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I am not sure what path google is going to take, but BEFORE the freshbot - google had mentioned in at least one article (actually I think it was a radio interview) that they wanted to do more frequent updates.
I believe the freshbot might be their compromise, but I am sure that they want to give users the freshest listings they can. They have to balance between:
1) Using their computer power to do an overall update more often than every four weeks.
2) Using their computer power to provide better results using algos for fresh listings.
I think (and this is just an educated guess) that they will lean towards #2 for the time being as I think they still have some work todo before they "flatten out the curve" (I don't know what the word for what I am trying to say is).
If the results are relevant is all they care about.
True...but with a quicker update cycle (say every 48 hours), webmasters can continually tweak to try to figure out the algorithm (and see the result of their tweaking within 48 hours) and different forms of spam will develop more quickly. This *may* cause irrelevant results to show, thus causing dissatisfied surfers. I am not whining, I am just suggesting that Google be prepared for this and the manpower it may take to quickly identify and remedy these forms of spam. At least with a monthly update, there is a period of deep crawling (limiting the time frame spammers have to act) and then the update (causing spammers to wait another month to see the result of their action). Meanwhile, the serps are fairly stable except for the efforts of the freshbot (which doesn't seem to cause drastic changes in the serps from day to day).
I am just thinking out loud here, so please do throw rocks at me! LOL
In some industries/segments even frequent updates using Freshbot info won't change SERP's.
Example the client I am doing SEO work for- _all_ the other sites in thier industry have been the same for over 1 year. All static sites.
That's why every update thier site is the only one to move up. :)
Last update for 'industry name' company they went from 23 or so to #3. Now even with this update they are still at #3 for that phrase, and have gone from #34 to (as of now) #13 for 'industry name' which is their big phrase.
This industry is only known by a couple phrases...and all static sites- so my point is that even frequent updates wouldn't change the SERP's for this industry.
The deepcrawl and links with anchor text is the key in the above case.
So, if Freshbot could apply new links hence PR THEN things would change really quick.
But- doubt that will happen. Too much room for abuse and too much computer power needed...not worth the efforts...
On the other hand the surfers have to put up with that spam for the whole month. Which is worse? The user is the only concern of google if the results are relevant who cares how they got there..