QDF or Query Deserves Freshness is a component of Google’s algorithm that works in tandem with activity around specific keywords and spikes in their popularity.
In a nutshell, QDF is the part of the Google search engine logic that updates the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings around a newsworthy item on a more frequent basis when dealing with a “buzz worthy” topic, such as a much hyped product launch, or a big news story with massive global impact.
Examples of topics that can qualify for QDF are a global event like the Olympics or the Oscars Awards, the launch of a new movie or a newsworthy mass event covered by media and the blogosphere.
The type of activity, social media postings and frequency of content generated by all the coverage around these events, trigger a flag for Google (and it is believe that the same applies to Bing and many other leading search engines), that notify the spiders to keep looking for fresher results.
This type of hunting for more frequent search results makes perfect sense, as these moments of higher frequency are usually related to topics and events which go through rapid changes as the situation unfolds. As such, the search engines need to regularly update the SERPs to keep up with all these changes to avoid delivering stale results or in essence – “yesterday’s news.”
As a digital marketer, you can capitalize on QDF by taking multiple actions during these periods of buzz around a topic, including posting content more often with the keywords which are being followed for QDF activity… For example, during a large sporting event, content that includes keywords listing the names of the top players being spoken about are more likely to fall into the newer rankings.
Knowing this, you can prepare your editorial content offering in advance and have special articles and posts featuring these popular keywords so they are ready to publish quickly as the opportunity arises.
In the following video, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEO software firm SEOmoz.org and co-author of The Art of SEO, and the soon to be released book Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog explains what QDF is in more detail.
Note: As Rand explains, the exact science behind how QDF works is confidential and a secret part of the Google Algorithm. The reason behind this, just like the rest of the Google algorithm logic, is that if it were public, Black Hat SEO marketers would simply abuse it and take over all search results for their own benefit. Still, there is quite a bit known about QDF and the following video explains it, as well as some steps you can take to gain higher rankings on Google.
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