Google Raters Quality Guidelines Updated for 2019

Over the past weekend, Google made an update to their Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, or as we call it, the “Search Quality Guidelines”. The update happened on May 16, 2019 and while much of it remains similar to the update from June 2018, there were a few new additions.

As business owners, we know that time is of the essence. Most people don’t have time to read a 166-page document, but if that’s you, I’ve included a link to the Guideline at the bottom of this article.

For everyone else, I’ve taken a very high-level overview of the document and broken out some key areas that stood out to me as someone that works in SEO on a daily basis.

What Is The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines?

In short, it’s a 166-page document that outlines how Google tests the search engine results to make sure that their algorithm is operating as expected. These are manual reviews done by HUMANS to verify that the program is actually working correctly.

This is not a document that outlines everything about how the search engine works, rather it’s key areas that are used by individual testers.

This is the document that is followed, not only for testing but also when it comes to manual reviews and in the worse case scenarios, how a manual action is applied (or removed) from a website.

Why Is This Document Important For Search Engine Optimization Companies?

Any time an SEO Company gets a sneak peek behind the curtains of Google is a win! These guidelines were first leaked in 2011, not by Google, but an employee of Google.

Previously, this has been kept pretty much under wraps.

We knew it existed.

Google knew we knew it existed.

But it was never public.

In 2011, that all changed and we got our first look at how the document guided a person through evaluating a website, and what areas could potentially trip up a search engine and give the site a bad score.

Over the next few years, Google themselves would publish versions as “official documents” and even housed them on their network. This is one of the latest documents.

We recommend you download it to your computer, as it is unknown if Google will keep the document online. There was a bug (as it was later referred to) last year where the document was released and then promptly removed. It did make it’s way back online a few days later however.

(Update 8/8/2019: While not a bug this time, Google removed the link again, but it’s back online at a new location – see below for the link)

What have we learned from the Google Quality Raters Guidelines?

There’s so much stuff that we learned over the years, it’s hard to break it down into just a few lines, but here’s some key bullet point information that the document outlines and walks their raters through;

  • The difference between a website and a webpage
  • What’s the purpose of a webpage
  • YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) Pages, and how they should be evaluated
  • Identifying Main Content, Supplementary Content, Advertisements & Page Parts
  • The reputation of the website, or the creator of the content
  • Overall Page Quality Rating
  • Identify High Quality and Low Quality pages
  • E-A-T – Expertise, Authority, Trust
  • Which ads (and where) they can be distracting to users
  • Deceptive or Misinformation pages
  • Mobile users and their explicit queries
  • Mobile and location of users
  • Are the needs of a user met on the page based on the query entered
  • Failure to load and the impact on ratings
  • Misspelled and Mistyped queries
  • Foreign language issues

As you can see, there’s a wealth of information being discussed.

One of the ones that stood out to use was the EAT score and how the reputation of not just the website, but the person that wrote the content, can influence where on the scale Google places the results.

For the past six years or so, we’ve written several articles about Quality Content and how it affects your SEO. To read more of those articles, check out the article “The Role Of Quality Content” or “What Does Quality Content Actually Mean?

Do you want to read the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines?

There’s so much information in this document it would take us dozens of blog posts to review (and maybe we’ll do that at some point). But while you’re waiting on us to dissect everything, you can take a look at the document yourself by following this link: Download Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines PDF.

URL updated 8/8/2019 as Google removed the old link and failed to create a 301 redirect!here’s an article on 301 redirects just in case someone on their team needs some help 🙂

 

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Check Out These Other Articles

The Cost of Free Advertising vs SEO

The other day, I was out at a business in Council Bluffs and the owner just happened to be walking out the door with me as he was picking up the mail. In the mail, there was a new magazine, and he had made mention that he was getting free advertising in the magazine. I asked him how he managed

Omaha SEO 101: How Does Google AdWords Work?

The process of search engine marketing (SEM) is very complex, but it can be boiled down to 2 main areas: optimizing your website content for organic search (SEO), and pay-per-click advertising (PPC). While focusing on optimizing the content you write for your ideal audience is the best way to increase your online presence and attract quality traffic to your business website,

Organic-SEO-versus-PPC

Is Organic SEO Traffic Better Than Paid Traffic?

Direct, social, paid and organic traffic are the main labels used to identify visitors to a website. Direct traffic refers to visitors who type a website’s URL directly into their browser. Social traffic are visitors that come through a link on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Paid traffic comes from PPC or other ads, while organic traffic refers to visitors who search Google and then click through one of the results.

Close Menu