What do patents have to do with updating your content?
It’s pretty well known that the traffic you get from content will rise and fall. It’s mostly because, with all other things being equal (like the overall value or focus of the content), the search engines like to show newer content first. We call it "content freshness" and it’s actually part of a patent Google owns and a big driver behind how well your content shows up in search.
We sometimes get resistance from site owners when we push for content updates. Small business owners don’t want to fix what isn’t broken and larger businesses don’t want to send ideas back through the mill and multiple layers of approval before updating- that’s a lot of resources.
Don't forget updating backlinks, too.
But you need to. The patent we’re referring to is one Google filed on how they score the content based on when it was published (its inception date) in combination with the “link rate”, which likely divides the total number of backlinks to a page by its age.
It’s also well known that backlinks don’t last forever; eventually they are retired or lost because the linking article has been archived or deleted. Just check out the title image for this post showing links and linking domains gained and lost, courtesy of AHREFS. Per the patent and the “link rate”, the value of a link also decreases over time. Double whammy.
The solution: content and link updates. Maintain your internal linking as you add and change pages and develop content; reach out to those that have linked to your old page to let them know you’ve updated it; post on social media that the page has been updated with fresh content and, if the content is important enough, like a research paper, do a PR push. Watch the traffic jump again!
Here’s a link to a good article from the folks at SEO PowerSuite on 10 of the most important Google Patents, and how they effect SEO.
Bill tracks news and changes in SEO as it effects site design and content development. Follow this blog if you're a business or agency owner that needs basic info to help with your own projects!