I never really thought 'freshness' was a problem for my site until I recently used the silktide 'nibbler' website grading report / scanner.

It listed my 'freshness' as a big old 0 and said my site has not been updated since July of 2010 with the following:

It looks like this website was last updated on Sunday, July 18, 2010. This is bad because visitors may dismiss this website as outdated. Websites that are not updated regularly are also spidered by search engines less often. Close recommendations Consider updating this website regularly with new content. To find this information we used the last modified dates reported by this website's server in addition to looking for dates written on each page.

I don't understand how this is possible - I have modified pages as early as yesterday on the site, including the homepage that was tested.

I checked in google Webmaster Tools and see nothing that has a date of July 2010. Fetch as google bot, sitemap, etc. all have dates that are < 3 months old.

Is this more than likely just an error with this siltide nibbler grading software, or should I be concerned? I did drop a few page ranks recently, which is what led me to finding this website reporting company.

1 Answer 1


Okay. I looked at one of the reports available. Here is what I can tell you.

Nibbler is only looking at 5 pages and gathers much of it's information from other sites. In fact, when you look at the various data blocks, you can see where the data comes from.

Also, please know that it is not always possible to get an accurate last modified date depending upon your website. Some CMS and Blogging software as well as others I am sure, block the last modification date based upon how they are designed. In fact, Google does not rely on the last modified date for the freshness date. That would be foolish. Google actually downloads each page and measures the difference as part of determining if a page has been updated. Nibbler cannot possibly know for sure that any page was or was not updated because it has nothing to compare the page to.

The Nibbler report is more detailed than any other I have seen and is user very friendly. No doubt. But let me warn you about all of these sites.

Take all of these types of sites with a healthy handful of salt!

For example, most if not all site use Alexa data which is extremely poor, wildly inaccurate, and down-right ridiculous as many of these sites can be. Another example, almost all back-link report sites have absolutely no clue about back links. Sounds odd, but it is true. This is an extraordinarily expensive process and with little exception, most of these sites are extremely poor and totally useless. As well, many of the keyword sites cannot tell you about the keywords that are returning users to your site. It is impossible for them to do this unless they are Google or Bing or even your own log file analysis tool. So instead, they list well behind the curve what keywords you seem to have that appear on the first several pages of the SERPs. Alexa's keywords is totally laughable. However, SEMRush is very accurate and timely.

The up-shot is this.

These sites have something to sell for quite a bit of money. And that is the point. They want your money. There is some valuable information that can be gleaned from these reports, but most, with very little exception, are junk. The intention of these reports is to get your attention and money and keep you spinning in your chair trying to chase an SEO dream. The entire industry is based upon fear, misdirection, misinformation, and just plain bull. You will find much Q&A on this site supporting this premise.

Most of what you need you can get for free from Google. The rest you can get from your log file or directly from the social sites you participate in. Stick with this and do not worry about what these sites say too much. Again, much of it is junk, but they can offer some insight that is useful. Use them as a jumping-off point and nothing more. Gather data directly from valuable original sources such as Googles Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics and you will be fine.

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    I know that can be taken as one persons view kind of, but I agree. If everything was perfect, I wouldn't buy. I thought of that, but wasn't sure. Like I said my page did drop, I found an empty google + page infront of mine, and the only thing that really stuck out was the content freshness. I appreciate your detailed answer,thank you.
    – Jeff
    Jan 2, 2015 at 17:32
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    @jeff I am not too aware of Google+ pages. This is the only social anything I do. I am a private sorta guy and rather old-school. I don't buy this whole cult of personality that social media is predicated upon. Why is it important that my face be an important factor for a data driven website? Be that as it may, I do understand the drive for author validation and building a personal brand. I used to do this with traditional marketing when I was a consultant. So I do get it. Perhaps some good ol' fashioned SEO on the Google+ page as much as can be?
    – closetnoc
    Jan 2, 2015 at 17:48
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    I have a local 'service' brand, a reputation - professional service. So people do like to see the name on facebook, I like google+ for the business pages when doing a search - which I have mine completely setup. When I noticed a competitors google+ business page, which was empty besides google-collected info, on top of my main website - is what lead me to start searching for 'what is wrong' options, and finding the content freshness issue.
    – Jeff
    Jan 2, 2015 at 17:53
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    @Jeff I can see how you would be concerned about social media! It makes sense. I am semi-retired from the IT industry and do not participate fully but I still like to do research on the side. I do not understand why an empty Google+ page would perform as it does. Perhaps it is just a temporary glitch/anomaly? BTW- How is business in Altoona? I bet it is fairly good- or good enough to keep you busy.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 2, 2015 at 18:07
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    @Jeff I see that. Odd. I am not sure that it is important that a Google+ page perform well for search as much as it adds authorship value to your work. I Guess one thing you can do is to have consistent and recent posts on the Google+ account. I avoid the whole social thing, but I thought I would not mind a + page for my site... not me... it is about the site. I do not want my mug everywhere and quite frankly, I have enough people trying to get in touch with me that I do not know due to social media. I tend to be kinda private but very open and friendly if you know me.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:45

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