Google Freshness Algorithm to Affect 35% Searches


Different searches have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers.In today’s blog post titled “Giving you fresher, more recent search results”, Amit Singhal explains Google’s latest efforts towards preferential treatment of certain types of QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) based search queries. Google has been criticised in the past that their freshness algorithm has not really managed to catch up to a true real-time stream of news and events and are constantly trying to invent different ways of providing fresh and relevant content to users. This time they promise better user experience.

What types of search queries are affected?

  • Recent events or hot topics.
  • Regularly recurring events.
  • Frequent updates.
The new addition to Google’s search algorithm is expected to affect around 35% of searches to which users are likely to see fresher results higher up in the rankings. According to Singhal, the algorithm update is a natural extension of the new technology which lead to super-fast crawling and indexing – known to the SEO community and search professionals as the “Caffeine” update.
We’re likely to see divided results in the future as Google tests their new algorithm in the real world eventually resulting in a permanent change or a tweak. How this update will work with recent quality filters is yet to be seen.

Tested by Dejan SEO Team

According to our tests on QDF relevant domains it’s evident that Google still fails to catch the incrementally increasing content in it’s index and cache. We expected rapid re-indexation and cache updates with this algorithm update. So far no luck. Our conclusion is that this update is not really about speed or frequency but more to do with selection and determining what is to be seen in SERPs and when.

Test Update: Three days after the initial test Google still shows the old version of the page in cache. When we search for content on the “missing parts” from the cache they do come up in search results which means that they are in index and only missing from cache.


[1] Singhal, A. (2011), Giving you fresher, more recent search results

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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3 Responses to “Google Freshness Algorithm to Affect 35% Searches”

  1. Dan,

    The article from Amit Singhal doesn’t really speak about crawling faster than they are now but that they were leveraging the infrastructure changes from Caffeine, which has allowed them to get that fresh content into their index faster than pre-Caffeine infrastructure.

    During your testing where the sites that you were testing against configured with XML sitemaps with accurate last modified dates? Also, in terms of getting Google to re-crawl faster for incremental updates, were those sites configured to ping on publishing of new content and editing existing content?


    • Alistair Lattimore
  2. 35% if searches in heaps… crazy. thats why I offer my kind of services at my wesbite, so people can get a free backlink whilst the site is fresh and updated daily.  This change will affect loads of great sites though.

    • Reviewd
  3. Yes. This whole update is about them figuring out QDF in a new or better way. We do have sitemap integration in WP and do ping Google each time we post new (and update existing) content.

    • Dan Petrovic

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