The internet is constantly evolving and it could easily be argued to be the fastest-moving broadcasting medium in history. Unlike many other traditional media channels like TV, print or radio, web content can be published or updated in a matter of seconds – and, moreover, remains editable with just a few clicks.
However, while updates are great from a user perspective, they also put an onus of responsibility squarely on the shoulders of site owners to regularly post and revise their page content. If a visitor takes the time to visit your site, you should feel almost obliged to offer them new content – a form of hook to keep them engaged and interested in your pages.
The importance of new content from a search engine perspective
Google and other search engines constantly deploy small robots (so-called spiders) that traverse the vast online virtual space searching and referencing content which they then send back to their respective databases. Indeed, Google’s spider (Googlebot) is so efficient that it can typically find and catalog a new website in as little as four days – and then will schedule a revisit to pages to check for new and updated content.
The aim of Google has always been to provide the best quality, freshest, most authoritative and most accurate links to its users, so the engine places massive importance on regularly updated content. In the same way a human user will quickly become jaded with static, unchanging pages, so Google will penalize sites that don’t frequently post new content.
Why updates are important from a usability perspective
The web and web tech are continuously changing and developing. One need only look at Adobe’s recent cessation of Adobe Flash support (once the darling of online multimedia) to see how trends and technologies change over time, so it’s vital your site stays abreast of current standards.
Of all the recent changes in online tech, perhaps the most significant has been the move to responsive design formats to cater for the burgeoning growth of mobile access plus other connected devices. Old style, table-based designs are virtually illegible and unusable on smaller screen sizes like cellphones or even tablets and are evidence of Why An Agile UX Design Process Is Key To Your Inbound Marketing Success if you’re to stay up to date with evolving standards to provide the best service to your users.
Regular updates aren’t just good for search engines and usability
We’ve all been there – that familiar tale of visiting a site only to find its content is massively out of date. While there’s not exactly a huge effort involved in clicking a web link to a site, there are surely few things more off-putting from a user perspective than following a link only to find inaccurate or dated text and images.
Posting relevant, informed and verifiable content is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure your site builds a following of loyal users while also helping establish your reputation and authority. In short, if you’re to stand any chance of generating traffic to your pages, you’ll need to spend the time crafting and regularly posting high-quality content.