Chapter 5: Freshness Factor: 10 Illustrations on How Fresh Content Can Influence Rankings

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on The Moz Blog on Dec. 12, 2011.

In 2003, engineers at Google filed a patent application for a document-scoring program referred to as “Search Engine 125” that would rock the SEO world. Named “Document Scoring Based on Document Content Update,” it not only offered insight into the mind of the world's largest search engine, but provided an accurate roadmap of the path Google would take for years to come.

In his series on the ten most important search patents of all time, Bill Slawski shows how this patent spawned many child patents ( These are often near-duplicate patents with slightly modified passages, the latest discovered as recently as October 2011. Many of the algorithmic changes we see today are simply improvements of these original ideas conceived years ago by Google engineers.

One of these updates was Google's Freshness Update, which places greater emphasis on returning fresher web content for certain queries. Exactly how Google determines freshness was brilliantly explored by Justin Briggs in his analysis of original Google patents ( Justin deserves a lot of credit for bringing this analysis to light and inspiring this article.

Although the Freshness ...

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