Another important element of the Google algorithm is the “freshness” of your content. Google thinks an old site is great, but not if the content hasn’t changed in eight months.  There is a massive amount of new information available on the internet, and Google doesn’t want to send its valuable customers to a site that doesn’t look like it is regularly updated to reflect recent changes in a field, even if there haven’t been any recent changes in that field.  Face it, the Pythagorean Theorem hasn’t changed much in 2000 years, but a site that posted an explanation five years ago is going to get pummeled in the search results by a site that has a new articles about how the Pythagorean Theorem is being taught in various ways in schools this year. Search engines are in the business of sending their customers to the sites that deliver the most relevant, satisfying content.  If their customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll just try another search engine.

So, it’s your job to keep your website regularly updated with new, relevant content.  That does NOT mean you update your front page to reflect your summer vacation, or that you just change the pictures.  Search engines don’t really care about pictures, except in specific circumstances we will discuss later in the section on media.

The good thing is, content is something you can control.  If you have a well designed site, it will be easy for your to update this content quickly and easily yourself. 

Meta Tags

When a sheriff is looking at a line of cars in front of him at a light, he really doesn’t have any special way of knowing which car belongs to whom, unless he has some kind of special tool to tell him quickly who owns the car, when it was registered, and whether or not it has insurance on it.  That one tool the sheriff uses is the license plate. In the south, license plates are actually called “tags”, so the metaphor works even better. Like your tag on your car, Google uses your site tags to quickly and easily identify the subject matter of your site and categorize it accordingly.  There are a few myths about meta tags that we need to dispel, but overall, they are pretty simple and easy to understand, and as long as you are using them right, you can, at the very least, get ranked under your business name in the SERPs.