Like many software companies, Google employs a team of human beta testers to check the quality of their search results. Called “Quality Raters,” these human testers evaluate algorithm updates by assessing whether or not a given set of search results are good results for the query that generated them. Google provides Quality Raters with a lengthy document of guidelines outlining what makes a webpage a high- or low-quality result for a query.
For years, SEOs coveted the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. Despite the heavy layers of nondisclosure agreements Quality Raters sign, sooner or later the guidelines would leak out to be dissected by SEOs, fueling rounds of speculation as to Google’s goals for the algorithm. Starting in November 2015, however, Google decided to fight leaks with total transparency and publish the Quality Rater Guidelines. [Read more…] about Takeaways from the Google Quality Rater Guidelines