you can only bury it onto deeper pages on the search results.

What makes this such a tough assignment is that the content came from a Newspaper website. That makes it extra challenging because by its very nature news sites are constantly updating their content and search engines give extra weight to pages that contain “fresh” page content. “Fresh” content refers to page content that updates regularly as opposed to being static.

A good example of this would be the home page of news sites like CNN.com. Essentially, the home page automatically updates whenever a new content page (a new article) is added. So do the links to other related articles.

It is important to consider fresh content when planning out your site architecture. The home page and all category-level pages should include a content element that will automatically update when new content pages are added. That is why Blogs and News modules have become so important.

And the Cosmetic Surgeon? In a fleeting sober moment he did the math and realized that the cost of a Reputation Management Program paled in comparison to the devastating effects of bad PR. It took a few weeks, but we were able to push the nasty article off the first page. Cosmetically enhanced faces in Denver are once again on the rise.

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