What is QDF? A Guide to Its Relevance in SEO and the Benefits of Utilization

QDFQDF, or Query Deserves Freshness, is an algorithm used by Google to prioritize the most recent informations in search engine rankings.

By applying QDF to your own content and quickly publishing articles on trending keywords, you can significantly increase your site’s traffic compared to other sites.

Furthermore, if you can use QDF to achieve higher rankings for your site, it can attract more external links from various sites, contributing to your SEO efforts. However, without knowledge of QDF, you might not be able to achieve higher rankings for your site.

As an SEO consultant, knowing the basics of QDF and its benefits will make it easier to rank your website higher, leading to an increase in revenue.


What is QDF?

QDF, which stands for Query Deserves Freshness, is a Google algorithm designed to prioritize the latest informations in search results for keywords seeking current information.

For instance, searching for a celebrity’s name often brings up their Wikipedia page first. However, if the celebrity is involved in a scandal, news articles detailing the scandal are likely to be prioritized in the search results.

The existence of QDF enables users to quickly access the latest informations, and for site operators, it presents an opportunity to gain a significant increase in web traffic.

Site operators who frequently cover current events or trending topics, such as trend blogs or news sites, can benefit greatly by understanding and leveraging the QDF mechanism for efficient traffic growth.

Matt Cutts on QDF

In 2009, Matt Cutts of Google addressed a question regarding QDF:

Tom in Seattle asks: ‘Query deserves freshness. Fact or fiction?’

It’s a fact. Amit Singhal has discussed it in the New York Times, stating that we believe there are some queries that deserve freshness. So, ‘QDF’ was how he referred to it in the New York Times. And that is fact, not fiction.

The QDF algorithm was invented in 2007. As Matt Cutts explains in his YouTube videos, QDF has become a ranking factor.

The Relationship Between QDF and SEO

Utilizing QDF can lead to significant gains in website traffic and backlinks, which aligns well with the objectives of SEO strategies aimed at achieving higher search engine rankings. Both SEO and QDF share common goals in this regard.

However, merely creating content based on current events or the latest informations does not guarantee favorable evaluation from Google. It is essential to create content that fulfills the needs of the users.

By researching timely and relevant keywords using tools like Google Trends and focusing on enhancing the quality of content, you can effectively implement SEO strategies while utilizing QDF. Providing information that meets user needs can lead to positive evaluations from Google, aligning with both QDF and SEO objectives.

Benefits of Utilizing QDF

Utilizing QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) offers several advantages, including:

  • Temporary Increase in Traffic
  • Enhanced Visibility in Personalized Searches
  • Easier to Acquire External Links

Temporarily Increasing Traffic with QDF

By swiftly creating content that leverages QDF (Query Deserves Freshness), you can achieve higher rankings in search engines, which can lead to a temporary spike in website traffic. This increase in traffic can result in higher revenue and more effective customer acquisition.

Not only does this approach attract users actively searching for information, but if the content is credible and well-written, it also has the potential to be widely shared on social media, further amplifying the increase in traffic.

To capitalize on QDF effectively, focus on producing high-quality content. This strategic approach can efficiently gather more visitors, maximizing the temporary traffic surge offered by QDF.

Enhanced Visibility in Personalized Searches with QDF

Even if the demand for a site leveraging QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) diminishes, such content tends to appear more frequently in personalized search results. Personalized search, a feature implemented by Google, customizes search results for each user based on their previous interactions and preferences.

By utilizing personalized search, websites and links that users have previously accessed are more likely to appear higher in their subsequent searches. Therefore, even if your content no longer benefits from QDF, it can still attract repeat visits from users who have accessed it before.

By using QDF to initially attract a broad audience, you can enhance the likelihood of these users returning to your site, thereby effectively targeting repeat visits and sustained engagement.

Easier to Acquire External Links with QDF

Utilizing QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) not only increases website traffic but also makes it easier to gather external links, which is beneficial for SEO.

Google prioritizes websites that are deemed credible and trustworthy, and site operators often place high trust in articles that rank higher in search results. Consequently, these high-ranking articles are more likely to be used as reference sources and, therefore, accumulate more external links.

By creating high-quality content that takes advantage of QDF, your website can achieve higher search rankings. This increased visibility makes it more likely to attract external links, thereby enhancing your SEO efforts.

Tips for Creating Content with QDF in Mind

To effectively create content with a focus on QDF (Query Deserves Freshness), consider the following three tips:

  • Research Trending Keywords Start by researching trendy keywords using tools like Google Trends or X’s (ex-Twitter) Trending feature. Since QDF is applicable only to current, topical keywords, thorough research is essential. Regular checks of these keywords enable you to create high-quality content swiftly, thus outperforming other websites in capturing audience attention.
  • Incorporate Beneficial Information Based on Trending Keywords It’s crucial to include valuable information in your content based on trending keywords. Merely mentioning these keywords isn’t enough to ensure the application of QDF. You must meet the search needs of users by providing relevant and valuable content. Enhance your site’s originality by integrating personal experiences or unique research results, which can make your content more likely to be favored by QDF.
  • Investigate Sites and Competition Where QDF Is Applied Not all trending keywords are subject to QDF, so it’s important to search for your intended keywords to understand the competition and the presence of QDF in your niche. This can be identified by checking if the recently updated websites (within the last 24 hours) appear in search results. Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for increasing the chances of your content ranking higher. By researching sites and the number of competitors in advance, you can create content that is more likely to achieve a higher ranking, thus efficiently increasing your website’s traffic.

Points to Note When Creating Content with QDF in Mind

When creating content with QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) in mind, it’s important to pay attention to the following two aspects:

  • Even New Information Requires SEO Optimization Just relying on trends will only result in temporary traffic Setting up structured data is crucial

Even New Information Requires SEO Optimization Even if you publish content with new information, without SEO optimization, it won’t achieve a high ranking, and thus, won’t even garner temporary traffic. Google has publicized expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness as the three criteria for SEO evaluation.

Expertise To enhance expertise, the following four methods are suggested. Practicing these will contribute to your SEO efforts:

Specialize in specific themes or genres Increase the amount of specialized knowledge Disclose editorial policy Convey primary information 

Specializing in Specific Genres or Themes By focusing your site on specific genres or themes, you can clearly communicate the direction of your site to search engines and users, thereby enhancing your expertise.

If you’re broadcasting information on different themes every time, it’s unclear which field your site specializes in, which doesn’t help with SEO. Actively communicate information that aligns with the genre or theme of your site and implement SEO strategies.

Increasing specialized knowledge to increase the expertise of your content, you must expand your specialized knowledge. Choosing a genre that you’re already knowledgeable in makes it easier to enhance your expertise. If you wish to operate a site in a field where you lack expertise, consider seeking the cooperation of experts.

Disclosing editorial policy by disclosing your editorial policy, it becomes clear what type of information you communicate and who operates the site and for what purpose. The editorial policy refers to a page detailing the site’s operational policies and objectives. For example, if a doctor operates a medical site, disclosing the editorial policy can increase the persuasiveness and expertise of the site’s information.

Conveying primary information being able to convey primary information is crucial as it’s an evidence of specialization in your genre or theme. Primary information refers to your personal experiences or data you’ve researched. Conveying primary information also helps to differentiate your site from competitors.

When citing primary information from others, it’s essential to use credible data published by official institutions or companies. Always clearly cite your sources when referencing external information.

Authoritativeness To enhance the authoritativeness of your site, the following two methods should be practiced:

Clearly disclose author information Acquire backlinks from authoritative sites 

Clearly Disclosing Author Information Clearly indicating who is creating the content, such as the name of the operating company or the authors, leads to increased authoritativeness. Disclosing author information can also help you gain fans for your company.

Acquiring Backlinks from Authoritative Sites Getting backlinks from credible sites like the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare or official corporate websites can increase your site’s ranking, as it’s seen as being endorsed by highly regarded sites.

For example, if a site creating legal content acquires backlinks from a law firm’s media, it enhances its authoritativeness.

Creating valuable content daily is essential to acquire backlinks from authoritative websites.

Trustworthiness To create trustworthy content, the following two actions must be taken to enhance credibility:

Register with Google Business Profile Implement constant SSL encryption 

Registering with Google Business Profile Registering your business information with Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) makes it easier to convey accurate information about your location and business name to Google, thereby gaining credibility.

Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows you to manage and display your business information on various Google services, including search result pages and Google Maps.

Registering with Google Business Profile can lead to good reviews from users, which can enhance the credibility of your site. Registering your site with Google Business Profile is indispensable for increasing its trustworthiness.

Implementing Constant SSL Encryption Constant SSL encryption ensures that site and user information is less vulnerable to hacking, allowing users to access information securely. SSL encryption encrypts the communication between the site and its users.

Implementing SSL encryption changes the site’s URL from ‘http’ to ‘https’. Google also recommends SSL encryption for user protection and has announced that ‘HTTPS is considered a factor in determining search rankings.’

To enhance your site’s credibility, implement constant SSL encryption and strive to create a site that users can visit with confidence.

Just Relying on Trends Results in Only Temporary Traffic 

Merely utilizing QDF to publish trendy content can only generate temporary traffic, as it cannot sustain ongoing visitor numbers. This is because the topical information that people seek changes rapidly.

Importance of Setting Up Structured Data

Implementing structured data allows Google to better understand the content. In particular, the publication date information is highly relevant to QDF, making it a critical element to accurately convey to Google.

Methods to Address a Ranking Drop Due to the QDF Algorithm If your ranking drops due to the QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) algorithm, or when creating new content with QDF in mind, the following methods can be effective:

  • Reevaluate Existing Content
  • Strengthen Content Distribution
  • Increase the Frequency of Content Updates
  • Consider Evergreen Content

Reevaluate Existing Content If there are pages that previously attracted a significant amount of traffic, prioritize updating that content. Enhance the value of the content by adding the latest information, new sources, and considering new quotations.

Strengthen Content Distribution While sharing content and PR activities do not directly relate to SEO, they can have a significant indirect effect. By strengthening PR and publicity efforts, you can potentially improve your ranking, so strive to enhance your information dissemination.

Increase the Frequency of Content Updates While updating content frequently does not directly improve search rankings, increasing the freshness of information can affect the speed at which updates about a particular topic are displayed online, even with a slight difference in update frequency.

Consider Evergreen Content Evergreen content is content that remains relevant over a long period and does not become outdated. By aiming for in-depth content, you can contribute to site traffic for years without the need for frequent updates.


By implementing content creation with the QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) approach as advised by SEO consultants, it’s possible to temporarily achieve higher rankings for your website, leading to a significant increase in traffic. However, merely publishing the latest information is not enough to leverage QDF effectively. To truly utilize QDF, it’s necessary to develop a website that embodies expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. When creating content with QDF, it’s crucial to enhance the originality of your site and promptly disseminate information.

Author Profile

SEO Consultant

Mr. Takeshi Amano, CEO of Admano Co., Ltd.

Mr. Takeshi Amano is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Nihon University. With 12 years of experience working in the advertising agency industry, he discovered SEO and began his research during the early days of SEO. He self-taught and conducted experiments and verifications on over 100 websites. Using this expertise, he founded Admano Co., Ltd., which is currently in its 11th year of operation. Mr. Amano handles sales, SEO consulting, web analytics (holding the Google Analytics Individual Qualification certification), coding, and website development. The company has successfully managed SEO strategies for over 2000 websites to date.

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