What prompted this post is that I wrote a blog post for Detail Daddy and the post showed up the next day for the target keywords with a label showing the age of the post. This was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The good result was due to the freshness update initiated by Google last fall. I want to talk a little bit about what this means to small local businesses. But first, what is the freshness update?
Last November, Google, google announced improvements in their search algorithm that people refere to as the freshness update. You can read that post here. The freshenss update was designed to show time relevant content for time sensitive searches. This mean that if you searched for recent events or time-based events, such as celbrity weadings or football games, Google would do their best to serve up fresh timely content.
That means that if you search for war in Iran, you are going to get more fresh content than war in China, for instance. Both, becuase currently there are more searches on the suject and it more relavent to current events. A search on war in China would bring up less fresh content because many of the searches would be about past wars and the information is not time sensitive.
There has been a quite a few blog posts about this update by the prominent memebers of the community. Here are a couple that you may find interesting: An SEO By The Sea post and an SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday discussion.
What does this mean to small local businesses? I think there is lots of opportunity here if small local businesses are willing to blog on a regular basis. Just as it is for large national businesses, small businesses can benefit from regular blogging. In fact, there is even more potential upside for local bloggers.
One example that I’ll use is from DetailDddy. We wrote a blog post on boat detailing in Dunedin, and it was on the front page of the keyword search with similar keywords. Next to the listing was the freshenss label that Google puts on results that are recent.
This technique can be used to penetrate some of the larger keyword markets as well, such as ‘car detailing tampa’ using the blog format as in the case of Detail Daddy.
The strategy you emply will depend on your business and the customer type you are trying to attract. However, the main thing to take away from the freshenss update is that if you are will ing to take the time to blog on a regular basis (with a clear strategy) you can significantly benefit your business.