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Yes, Google’s crawlers are designed to find new content and index it. That doesn’t mean that Google trusts new content more than content that has stood the test of time. That is what trust factors are all about.

Generally speaking, content that has been indexed for months will rank higher than brand new content (often confused with domain age). The exception is QDF (Query Deserves Freshness), where Google temporarily pushes fresh content to the top of the index to make it easier to find breaking news and recent developments. This temporary boost soon wears off and the new content sinks to it’s current earned rankings.

Folks often confuse this temporary boost from QDF as a truly earned ranking and then are confused by the subsequent drop in rankings. This is where you often see new webmasters buying into the “concept” of a penalty, frequently referred to as the “Google Sandbox”. A temporary boost is not a penalty. When this temporary boost wears off your webpage has not been penalized. There is no “sandbox” from which you need to escape.

Another important concept to understand is that search engines do not index and rank websites, they index and rank individual pages. So when you substantially change the content of a page, you will lower the trust for that page because Google sees it as new content. This is one of the reasons that blogs that frequently update their homepage content often see their rankings bounce all over the place. It may rank well for one keyword this week and next week they rank well for a different keyword while they drop in ranking for the original keyword.

I think the idea that Google loves fresh content comes from people who monitor crawler activity. If the Googlebot always finds fresh content with each new visit it will tend to visit more frequently. This has little to do with where your content will rank within the search index. Those are two separate issues.

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