In a recent "Cathy" comic strip, Cathy’s mother is worried that her daughter’s two dogs, Electra and Vivian, won’t remember her after being spoiled by Irving’s mother (who’s been visiting from out of town).
"You’ve spent thousands more hours with the dogs. They’ll never forget you," Cathy’s dad reassures his wife. As they arrive and the dogs totally ignore them, Cathy’s mom ruefully remarks, "It’s the elephant that never forgets. The dog recalls only the most recent salami stick."
Search engines are more like dogs than elephants, SEO experts tell us. According to blogging maven Ted Demopoulous, search engines favor sites with frequently updated, recently posted content. As I stressed in an earlier blog post (see "Fresh is Better for Blogs and Beer"), the key reason traditional websites can’t compete with corporate blogging is that online rankings reward recency. Without maintaining a system of consistently posting new, fresh content to the blog, the tactic will not pull its weight as part of your business’ marketing strategy.
Truth be told, as Powell’s Books points out, "Blogs and blogging in business are relatively new, so new that there are simply no rules". According to Powell’s, the world of the internet changes so rapidly that one can comment only on what’s working today. There seems to be little doubt that "spiders" or "web crawlers", special software programs search engines use to index and rank blogs, value "recency" of blog posting (combined with frequency of posting, relevance of the material to the key search terms, and longevity of the blog), so that recency becomes an important factor in "winning search".
Despite the loving care Cathy’s mother has bestowed on Electra and Vivian in the past, it seems those dogs remember only the most recent salami stick. Even the most wonderfully informative blog posts won’t be enough to maintain high rankings if you don’t keep up the posting. It seems search engines have a way of silently asking, "What have you done for us lately?"