Google's Internal Search Quality Rating Guidelines Leaked

Mar 14, 2008 • 10:03 am | comments (8) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Aaron Wall discovered a Google Spam document that he then shared with his readers. Brian Ussery archived the entire spam recognition guide for our perusal (here) and explains that while he had initial doubts about the authenticity of the document, it looks like it has some legitimacy. He notes that relevancy isn't necessarily the most important issue. Sometimes, other concerns will impact how Google perceives your page, especially if a social networking profile is maintained by an owner. (Google considers this not just relevant but "vital".)

Barry takes the document the next step and talks about it over at Search Engine Land where he explains the three types of queries (navigational, informational, and transactional), provides details into quality rating (vital as discussed earlier, useful, relevant, not relevant, off topic), discusses the categories that cannot be factored in (can't load, foreign language, unratable), and gives us Google's spam categorizations (not spam, maybe spam, spam). There are also 2 other flags for pornographic or malicious content that Google apparently ties to pages.

While the document is dated April 2007, I don't think much has changed. The information seems incredibly useful and should be taken into account when generating content for a website (especially if Google is important to you!)

Forum discussion continues at Search Engine Watch Forums and Sphinn.

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03/14/2008 05:25 pm

Awesome info for the On Page optimization side of SEO... The "human algorithm" labeling process gives me mixed feelings mainly because it's up to human discretion, but this is great information to have and study, thanks for sharing it.


03/15/2008 12:32 pm

The page has been removed from beu blog but, ironically, it's still in Google's cache.


03/17/2008 05:55 am

wow, now thats something really informative..


03/17/2008 03:34 pm

If you are unfamiliar with Google Quality Raters, they are actual humans who rate web sites, and the above document looks to be their employee guide. May be useful... better grab it while its still cached.


03/17/2008 05:41 pm

Does anyone have this document?


07/14/2008 01:44 pm

The above guidelines are a little out of date now - latest release was May 2008 (Yes I have all of the Guidelines, old and new) THE most important thing to take into consideration when rating is how well the page matches the query and of course, that you do not employ "deceptive" techniques or use Spam (the Spam section of the Guidelines are very extensive). Graham Ex Moderator, Google rating program.


01/19/2009 11:33 am

As I know, it is against the NDA to leak the document.


08/03/2009 02:58 pm

I hear there's a new version (July 2009), close to 100 pages that was leaked. Anyone know where to find it??

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