We’re slightly obsessed with SEO. It’s an intriguing battle of wordplay, statistics and strategy, with valuable prizes for the victors. One of the tools we rely on for a regular SEO fix is the SEOMoz Rank Tracker tool, which tells us how we’re ranking in Google for our key terms.
A few days ago we noticed a significant jump in our rank:
Since then, we’ve even hit the #1 spot in Google US for the term content strategists, one of our primary targets. Boo-ya!
Why is this? We haven’t made any recent changes to our on-page keyword optimization, or attracted a deluge of incoming links.
The probable answer: QDF.
Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)
The number of searches for content strategy has spiked recently, probably because of that book that we seem to mention in every blog post these-days.
Without a spike in traffic, Google will rank “trusted” pages – those with diverse trustworthy incoming links. Typically these are websites like Wikipedia, Google Knol and long established companies in the industry.
When Google spots a spike in traffic for a phrase it changes how it ranks the results, flagging the phrase as QDF, or query deserves freshness. Many more people are suddenly interested in the topic, so Google decides that it needs to prioritize fresh (recent) content. Something caused that spike in interest, and fresh content is more likely to address the cause of the spike than older content.
This is exactly why we think our rankings have increased recently. We can’t claim to have predicted the spike in interest, but had coincidentally decided in the last few weeks to update our blog more frequently.
So there you have it. You too can ride the fleeting content strategy QDF wave with a few fresh posts a week, and you’ll probably push us down the rankings as a result. Ah, that’s a good point. Now, should I hit publish or delete…