Freshness Score and Why It Exists

Staff writer: Brjden Crewe

Date: 7.17.2012


It was not uncommon for search engines to return outdated pages among results previously. Since search engines matched the words entered by a user to content indexed from pages on the Web, leveraged signals which favored older pages with accumulated link data to display results that contained the visitor’s queried keywords.

In 2009 Google expressed that freshness of data, through algorithmic implementations as QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) would be aimed at solving this problem. They would also be taken into account when determining what certain visitors were interested in trying to find. But in late 2011, Google extended the signals it used to score freshness by a significant measure and the number of queries this scoring mechanism then impacted which is helpful for internet-based businesses and internet marketing service.

Indicators relating to fresh content account for substantial changes to their algorithm, which affects nearly 35 percent of searches according to Google’s approximation as of recent. Google clarified this in order to express that six to ten percent of search query results have changed significantly enough to be noticeable to the final user. This change helps Google display SERPs with new, updated pages for queries determined to imply fresh content which is most relevant and most useful to said businesses and internet marketing service.


In order for search engines to return search results with the most recent information possible, the ability to determine the relative freshness of web page content is required. There were no reliable methods in place to distinguish fresh pages from older ones prior to the recent introduction of a freshness score by Google.


This numeric list is a rundown of how the freshness score influences what is shown in the search results:


  1. A visitor will enter a search phrase initially. At this point, Google searches its index for documents, videos, pages, etc., which contain the queried keyword phrase.


  1. After this happens, if Google determines that the query deserves fresh content, the search engine searches for an array of freshness attributes. Google then can determine the time a link was created as one signal to find pages with the latest content. A link to the page may come from older pages, or new, fresher pages.



  1. Google can then use signals as a basis for assigning a freshness score when and if the web page has any freshness attributes associated with it. Since Web pages generally have more than one outside link pointing to them, Google may look to see if the number of fresh pages with links to a particular page is larger than the number of links from not as fresh pages.


  1. Google then uses each freshness score associated with a web page as a factor when displaying results if appropriate. A search query displays a variety of information about recent information in the top of the rankings, while only a couple results relate to older pages containing similar references. Over time, these results should shift back depending on if any new information is available online.


By learning about the freshness score, an internet marketing service can improve its rankings.

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