Google Search Quality Guidelines: Rating Update

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Google are always rolling out new updates in a bid to enhance the user experience across the search engine. But often, this means that businesses must rethink their current marketing methods and come up with new strategies to ensure relevant rankings for their website — which can sometimes be difficult if you aren’t fully equipped before the updates are released.

Last month, the search engine magnet reviewed its search quality rater guidelines and set out a new focus across the organisation. But what does this mean for your business and does it affect your SEO?

Understanding Google’s Search Quality Raters

Currently, Google contracts over 10,000 search quality raters around the world to help evaluate the given search results. Using predefined research, Google then tasks these raters to search queries that other people are searching for on the platform and to review the results.

If you’re appearing at the top of the first page, expect your website to be visited and quality checked. The data that is generated from these raters, who have to assess websites by following a 164-page document, is used to ultimately improve Google’s search algorithms and promote more relevant results for the end user.

Key Takeaways From The Changes:

You already know that Google reviews the quality of your website and its overall reputation, but they’re beginning to take a core focus on the content creators and whether they’re reputable enough to provide Google users with information that they’re searching for.

As a result of this, both business websites and publications must ensure that any content that has been written is credited back to the author. If content has been created by someone with a good reputation, that page will be ranked higher than someone who has created content around the same topic that has a bad reputation.

Although you may have an ‘About Us’ page on your website that has internal links to your ‘Team’ page, you should be looking at adding detailed author biographies — however, this should also apply on video content and social media posts.

This is in a bid to reduce the amount of ‘fake news’ surfing the internet. Although this will be beneficial for content creators who already have an established reputation, it might be hard for new content creators who want to share their stories.

On the topic of fake news, Google has also instructed its raters to rate sites with a low score if the titles are too sensational; meaning that we’re set to see a reduction of click-bait titles. It’s expected that the search engine is looking for a way for its algorithms to detect this type of content and penalise it.

However, this is not all doom and gloom — as raters are looking for the most relevant content, this could position your website higher in rankings. Not only that, there’s the opportunity that your content will be used for snippets if created strategically.

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