You must have heard many SEOs and Marketers recommending you to read Google’s Search Quality Evaluator/Rater Guidelines. While many say it’s a good source of information regarding Google’s E-A-T updates, but IMO, it’s much more than that. These guidelines not only tell you about how their raters should see websites or queries, but they also get you acquainted with how it wants the highest-quality content to appear at the top. Also, it tells us what really is a high-quality page/site.
We get to know how their raters currently define the best content for every query from this. That’s why I think it is extremely important for SEOs to give it a read. Or if you don’t have the time to read the 175 paged guidelines, I think this guide would be enough. After all, providing every important aspect from these guidelines is my target, so do give it a try and you can also discuss it with me in the comment section if you like.
Table of Contents
- What is Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and Who is it for?
- Why is it important for SEOs?
- 1. Purpose of a Webpage
- 2. YMYL (Your-Money-Your-Life) Pages
- 3. Understanding Webpage Content
- 4. Reputation of the website
- 5. Levels of Quality
- 6. Most Important Factors for Page Quality Rating
- 7. E-A-T
- 8. Characteristics of a High-Quality Page
- 9. Satisfying Amount of High-Quality Page Content
- 10. Highest Quality Pages
- 11. Low-Quality Pages
- 12. Lowest Quality Pages
- 13. Medium Quality Websites
- 14. Important: Page Quality Rating FAQs
- 15. Lastly, The Duplicate Results
- The blog is over, but you can continue till the final goodbye…
What is Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and Who is it for?
Google’s search quality raters are a group of people spread worldwide to evaluate Google’s search results. Their job is to provide feedback on the search results and rate the results accordingly. And as you guessed, Google Search Quality Evaluator/Rater Guidelines are the guidelines set for these raters on which they evaluate the results.
Why is it important for SEOs?
- These guidelines provide extensive information on E-A-T (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness).
- It guides us on what Google wants from a high-quality content/page. Primarily dividing the content into 3 parts – Main Content (MC), Supplementary Content (SC), and Ads/Monetizations (Ads), it tells us how Google sees the content of a page and how it reacts to its different aspects.
- It even includes various examples and ratings on different types of websites. So you don’t know what new things you might learn about how Google sees the websites in your category or niche.
- It has some really interesting points that you might not have thought of. For example – Did you know that even a 404 page might be considered high-quality? Well, read further to know more such examples and how these ratings work.
But before you read further…
Note: The content in Blue color below indicates that these sentences are taken as it is from the guidelines.
Google has clearly stated in the document to its raters that – “Your ratings will not directly affect how a particular webpage, website, or result appears in Google Search, nor will they cause specific webpages, websites, or results to move up or down on the search results page. Instead, your ratings will be used to measure how well search engine algorithms are performing for a broad range of searches.“
But many SEOs doubt it. Here’s what I found on one of Search Engine Journal’s articles –
“One can argue (and I do) that their role is so much larger than that.
They don’t influence the rankings of the sites they rate.
They influence the rankings of every site.”
IMO, it must be true that these ratings won’t directly affect rankings. But it conveys that this is what or how the search results should answer a query. And that’s the important thing that all SEOs would want to clearly understand.
Our main takeaways should be to know how these guidelines rate different pages and check if we missed something on our site that Google kept an eye on.
So let’s get started…
1. Purpose of a Webpage
Google doesn’t rate informational content as better than humorous content or vice versa. In fact, the type of a webpage doesn’t define if a webpage is high-or low-quality. Rather it depends on how the page fulfills its purpose. Even some 404 (error) pages might be considered high-quality if they fulfill their purpose –
“As long as the page is created to help users, we will not consider any particular page purpose or type to be higher quality than another. For example, encyclopedia pages are not necessarily higher quality than humor pages... There are the highest quality and lowest quality web pages of all different types and purposes: shopping pages, news pages, forum pages, video pages, pages with error messages, PDFs, images, gossip pages, humor pages, homepages, and all other types of pages. The type of page does not determine the PQ rating—you have to understand the purpose of the page to determine the rating.”
2. YMYL (Your-Money-Your-Life) Pages
YMYL pages have always played an important role in search. But if you don’t know what it is then read what Google has to say – “Some types of pages or topics could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. We call such pages “Your Money or Your Life” pages, or YMYL.”
YMYL is a highly profit-making category in the online world. Most affiliate sites, advertisement blogs, etc. are covered in it. Similarly, to conquer this industry, the standards are also high – “We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low-quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.”
3. Understanding Webpage Content
According to Google – “All of the content on a webpage can be classified as one of the following: Main Content (MC), Supplementary Content (SC), or Advertisements/Monetization (Ads).”
- Main Content – “Main Content is any part of the page that directly helps the page achieve its purpose. MC can be text, images, videos, page features (e.g., calculators, games), or it can be user-generated content such as videos, reviews, articles, etc. that users have added or uploaded to the page. Note that tabs on some pages lead to even more information (e.g., customer reviews) and can sometimes be considered part of the MC of the page.”
- Supplementary Content – “Supplementary Content contributes to a good user experience on the page but does not directly help the page achieve its purpose. One common type of SC is navigation links that allow users to visit other parts of the website. Note that in some cases, content behind tabs may be considered part of the SC of the page.”
- Ads – “Advertisements/Monetization (Ads) is content and/or links that are displayed for the purpose of monetizing (making money from) the page. The presence or absence of Ads is not by itself a reason for a High- or Low-quality rating.”
The Ads part really got my attention. I was wondering if google also considers affiliate links as ads/monetization content. And if it does not, then to what extent is it considered as valuable for users, or does it totally regard it as ads content. Though not the exact answer but Google already had something for its raters – “On some pages, reviews may be considered MC, and on other pages they may be considered SC. Use your best judgment and think about the purpose of the page. Do not worry too much about identifying every little part of the page. Think about which parts of the page are the MC. Next, look for the Ads. Anything left over can be considered SC.” So just like most answers of SEO, we will again say – It depends.
3a. Understanding the Website
- Google considers site reputation to be very important while rating its content. They want to check all the sources who mention your site (internal and external). And in case of contradictions, they do conflict resolution by listening to what external sources say about you – “When there is disagreement between what the website says about itself and what reputable independent sources say about the website, we’ll trust the independent sources.”
- Google also told how they consider a homepage for a site. And when they are confused, they use their judgment – “you may not be sure whether the homepage of the URL http://finance.yahoo.com/news/category-stocks is http://finance.yahoo.com or http://www.yahoo.com. When you have more than one homepage ‘candidate,’ please use whichever one offers the most information about the specific webpage in the rating task.”
- Also, if you wanted to know how Google sees syndicated/guest post content, check this – “Finally, there are some websites that show licensed or syndicated content. This means that the website has paid money or has some business relationship with the creator of the content. In these cases, we will consider the website to carry responsibility for the quality of licensed or syndicated content, even if it wasn’t created by the website itself.”
4. Reputation of the website
- Google checks a website’s reputation based on 2 things: UX and expert opinion – “A website’s reputation is based on the experience of real users, as well as the opinion of people who are experts in the topic of the website. Reputation research applies to both the website and the actual company, organization, or entity that the website is representing.”
- And as covered before, for page quality rating, Google trusts external sources more than you – “For Page Quality rating, you must also look for outside, independent reputation information about the website. When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.”
- Again, what other sources say about your site is really important – “Use reputation research to find out what real users, as well as experts, think about a website. Look for reviews, references, recommendations by experts, news articles, and other credible information created/written by individuals about the website… When a high level of authoritativeness or expertise is needed, the reputation of a website should be judged on what expert opinions have to say. Recommendations from expert sources, such as professional societies, are strong evidence of very positive reputation.”
Update October 2021: Google changed the line from “When a high level of authoritativeness or expertise is needed, the reputation of a website should be judged on what expert opinions have to say.” to “For YMYL informational topics, the reputation of a website or content creator should be judged by what experts in the field have to say.“
- If you were wondering what really are those sources, sites like Alexa don’t count – “News articles, Wikipedia articles, blog posts, magazine articles, forum discussions, and ratings from independent organizations can all be sources of reputation information. Look for independent, credible sources of information. Sometimes, you will find information about a website that is not related to its reputation. For example, pages like Alexa have information about Internet traffic to the website, but do not provide evidence of positive or negative reputation. You can ignore this information since it’s not helpful for Page Quality rating.”
- Even reviews on other platforms will be part of a site’s reputation. And if you have negative reviews like for fraud, wrongdoings, etc. Google won’t ignore that – “You should interpret these reviews with care, particularly if there are only a few. Be skeptical of both positive and negative user reviews. Anyone can write them, including the creator of the website or someone the store or business hires for this purpose… Credible, convincing reports of fraud and financial wrongdoing is evidence of extremely negative reputation. A single encounter with a rude clerk or the delayed receipt of a single package should not be considered negative reputation information.”
- Want to know more about the sources? Give this a read then – “Look for articles, reviews, forum posts, discussions, etc. written by people about the website. For businesses, there are many sources of reputation information and reviews. Here are some examples: Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Amazon, and Google Shopping... For content creators, look for biographical data and other sources that are not written by the individual... See if there is a Wikipedia article or news article from a well-known news site. Wikipedia can be a good source of information about companies, organizations, and content creators.”
- Of course, you won’t find external info or reviews of every site – “Frequently, you will find little or no information about the reputation of a website for a small organization. This is not indicative of positive or negative reputation. Many small, local businesses or community organizations have a small “web presence” and rely on word of mouth, not online reviews. For these smaller businesses and organizations, lack of reputation should not be considered an indication of low page quality.” One main takeaway is that if there is no review available then it doesn’t mean the site is less reputable. It’s just that the site reputation factor will be a lesser deciding factor for rating your site as high-quality.
5. Levels of Quality
Before we proceed further, let me just brief you on these levels of quality – high, low, medium, etc. Google assigns a slider to search quality raters where they decide the quality of a webpage. They term it as Page-Quality Rating (PQ Rating). Take a look at the slider below –
So these are the levels provided by Google to rate a page’s content and quality. So let’s take a look at these one-by-one and see if your site should be rated high-, low-, or medium-quality?
6. Most Important Factors for Page Quality Rating
“Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting an overall Page Quality rating:
- The Purpose of the Page
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness
- Main Content Quality and Amount
- Website Information/information about who is responsible for the MC.
- Website Reputation/reputation about who is responsible for the MC.”
So now you know that these are the 5 most important points that you should focus on to improve your content’s quality.
This is what most SEOs wanted to grab with these guidelines. So let’s discuss it altogether –
As we all know, 3 main things are considered here: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. But the main question is – E-A-T of whom? The website, author, or the whole company? So here are Google’s exact words on it (Below, MC means Main Content) – “Please consider:
- The expertise of the creator of the MC.
- The authoritativeness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website.
- The trustworthiness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website.”
Now, what does it mean by a high E-A-T website? So take a look at different criteria for different types of high E-A-T websites –
- “High E-A-T medical advice should be written or produced by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation. High E-A-T medical advice or information should be written or produced in a professional style and should be edited, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis.”
- “High E-A-T news articles should be produced with journalistic professionalism—they should contain factually accurate content presented in a way that helps users achieve a better understanding of events. High E-A-T news sources typically have published established editorial policies and robust review processes.”
- “High E-A-T information pages on scientific topics should be produced by people or organizations with appropriate scientific expertise and represent well-established scientific consensus on issues where such consensus exists.”
- “High E-A-T financial advice, legal advice, tax advice, etc., should come from trustworthy sources and be maintained and updated regularly.”
- “High E-A-T advice pages on topics such as home remodeling (which can cost thousands of dollars and impact your living situation) or advice on parenting issues (which can impact the future happiness of a family) should also come from “expert” or experienced sources that users can trust.”
- “High E-A-T pages on hobbies, such as photography or learning to play a guitar, also require expertise.”
Another important point was that there is no exact amount of qualification that the content creator needs, to have high E-A-T: “If it seems as if the person creating the content has the type and amount of life experience to make him or her an ‘expert’ on the topic, we will value this ‘everyday expertise’ and not penalize the person/webpage/website for not having ‘formal’ education or training in the field… Think about the topic of the page. What kind of expertise is required for the page to achieve its purpose well? The standard for expertise depends on the topic of the page.”
So yeah, there are no exact criteria regarding E-A-T that we could follow every time. So our questions regarding it might never end. But I have included one more satisfactory point about E-A-T, Site Reputation, etc. that might help (Check the 14 numbered FAQ Section’s 2nd question).
8. Characteristics of a High-Quality Page
A high-quality page should have the following characteristics according to Google –
- “High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- A satisfying amount of high-quality MC, including a descriptive or helpful title.
- Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfying customer service information.
- Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.”
So a website’s reputation definitely plays a crucial role. Though we all know that Google is always a step ahead of most search engines when giving special preference to site reputation.
9. Satisfying Amount of High-Quality Page Content
Google considers time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill to be important factors while looking at page’s content – “For all types of webpages, creating high quality MC takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.”
The purpose of a webpage and its fulfillment is considered in the following ways – “The purpose of the page will help you determine what high-quality content means for that page. For example, High quality information pages should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. High quality shopping content should allow users to find the products they want and to purchase the products easily. High quality humor or satire should be entertaining, while factual accuracy is not a requirement as long as the page would be understood as satire by users.”
And what about the amount of content? Well, let’s see how Google explains it – “The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A High-quality page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a high-quality page on a narrower topic.”
9a. Clear and Satisfying Website Information
The type of website decides the requirement for E-A-T assessment – “The amount of information needed for E-A-T assessment depends on the type of website. For example, YMYL websites demand a high degree of trust, so they generally need satisfying information about who is responsible for the content of the site. In addition, High quality stores and financial transaction websites also need clear and satisfying customer service information to help users resolve issues… Other websites that are not YMYL websites may need less website information, depending on the purpose of the website. For example, an email address may be sufficient for some non-YMYL websites.”
But what came unexpectedly was this – “While a page can merit the High rating with no reputation, the High rating cannot be used for any website that has a convincing negative reputation.” Even a page with no reputation might be given a high rating as long as it doesn’t have any negative reputation.
10. Highest Quality Pages
Were you wondering if your site should be rated as the highest quality? Make sure that you have these characteristics – “A Highest quality page must have at least one of the following characteristics:
• Very high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
• A very satisfying amount of high or highest quality MC.
• Very positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Very positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.”
10a. Very High-Quality MC
While many of you might have lost the highest rating or are still confused due to the E-A-T factor, let’s make sure that you excel with the Main Content – “A factor that often distinguishes very high-quality MC is the creation of unique and original content for the specific website.” So make sure you have unique content.
Now Google even shared some examples of what constitutes as high-quality MC for different types of pages –
“● For news: very high-quality MC is original reporting that provides information that would not otherwise have been known had the article not revealed it. Original, in-depth, and investigative reporting requires a high degree of skill, time, and effort. Often very high-quality news content will include a description of primary sources and other original reporting referenced during the content creation process. Very high-quality news content must be accurate and should meet professional journalistic standards.
● For artistic content (videos, images, photography, writing, etc.): very high-quality MC is unique and original content created by highly skilled and talented artists or content creators. Such artistic content requires a high degree of skill/talent, time, and effort. If the artistic content is related to a YMYL topic (e.g., artistic content with the purpose of informing or swaying opinion about YMYL topics), YMYL standards should apply.
● For informational content: very high-quality MC is original, accurate, comprehensive, clearly communicated, professionally presented, and should reflect expert consensus as appropriate. Expectations for different types of information may vary. For example, scientific papers have a different set of standards than information about a hobby such as stamp collecting. However, all types of very high-quality informational content share common attributes of accuracy, comprehensiveness, and clear communication, in addition to meeting standards appropriate to the topic or field.”
11. Low-Quality Pages
While one may think that their site probably won’t come under this category. But don’t underestimate these factors, you don’t know what small point you might have missed that affects your site’s SEO. So let’s take a look at Low-Quality Pages too –
“If a page has one or more of the following characteristics, the Low rating applies:
- An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- The quality of the MC is low.
- There is an unsatisfying amount of MC for the purpose of the page.
- The title of the MC is exaggerated or shocking.
- The Ads or SC distracts from the MC.
- There is an unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the creator of the MC for the purpose of the page (no good reason for anonymity).
- A mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the MC, based on extensive reputation research.”
So if one of these points applies to your site, it will be rated as low-quality. But it will fall even below if one or more points apply here because –“If a page has multiple low-quality attributes, a rating lower than Low may be appropriate.”
11a. Low Quality MC
- Shady or overexaggerated titles will be considered as Low-Quality – “Pages with exaggerated or shocking titles that do not describe the MC well should be rated Low.”
- And if you write short content on very broad topics, they will also be considered as low-quality – “Some low-quality pages are unsatisfying because they have a small amount of MC for the purpose of the page. For example, imagine an encyclopedia article on a very broad topic such as World War II that has just a few paragraphs.”
11b. Mixed or Mildly Negative Reputation
Even mixed reputation for YMYL websites will be considered low – “For a YMYL website, a mixed reputation is cause for a Low rating.”
Note: After reading these guidelines, I am convinced that YMYL websites also gets high attention from Google after Medical and finance-related websites. This is important for many affiliates and ads/monetization sites to keep an eye on.
11c. Information about the website or the Content Creator
Again, if you have YMYL websites, give a read to this – “For personal websites or non-YMYL forum discussions, an email address or social media link alone may be sufficient… For YMYL pages and other pages that require a high level of user trust, an unsatisfying amount of any of the following is a reason to give a page a low-quality rating: customer service information, contact information, information about who is responsible for the website or information about who created the content.”
12. Lowest Quality Pages
If you think your site should be rated above Low-quality then you don’t need to read about lowest-quality pages: “Websites or pages without a beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, or pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the Lowest rating. E-A-T and other page quality characteristics do not play a role for these pages. For example, any page attempting to scam users should receive the Lowest rating, whether the scam is created by an expert or not.”
12a. Copied MC
This shouldn’t be concerning to most creators because seriously, I don’t think there are still people who think copying content could make them rank. But still, if you want, take a look at what Google says about copied content – “The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.”
12b. Inadequate information about the website or content creator
It should be concerning for people who tell minimum to no information about themselves or the content creator to their audience – “YMYL pages with absolutely no information about the website or creator of the MC, or other pages where the available information is completely inadequate for the purpose of the website (e.g., an online bank with only an email address), should be rated Lowest.”
12c. Unmaintained, hacked or Spammy Website
“We’ll consider a comment or forum discussion to be “spammed” if there are posts with unrelated comments that are not intended to help other users, but rather to advertise a product or create a link to a website. Frequently these comments are posted by a “bot” rather than a real person.”
Update October 2021: Google updated its guidelines on Lowest Quality Pages. Here’s they added some more examples of websites/web pages that must be considered the lowest quality. Some of them are (Courtesy: SEJ) –
- Websites that doxx users.
- Content containing instructions on committing suicide or homicide.
- Content that contains offensive or dehumanizing stereotypes.
- Harmful content that can be easily refuted by widely accepted facts.
- Unsubstantiated theories that are not grounded in facts or evidence.
13. Medium Quality Websites
Now if you have been providing the best content to your audience where you have expertise in your niche and have been maintaining a good site reputation, then your website should be rated at least as a medium-quality website. But do check what Google says about medium-quality websites just so you don’t miss anything crucial – “Two types of medium quality pages –
- Nothing wrong, but nothing special – The page achieves its purpose; however, it does not merit a High-quality rating, nor is there anything to indicate that a Low-quality rating is appropriate.
- Mixed with strong High quality rating characteristics – The page or website has strong High quality rating characteristics, but also has mild Low-quality characteristics. The strong High-quality aspects make it difficult to rate the page Low.”
13a. Page Quality Criteria for specific types of Pages
- If you have an encyclopedia kind of website then make sure to read this – “Ratings for Encyclopedia Pages – We may not always know the author of the specific encyclopedia article, and therefore must rely on website reputation research to determine the E-A-T of the article. High and Highest quality ratings should only be used for encyclopedias with very good reputations for accuracy and expertise, where the article itself is well-researched with appropriate references cited.”
- Ratings for Pages with Error Messages or No MC – One interesting point here was that even a 404 page can be considered high quality. Check the below example –
It was considered high quality by Google because – “This is an example of a “custom 404” page, alerting users that the URL they are trying to visit no longer exists. This website does a nice job of explaining the issue and providing helpful tips, including a search box.”
I even found an example of a 404 page with the highest quality rating –
Here is what Google had to say on this – “This is an example of a “custom 404” page. These pages are designed to alert users that the URL they are trying to visit no longer exists. The MC of this page is the cartoon, the caption, and the search functionality, which is specific to the content of the website. It is clear that time, effort, and talent was involved in the creation of the MC. This publication has a very positive reputation and is specifically known for its cartoons, which allows us to go as high as High+ to Highest.”
- Ratings for Forums and Q&A pages – “Keep in mind the following:
- The Main Content on forum and Q&A pages includes both the question as well as the answers/responses and resulting discussions.
- Rate forum and Q&A pages from the point of view of a user who visits the page, rather than a participant involved in the discussion.”
14. Important: Page Quality Rating FAQs
You might still be confused about various aspects discussed on these search quality guidelines. Well, you are not alone. It’s because you never get exact answers in the SEO industry. But one solution remains the same: “Do what is best for your audience”. Anyway, I marked this section as important because if you still have various doubts regarding rating your website, then the questions below might solve some of them –
- Will good looking pages be considered high quality?
Google – “No! The goal is to do the exact opposite. These steps are designed to help you analyze the page without using a superficial ‘does it look good?’ approach.”
- Still, confused about Expertise/E-A-T/Site reputation?
Google – “High quality pages involve time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Sharing personal experience is a form of everyday expertise.
In cases where the content creator is not demonstrating formal or everyday expertise but is not doing any harm, Medium is an appropriate rating.
Pretty much any topic has some form of expert, but E-A-T is especially important for YMYL pages.
There are expert alternative medicine websites with leading practitioners of acupuncture, herbal therapies, etc. There are also pages about alternative medicine written by people with no expertise or experience. E-A-T should distinguish between these two scenarios.
One final note: if the purpose of the page is harmful, then expertise doesn’t matter. It should be rated Lowest!”
- What is the stay on celebrity gossip kind of pages? Are those always considered low quality?
Google – “There are both High- and Low-quality celebrity gossip pages. Often, the purpose of these pages is to share scandalous, but potentially true personal information about celebrities. We can consider the MC of a gossip page to be high quality if it is accurate and interesting information from a reliable source. On the other hand, demonstrably inaccurate information, and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, etc., should be rated Lowest.”
- “Some of these criteria seem unfair. For example, some art pages do not have a purpose. Are these pages Low quality?”
Google – “Art pages do have a purpose: artistic expression. Pages created for artistic expression do not deserve the Low-quality rating simply because they have no other purpose. Artistic expression, humor, entertainment, sharing photos and videos, etc. are all valid and valued page purposes.”
15. Lastly, The Duplicate Results
That was all regarding the page-quality section. Actually, these guidelines had 3 sections: Page-Quality Rating, Understanding Mobile User Needs, and Needs Met Rating Guidelines. Out of these, I found the first one to be most important for SEOs. The other two sections are more on how raters should rate the results of search queries (not the individual webpages that we could improve). But that’s just my opinion. You could take a look at these if you even want to get into the ratings of search queries.
But since I already gave these a read, for me the only point worth mentioning for SEOs was some info on duplicate results in SERP. It’s just that I have found on Twitter that SEOs have reported many duplicate results issues before. So I think the below information can help –
“Please mark two results as dupes if they have essentially the same content on the main landing page AND you would not want a search engine to return both results for the query… If two result blocks have very different types of content or very different appearances, do not mark them as duplicates even if they have the same landing page URL.”
Note: Search Quality Rater Guidelines was last changed in October 2021. I will try to update this page as soon as I can when Google updates the guidelines again.
Google’s Search Quality Evaluator/Rater Guidelines are a 175-paged booklet made for its raters. But when you read it, you start questioning whether the best practices have been applied on your site or not. And for me, these points were like gems of knowledge on SEO. Because it’s not often that you get exact answers from Google on how it evaluates different web pages. We all experience doubts on whether we missed one little detail that had been pinching us all along.
Though these points cover the basics of SEO, I believe that all SEOs should keep reminding such basics to themselves and their team from time to time.
The blog is over, but you can continue till the final goodbye…
These were my thoughts on “Everything SEOs Need To Know From Google’s Search Quality Guidelines”. I know I can add more to this blog post. That’s why I request you to comment if you have anything to share. And if you found any mistakes in my blogs or have any constructional criticism, please reach out through comments or contact page. Believe me. It won’t alter my blood pressure. I would love to write my wrongs (this one was intentional though).