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    Google's Full Search Quality Rating Guidelines


    Somewhat old news, and I'm sure many of you have heard this by now (I think ThomasHarvey might have mentioned it in a post somewhere!)...

    But Google released all 160 sweet pages of its Search Quality Raters guideline and handbook.

    The big, fat ol' handbook can be found in all of its .pdf glory here.

    What's getting the most press right now, I think, is the big "Part 3" of the guidelines which is titled "Needs Met Rating Guideline." Part 2 is also about a very popular topic: "Understanding Mobile User Needs."

    Important to note is that this guidebook is used (as I understand it) by Search quality evaluators. The intro reads:

    As a Search Quality evaluator, you will work on many different types of rating projects. The General Guidelines primarily cover Page Quality (PQ) rating and Needs Met (NM) rating; however, the concepts are also important for many other types of rating tasks.

    [...]

    0.2 Raters Must Represent the User

    It is very important for you to represent users in the locale you evaluate. You must be very familiar with the task language and location in order to represent the experience of users in your locale...
    When I have time, I will try to skim through these pages for interesting snippets. If anyone else is bold enough to join me, please post your own snippets for discussion too!

    Or post your general thoughts, criticisms, and comments. Just don't spam ;)

    I'll make this a sticky thread for now, since I think it's a big news item. It may be unstickied at a later date.
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    Actually a very good move from Google this time: They made it public! I don't say this often but "Thanks, Google!"
    Everything will be ok in the end

    If it's not ok, it's not the end
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    Google Releases Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines


    Just got this and need to read it properly later:
    http://static.googleusercontent.com/...guidelines.pdf

    However some interesting and odd things here:
    Section 5.3 on page 27 - "For some topics .... popularity, user engagement and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation"

    Page 107 on the search about [tom cruise] it makes it sound like someone at Google is looking at websites page by page and making decisions???? The page given in the example is not considered 'Needs Fully Met' because there are lots of other pages ... which seems weird?

    Big section on Needs Met ratings for porn!!! Wonder who defines that!
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    Ha! I hadn't seen the section on porn yet. Sounds like Google might take a more rigorous approach than the US Supreme Court: "You know it when you see it."

    Must be a really weird office setting.

    "Hey Dave, what are you working on today?"
    *Dave sits at his computer, idly clicking through different porn sites*
    "Oh, you know...same old boring stuff."

    I was also interested in the section on reputation:

    Reputation research is important when giving Highest ratings. Very positive reputation is often based on prestigious awards or other recommendations from known experts or professional societies on the topic of the website. Wikipedia and other information sources can be a good starting point for reputation research.

    For some topics, such as humor or recipes, less formal expertise is OK. For these topics, popularity, user engagement, and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation. For topics which need less formal expertise, websites can be considered to have a positive reputation if they are highly popular and well-loved for their topic or content type, and are focused on helping users.
    I wonder where SEO Chat and other forums sit along that line...did someone have to manually flip a switch to place us somewhere in the middle? I know we all hold ourselves to a high standard here...does Google hold us to that same standard?

    Not all forums are about formal expertise though, so maybe they individually evaluate that for each site? Can a site be considered less formal over time if the tone of the forum changes? What an incredible amount of work that must be to keep up with it all.

    -Also, I think I'm gonna merge this thread with a sticky we've got for this topic: Google's Full Search Quality Rating Guidelines
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    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Just got this and need to read it properly later:
    http://static.googleusercontent.com/...guidelines.pdf

    However some interesting and odd things here:
    Section 5.3 on page 27 - "For some topics .... popularity, user engagement and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation"

    Page 107 on the search about [tom cruise] it makes it sound like someone at Google is looking at websites page by page and making decisions???? The page given in the example is not considered 'Needs Fully Met' because there are lots of other pages ... which seems weird?

    Big section on Needs Met ratings for porn!!! Wonder who defines that!
    > However some interesting and odd things here:
    > Section 5.3 on page 27 - "For some topics .... popularity, user engagement and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation"

    Google loves this most.. it can go bonkers when it sees developing around you on social pages..

    Use Engagement is the key IMO
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    Folk need to be clear that these important quality guidelines are only coincidentally relevant to G's ranking algorithm.

    You would not expect to find a business directory or shopping cart category listed in G's results if you took these quality guidelines to be algo ranking factors.

    Another non-ranking factor is "user engagement".

    "User engagement" as per click-through rates, pogo-sticking, likes on social media, etc. are not ranking signals according to G.

    G's given reasons:

    • We can't track it
    • We don't have the capability to track it
    • It is a poor quality signal for many search queries
    • It is too easy to scam

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