Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)

What is Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)?

Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) is a system designed by Google that prioritises the most up-to-date search results for specific queries.

Here’s what I mean:

If a user searches for a topic that requires current information, Google will show the most recent relevant content.

This includes topics that are:

  • Time-sensitive
  • Frequently changing
  • Latest news
  • Related to real-world events
  • About current trends

If you cover any topics that fit into the query deserved freshness category, your content must be updated regularly to rank.

But that’s not all…

The search results are constantly evolving and all written content has a shelf life. Google only wants to rank the most relevant and fresh content for its users.

Even if your target search keyword doesn’t fit specially into the QDF category, you need to update it at least once every 9-12 months.

This will signal to Google that your content is always “fresh” and will ensure that you always provide users with the best content.

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How Does The Query Deserves Freshness Algorithm Work?

The Query Deserves Freshness algorithm works by identifying queries that have a higher likelihood of requiring fresh and up-to-date information.

When a user searches in Google, the GDF algorithm asses the search query to see if it requires time-sensitive information such as news or current event.

If it does?

The QDF system will be applied as a Google ranking factor. If it doesn’t Google will skip over the QDF system and rank the pages as usual.

There are typically three kinds of time-related search queries:

  1. Recent Events – Examples include news and trending topics
  2. Regularly Recurring Events – Sports events, elections, Olympics, Major annual event
  3. Frequent Updates – Regularly updated products or technology such as the latest iPhone

It’s important to pay attention to any topics you cover that include time-related keywords.

What Factors Influence QDF?

There are three factors that influence QDF:

1. Freshness of Content

Google cares about when a piece of content is published or updated.

They want to know that they are serving their users the most relevant and up-to-date content possible.

You should aim to refresh your content every 9 to 12 months.

Refreshing can be as simple as adding a new section to your content or rewriting outdated information.

2. Searcher Intent

SEO is all about search intent.

The Google algorithm first determines whether freshness (recent information) is an important factor in the search intent.

For example, if someone searches for the latest smartphones or fashion trends, Google will prioritise recent information.

3. Keyword Search Volume

Content targeting high search volume keywords must be kept up to date.


A high volume of searches indicates that the information will significantly affect many people’s lives.

That means that Google tends to scrutinise the content more and ensures it’s up to date before ranking it.

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