The video above is presented by Google’s Matt Cutts as part of their webmaster tools.
A common query that we get asked is how often should we update our blog or site.
Daily newspapers and blogs have always been popular because everyone likes information hot of the press – in search engine terms this is known as freshness. As a society we are information gatherers, whether it is taking in the latest celebrity gossip or Apples new product launches.
From a visitors point of view a frequently updated blog is great. However, this is not the most important factor to consider when creating blog posts. After all, if people were asked to choose a favourite newspaper/blog, the main reason behind their choice would be the style of writing.
The style that a writer decides upon has a very large impact on their audience, whether it is a easier to read but not in-depth or perhaps video blogging. To create a style takes a lot of skill and patience, it means that when you are crafting a piece not only are you gathering information that is going to be interesting but also strategising how it can be best delivered. If you take newspapers as an example, a newspaper would quickly lose its credibility if its stories were short, full of grammatical errors and not based on fact.
A blog is pointless without a readership, and your readers will only stay if you write good quality blogs. If you are able on a daily basis to construct a well written post and find information that would be interesting and useful than that is great. However, practically many small business owners cannot do this in time and or even have enough topics. Matt Cutts Google’s search engine representative (see video above) explained that when writing blog posts it is often better to spend the time to release good quality posts then it is to try and keep up with a demanding self imposed schedule which produces sub standard work. Google uses sophisticated methods to ascertain the quality of your content, building up a quality blog will therefore not only encourage a higher readership but also be integral to your Search Engine Optimisation strategy.
In experience we have found that it is very easy for businesses whom realise the need to update their content regularly to take shortcuts and copy and paste articles from other websites. If you feel compelled to do this or are doing this then see this as your warning call. Google does not take plagiarism kindly, if you quote another source that is fine but simply copying and pasting content from another source can lead to your site being penalised – see this video for more information on why you shouldn’t copy other blogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy3_Rjc0Tso.
The least you could do is reconstruct it and add your own thoughts and opinions.
Finally, if you decide that like many website owners you can only write a few blogs a month, or even one. That is fine, spend the time to write a good quality post. However, as your site isn’t being updated as regularly you are less like to gain users looking out for your new posts. This is where mailing lists can come in handy. Building up a good quality solicited mailing list will allow you to inform your users of your recent articles. Do not feel you have to email them every time you write an article, they are far more likely to unsubscribe. Instead, if you are writing an article a month maybe send out a 6 monthly newsletter which introduces your articles.
To summarise, it is far more important to write good quality articles than to stick to a strict posting schedule. Over time you will find that you can release posts more frequently as you become more adept at writing. But in the meantime do not fret, spend your time constructing articles which are worth the time to read. Make the use of all your tools to keep users up to date, through social media and a email campaign.