Following a thread on alt.internet.search-engines (database-driven varying content of title and alt tags) and despite 10 posts so far, no one has answered the question!
Times for a short article on Does Google Prefer Fresh Content?
Main thrust of the original posters question regarding generating fresh content.
My question was how much better might the search results be if the content of my title, alt and header tags vary at random with every (most) visits, all containing appropriate keywords and content.
This poster has obviously been reading various forums, websites etc… that state as an SEO fact that Google prefers fresh content.
What is Fresh Content?
Fresh content would be a page that’s been recently updated, people have argued there needs to be enough changes to make a page fresh, but in essence make some content changes and Google etc… is meant to give that page a SERPs boost for being fresh (updated).
If the people who state as a fact that fresh content is ranked higher by the search engines then by varying your titles, alt attributes, headers along the lines of this:
Google Fresh Content
Google Prefers Fresh Content
Fresh Content = Great SERPs
Search Engines Prefer Fresh Content
Fresh Content and Google the Truth
Google Fresh Content = SEO Myth
You get the idea, basically make a bunch of related phrases that are randomised every time a page is visited (not hard to do with a PHP driven site for example).
This should generate a fresh page in the eyes of the search engines ranking algorithms. So every time Google visits a page like this it will think it’s been updated with new fresh content and give it a boost for being so lemon fresh
Unfortunately, there’s one enormous flaw in this so called “SEO fact”, most stuff you find on SEO forums is a bunch of made up tosh based on circumstantial evidence at best (no real evidence to back it up) and search engines preferring fresh content over never changing content is one of those widely believed SEO myths.
SEO Myth – Fresh Content = Higher Google Rankings
Poorly informed webmasters come to conclusions like this in the following way.
Had this page for ages and not updated for years, doing OK in Google, but not great. Revamped the page and Google gave it better SERPs almost over night and sends it more traffic, whooh Google prefers recently updated content (fresh content) over old static content. Everybody should update their old pages for better SERPs.
Reality check: this doesn’t occur every time a page is updated, sometimes a change will result in SERPs drops (less traffic). Real reason for the SERPs improvement is either coincidence (maybe new links finally kicked in, Google changed it’s ranking algo etc….) or the new content is better optimised and so does better in the search engines due to being better optimised content. A person who frequents and posts on SEO forums etc… wouldn’t deliberately update a page with poorly optimised content and so when a webmaster like this changes an old page there’s a very good chance it’s going to be better optimised afterwards.
This also explains why changes don’t always result in SEO improvements, some changes aren’t always an SEO improvement (a lot of bad SEO information out there!).
Fresh Content Per Se Does NOT = Better SERPs
Better Optimised Content = Better SERPs
Since there is no SEO benefit to having ever changing fresh content on an existing page, varying your content just to make it fresh could be a very bad idea. If a page is targeting one set of SERPs (like “Does Google Prefer Fresh Content?” and it’s derivatives) then the best title for it is the actual SERP plus whatever words to make it appealing to potential visitors (in this case something like “Does Google Prefer Fresh Content?”).
Yes you can probably make some small changes to a page that won’t impact it’s SERPs, but make the wrong changes and your going to have a negative impact on that pages SERPs and from my perspective it’s better to aim for one highly optimised page to using less optimised phrases in key areas of content in the misguided hope Google likes recently updated content.