Fresh Is Best -- Especially When It Comes to Web Content

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By now it probably has been emphasized by practically anyone with insight into search engine optimization -- myself included -- that keyword-relevant content is extremely relevant in any search engine optimization plan.

What might not have been as equally stressed but is equally important is the major role that fresh or regularly updated content plays in maintaining search engine rankings. Even after the initial optimization process including optimization of meta tags, alt tags, key terms and implementation of linking campaigns ends, a Web site can reach only so far on a major search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

What sets a highly ranked Web site apart from the rest is one that is regularly updated with relevant, keyterm-rich content. It says to search engine spiders that a Web site is legitimate in providing information on the topics included in the title and header tags, that the site is active and being attended to and not just taking up server space, and that the site's size and quantity of information are both likely to grow -- which is a very appealing factor for search engine spiders that love to crawl large, well-structured Web sites.

For many Web site owners it is difficult to maintain a Web site, especially one that is constantly updating products or adding new services, without the added task of having to regularly stay on top of content updates as well. But it is a necessary inconvenience, especially for Web sites that aspire to stay on the front page of the search engine results pages and aim to make it into one of the coveted top three positions.

There are a number of solutions, though, that Web site owners or managers can use to alleviate some of the added pressure. But, of course, where there is a solution, there's usually a price tag attached. Any good search engine optimization firm has writers on staff who have expertise in or are familiar with writing optimized Web content. In most cases, Web sites hire out their search engine optimization projects to one of these firms, so it would go to reason that they could also contract with their SEO firm to provide their Web site with fresh content on a weekly or monthly basis.

Another way in which a Web site can stay on top of what's new is by actually becoming the news source. There are two ways in which this can be facilitated:

· By doing regular press releases, either on company happenings or in response to recent industry news, a Web site can increase its keyword density and its size.

· Using customizable feeds such as the increasingly popular RSS feed by which incoming and outgoing news links are constantly at a Web site's disposal, a Web site can ensure that it is always in the loop about the latest keyword-relevant news and content. Prices for RSS feeds vary depending on what type, the reciprocity of links, industry, etc.

A final and probably the oldest and most cost-effective way to maintain fresh content is through the incorporation of a Weblog (blog) onto a Web site. A blog, which can be manually or automatically updated depending on the software, allows for the posting of regular material and content in regards to the Web site's topic area and opens the site to further linking possibilities.

Whatever your method of achieving it, successful content additions are essential in getting and staying at the top of the search engine results pages.

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