Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Query Deserves Freshness

Fresh? Barcelona SEO Blog I've talked before about the importance of real time search and the engines have been trying their hardest to keep up with the speed of the internet, especially with breaking news stories - things like Michael Jackson's death and even going far back as the elections in Iran. While Google likes to think they're keeping up with real time search, and Matt Cutts comes out gloating as soon as something worthwhile occurs, the fact of the matter is that google is still having to rely on Twitter updates in their new "onebox".

The whole idea stems from something within Google's algorithm which is known as QDF or "Query Deserves Freshness". So basically if a load of people start to search for something similar, then this can trigger something within the algorithm to search for more current documents. Let me give you a concrete example.

Imagine we're in mid-July, and you perform a search on google for "Golden Globes". The likelihood is that you'll get a pretty standard SERP with 10 results (likely no local results here), possibly a video? OK, but we're not in July, we're in January, and the Golden Globes have just finished last Sunday. So this is the kind of query that searchers want to return "fresh" results, get it? Check out the image below.
Google onebox - Barcelona SEO Blog

You can see that the SERP is returning the scrollable "onebox" with tweets from 2 minutes ago. This one box appeared around half way down the page. First was news results, then 4 organic results, then the onebox. I assume that google is still taking high preference with the news results as obviously they are much more credible and trustworthy than people's tweets. In fact, I'd bet my bottom dollar that it's why they're doing that - check out this worrying post on real time spam from sugarrea and a couple of others.

So what's the takeaway from this? Well, if your niche within your sector is currently not being exploited and you run a very "current" business, think about staying REALLY up to date with news and breaking stories - obviously without spamming. If no-one else within your industry is doing it (or no-one in your area) then the chances are you'll establish yourself as an authority on that niche, and if google decides to experiment more with the onebox away from the QDF algorithm , then you'll be right placed to scoop up all the traffic.

Need help planning a campaign to stay on top of the current real-time search? Contact me at Barcelona SEO for a chat about your business and website. I offer affordable organic website optimisation for your website as well as SEO Training, PPC campaings and link building campaigns.

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