Google's John Mueller Hasn't Read The Updated Quality Raters Guidelines

Jul 27, 2018 - 8:10 am 6 by

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Google's John Mueller said in this morning's webmaster hangout at the 6:18 mark that he has not yet reviewed or read through the updated search quality raters guidelines PDF. Why am I bringing this up? Well, one might think that someone who communicates with webmasters about search and SEO issues would have been given advance notice of these changes and maybe even a summary email of what fundamentally changes with the guidelines? But it seems like not.

Of course, the people who do these quality raters guidelines are separate from John's team. They do not directly influence the ranking. There isn't specific SEO stuff in this document. It really talks about how to check if the results are relevant to the query. As John said numerous times, there is no direct influence in this PDF with ranking your web site. A quality rater cannot flag your site as spam or push it down in rankings.

But in any event, it is interesting that John did not read it. He said "I haven't actually looked at those updated quality rater guidelines."

He explained why:

I think it's also important to keep in mind that these quality rater guidelines are used by the teams that kind of rate the the search results when it comes to reviewing different algorithms. And it's important for those quality raters to have the bigger picture in mind and to try to think past just like this query and this page. But kind of look at the bigger picture to see are we really providing relevant results to users for queries like this. And it's not so much that they would go through and say well this website has this thing bad therefor it will rank badly. It's more that they'll look at the algorithms that we give them and say well this algorithm is presenting more relevant results and maybe the other one.

But I haven't actually looked at the details of what's what's all in the new version.

There are debates all over Twitter now, just like whenever Google updates the doc, if it is even worth caring about:

I do think reading this document will lead to people building better sites that Google would be proud of having in their search results.

Anyway, here is the video embed:

Do I blame John for not reading it? Nah - his answers to people's questions in the webmaster community won't change based on him reading the updated document.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: In 2022, this is no longer true:


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