Google have announced some interesting new updates to their search quality rating guidelines. Here we discuss what will be evaluated and how this may impact your SEO strategy.
Google employs over 10,000 “search quality raters” across the world to assess its search results.
In a nutshell raters are instructed which searches they are to find, and they then report the results of their findings. Usually, they only evaluate the quality of the top results web pages.
Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines
To help quantify their findings, raters are given a set of guidelines. These guidelines have recently been re-evaluated, with new, relevant areas to focus on. These include:
• Content Creator Reputation
Its not just the content that raters will assess, but the content creator! The guidelines instruct raters to asses ‘About Us’ pages and author bios to see if they have a quality reputation. Web pages with trusted, reputable authors will rank higher.
Content creators should ensure their bios and information are fleshed out with credible information. Web pages with no source information will rank lower, as this is more likely to be spam or unauthorised content.
• A Closer Look at Spam & Clickbait
Speaking of spam, Google is now asking raters to evaluate the subtler forms of spam on high ranking pages. If an article includes a sensationalised or irrelevant headline, the page may be marked down.
• The ‘Beneficial Purpose’ of Content
Google is aiming to rank higher pages which are valuable. They measure this value by whether the page has a ‘beneficial purpose’.
This means the page must have useful, well written content, not just awkwardly inserted keywords. SEO writers should definitely bare this one in mind when writing new content.
All information gathered for raters is used to improve the Google algorithms. In theory, this will help Google reduce topical issues including fake news and misleading articles.
To learn more about optimising your company website, contact your SEO agency (like us!) for an SEO audit report.