The QDF Factor: Trending Topics

Rebekah May 3 min read

Have you heard of QDF in the SEO world? It’s not a new concept at all, but something still very relevant to SEO and content strategies. 

What is QDF?

The acronym QDF stands for query deserves freshness.  This means that more recently published content, related to a trending topic will have a better chance of outranking some of the established evergreen content out there, due to its freshness and relevance.

Why should you take advantage of QDF, or Trending Topics?

It can often be difficult to outrank established and authoritative sites around a specific topic.  Smaller, more agile companies tend to have fewer resources in place and can sometimes be at a disadvantage SEO due to this.  However, QDF can (temporarily) level the playing field. Taking advantage of the right trends when you see them, can help draw in new visitors that may not have seen your content otherwise, which allows you to develop a loyal following.

How to Take Advantage of Trending Topics?

In short:  write about trending topics in a timely manner.  However, there are a lot of things to consider. You want to make sure the trending topic is relevant to your content and audience.  If your content gets visibility, and people come to your site only to find you have a very thin connection to the actual topic, they will quickly leave and find a new article.  Google will look at this behavior, and this can negatively impact your site going forward.  

QDF / Trending examples: for example, right now Coronavirus is trending everywhere.  If a travel-related website were to write about protecting yourself from the virus, this would be very beneficial to their SEO.  However, if a business coach were to write about the same topic, this would really be pushing the boundaries of relevancy to their audience.

How to find trending topics:

Trending topics are everywhere, in every industry.  

Start with what you know. 

If you work in an industry that has seasonal trends or big events, you know that searches related to these topics will pick up at a specified time.  These should be incorporated into your content calendar in advance. For example, if you write a fashion blog, then paying particular attention to red carpet events like the Emmys would be beneficial.

Pay attention to related industry trends. 

Jumping on something completely outside the scope of your industry is poor-form, but there are some cases where your audience interests may closely align.  For example, if your audience is interested in Fishing, and you find a strong correlation with an interest in Football, you might want to look at how to take advantage of topics related to the SuperBowl and how you can relate that back to your fishing audience at the right time.

Finding Correlated Interests:

Google Analytics provides a list of similar audience interests that can be very insightful.  This is one of the first places you should start.

Survey your audience.  Ask what types of apps they have installed on their devices, what news sources they follow most, etc.  This will allow you to get to know them and their interests.

Go undercover:  Take a look at the types of accounts your followers follow and comment on in social media, what kind of pages they like on Facebook, etc.

Google Alerts

Setting up Google Alerts related to your specific industry to see if a particular topic in that industry becomes a trending


Monitor Twitters trending hashtags to find trending topics that may be related to you or your industry.

Rebekah May

Instructor and course creator for UC Davis SEO Certification program. Industry speaker, author and mentor to SEOs. SEO veteran of over 10 years with experience freelance, in-house and directing a team at a marketing agency where I worked with fortune 500 clients around the world.

All posts

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

    About Rebekah

    Rebekah is the creator and instructor of UC Davis' SEO certification program. Read More

    Subscribe & Follow

    Stay in-the-know