Change Frequency

Change Frequency is a term used in search engine optimization (SEO) to describe the rate at which the content of a webpage is updated or changed. In the context of XML sitemaps, the tag is used to inform search engines how frequently a page’s content is likely to change, which can help with crawl prioritization.

Practical application:

This tag is helpful for search engines to better understand how often they should crawl and index the webpage’s content. By providing a specific change frequency, webmasters can ensure that their pages are being revisited and updated at an appropriate rate, keeping the information fresh and relevant for users.

Additionally, having a consistent update schedule can improve the website’s overall SEO performance by signalling to search engines that the site is active and regularly maintained. Ultimately, utilizing the Change Frequency tag can help websites attract more organic traffic and improve their online visibility.

To effectively use the Change Frequency tag:

  1. Evaluate the content update patterns of your webpages and categorize them according to the standard values.
  2. Apply the most accurate value in the XML sitemap for each URL to reflect its update frequency.
  3. Do not overuse the ‘always’ or ‘hourly’ frequency for pages that do not change very often as this can lead to wasted crawl budget.
  4. Forego the tag if the update pattern is unpredictable or if managing the tags is not feasible; modern search engines are adept at identifying content changes without it.

It is important to understand that the Change Frequency tag is just a guideline for search engines to follow rather than a strict instruction. Search engines will often determine the frequency of crawling pages based on factors such as the importance of the page and how frequently the content actually changes. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the Change Frequency tag aligns with the true update patterns of your content.

By accurately reflecting the rate at which your content is refreshed, you can help search engines better understand when to revisit your pages, ultimately improving the visibility and relevance of your website in search results.


How does Change Frequency impact SEO?

Change Frequency can impact SEO by helping search engines understand how frequently a webpages content is updated. This information can guide search engines in prioritizing crawling and indexing, potentially leading to better visibility in search results.

Is the Change Frequency tag a guarantee for search engine crawling frequency?

No, the Change Frequency tag is a suggestion to search engines regarding how often a webpages content is likely to change. Search engines may determine crawl frequency based on various factors, including page importance and observed content changes. It is essential to use the tag as an accurate reflection of content update patterns rather than a strict directive to search engines.

What should be considered when setting the Change Frequency tag in XML sitemaps?

When setting the Change Frequency tag in XML sitemaps, consider the actual update patterns of your webpages. Categorize them accurately based on update frequency, and avoid overusing tags like always or hourly for pages that do not change frequently. Align the tag with the genuine content update patterns to ensure relevance and efficient crawl budget usage.

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