Utility and Freshness

Some queries demand very recent or "fresh" information. Users may be looking for “breaking news,” such as an important event or natural disaster happening right now. Imagine a user in Kansas typing the query [tornado], English (US) because a big storm is coming. Information about last year's tornado season is not helpful. Users need information about tornadoes headed their way right now!

Queries for recurring events, such as elections, sports events, TV shows, conferences, etc., also demand current information. Assume users are looking for the most recent or current information about the event, unless the query indicates otherwise. For example, if the Olympics are happening right now, users typing the query [olympics] want information about the current Olympics, not results from years ago. If the next Olympics are a few months away, users are probably interested in the next upcoming Olympic Games.
Some queries demand current information, such as [population of paris], [next federal holiday], etc. Requests for prices such as [airfare from ny to sfo], should be interpreted as asking for current price. Unless otherwise stated, users usually want information about the most recent model/version for product queries, such as [iphone], [windows operating system], [toyota camry], etc.

Here are some different types of queries demanding current/recent results:


• “Breaking news” queries such as [tornado]

• Recurring event queries such as [olympics], [american idol], [redsox schedule], [tax forms], [elections]

• Current information queries such as [population of paris], [amount of US debt], [airfare from ny to sfo],

• Product queries such as [iphone], [Toyota camry], [windows operating system]
When a query demands current or recent content, only pages with current, recent or updated content should get high utility ratings. (Remember- we care about the content, not the date the page was created.) For these queries, pages about past events, old product models, old prices, outdated information, etc. are not helpful and should be considered "stale." When the query demands recent information, stale results should be given low Utility ratings because they are not helpful for users. In some cases, stale results are useless and should be rated OT.

Freshness is generally less of a concern for PQ rating. “Stale” pages can have high PQ ratings. For example, some highly reputable news websites maintain “archival” content. However, unmaintained/abandoned “old” websites or unmaintained and inaccurate/misleading content is a reason for a low quality rating.

Query and User Intent


LP of the Result Block, Result Block, PQ Rating, Utility Rating


Explanation


[nasa mars landing], English (US)

On the date this example was written, NASA had just landed the “Curiosity” rover on Mars. Most users are probably looking for breaking news and pictures about the event.

Landing page link: LP


This LP has an article about the “Curiosity” rover landing, published on the same day as the landing.

Landing page link: LP
.

This LP has an article about the launching of the “Curiosity” rover, published nine months before its landing on

Mars. The content on this page would be considered stale for the query:


Query and User Intent


LP of the Result Block, Result Block, PQ Rating, Utility Rating


Explanation


[los angeles traffic], English (US)

Users are looking for current information about traffic conditions in Los Angeles. Even pages about traffic conditions the day before would be considered stale for the query.



Landing page link: LP
.

This LP shows traffic conditions in Los Angeles on the date this example was written (August 7,

2012).


Landing page link:


LP

This LP shows traffic conditions in Los Angeles on August 6, 2012. It is stale and useless for the query even though it is only one day old.



[Nobel Peace Prize Winner], English (US)

Find the name of the most recent winner of this prize. This is an information query.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This LP on the New York Times website has information about the most recent winner of this prize.


Landing page link:

LP
.

This LP on the BBC website has information about the 2006 winner of this prize. This page is stale for the query.


Query and User Intent


LP of the Result Block, Result Block, PQ Rating, Utility Rating


Explanation



[60 minutes], English (US)

Minutes is a popular weekly TV show. Users probably want to watch or find information about the most recent episode. At the time this example was written, the show that aired on September 23, 2012 was the most recent episode.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This LP is an article about the most recent episode of 60 Minutes which aired on September 23,

2012


Landing page link:


LP
.

This LP is about an episode of 60 Minutes that aired on September 16,

Users might be looking for the

episode from the previous week.


[olympics gymnastics results], English (US)

Users probably want to find a page that displays gymnastics results from the most recent Olympics.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This LP has the 2012 Olympics gymnastics results.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This LP has the 2008 Olympics gymnastics results. It is stale for the query.

Sometimes, queries don't demand the most recent information. For example, some queries, such as [birthdate of ronald reagan] and [atomic weight of gold] request basic facts that are well understood and established and unlikely to change.
Finally, for some queries, there may be a "newsy" or recent information user intent as well as a more "timeless" information user intent. Users issuing queries for celebrities or politicians may be interested in biographical information or may be looking for the latest news or gossip.

Please note: Information about almost any subject can become stale or outdated over time. Please use your judgment. Clearly outdated or stale pages should receive low utility ratings, unless the query is "asking" for the outdated content.


Query and User Intent


LP of the Result Block, Result Block, PQ Rating, Utility Rating


Explanation



[arthritis], English (US)

Users are looking for information about this disease. Because there is ongoing research done on treatments and cures for most diseases, users are probably looking for authoritative, up-to- date information on this subject.



Landing page link:



LP
.

Medline Plus is an authoritative website that regularly updates its content. Even though there is no date on the page indicating when it was updated, we can assume the content is up-to-date.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This 2006 article would be considered stale for this medical query.



[when was Franklin Delano Roosevelt born], English (US)

Users want to find this well understood fact.


Landing page link:


LP
.

This landing page has the information users are looking for.

Notice that the requested information is even displayed in the snippet.


We couldn’t find a stale page for this query.


Query and User Intent


LP of the Result Block, Result Block, PQ Rating, Utility Rating


Explanation


[barack obama], English (US)

Barack Obama is the President of the United States. We will assume users are looking for news, current or biographical information about him, images, etc.

Landing page link: LP
.

This article contains up-to-date news about Obama (at the time this example was written).

Landing page link: LP
.

This landing page has an article from 2008 about Barack Obama choosing Joe Biden as his running mate.


Note: The date the page was created may be different from when the content was last updated or modified. When content is updated, the page will sometimes show the date of the update, not the date the page was created.
If you are curious about the content of a page, try the "Wayback Machine" on the Internet Archive: http://archive.org/web/web.php
. Not all pages are available, but this tool may help you understand how some pages were created and how their content has changed over time.


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