How Often Should I Update Content for SEO? Free Freshness Distance Calculator

Have you ever heard of the term freshness distance? Do you know how to calculate it? In this video, Darren explains the concept of freshness distance and provides you with a free tool to calculate it automatically.

Video Transcript

What is freshness distance?

Hey! Have you heard of the concept of freshness distance? I came across this post from Ross Hudgens from Siege Media and I thought it was really smart. The concept here is that you can identify how often you need to update your pages, based on the dates of the pages in the search results for the term you want to rank for.

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For example, for the term “How to install a water filter,”  I can scroll through and I can see the dates on these posts: one was published on June 30th, 2022; some of them are from 2019, 2018… Some of these go back as far as 2009.

If I’m trying to rank for this term, this tells me what the competitive landscape is like. How fresh does a page need to be to rank for this?

Ross recommends updating your content at least once a year, and I think that makes great sense. But other terms need to be updated more frequently. For example, for the term “Best iPhone cases 2022,” all results are relatively new, so you’d need to update your content on the topic every 3-4 months in order to show up in search.

How to calculate freshness distance?

Therefore, to determine the freshness distance, you just have to scroll through the results, look at allllllll the different dates and try to figure out what the earliest and latest dates are, and then calculate the difference.

I realized I could just make a Google sheet script that would do that, so I did. Here it is: my freshness distance calculator.

It works exactly like I explained: It pulls in the search results and calculates the difference between the oldest and newest post, in months.

This tool is FREE. It is yours, you can have it.

I encourage you to check it out at

I hope you like it and I hope you find it valuable.


Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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