I couldn’t agree more that google likes fresh content. That is a fact. And many boast about their knowledge that google loves fresh content. But do they know why? Does it mean that if you have fresh content regularly, google will automatically like you? Hardly the case.
Many times, I have reiterated that not all websites are the same, just as not all search terms are the same. So where does fresh content applies the most? And where does fresh content do not apply at all? The answer lies in the type of website/page in relation to the type of the search term. For example, search for “bespoke suits”, do you see that the top results are not fresh contents? The top results are companies offering bespoke suits. Now search for “fashion 2015”, see that the top results are composed of latest posts or news/articles from reputable fashion news sites and blogs? See the difference? The freshness algorithm is targeted to recent events or trends or hot topic. It doesn’t apply to everything.
Google also likes fresh content because it allows google be more effective in gauging if the website or page is a good website/page or not. It allows google to gauge if the website or page is really relevant to certain search terms. How does google do that? Google do that by using user signals and web metrics. If a page receives a lot of traffic for the fresh content, does it mean it’s a good content? Not the case most of the time. If a page with the fresh content receives a lot of traffic and most of them bounces (bounce rate) in a short period of time (time on page), then that is a surefire way of letting google know that the page is not a quality page or not relevant. The google caffeine and hummingbird updates are precisely attempts to accommodate this. Caffeine allowed google to crawl the web faster and more effectively and hummingbird allowed google to understand the searcher’s intention better. Now how about if the fresh content we are talking about has been copied from other websites? Yes, it actually lets google know you don’t deserve to be in the SERP.