Google Updates Search Quality Raters Guidelines On October 14th

Oct 15, 2020 • 7:11 am | comments (3) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google has just updated the Search Quality Raters Guidelines PDF. The last time it was updated was on December 5, 2019, which was 10 months and 10 days ago. The new date on this document is October 14, 2020. It has been expanded from 168 pages to 175 pages.

I have not gone through the document to see what has changed but Google has clearly added a number of new things and made several changes.

You can compare the two documents yourself, from when Google updated them on December 5, 2019:

I have not seen anyone publish the change log with the documents yet, when I do, I can add links here.

I did run it through a scanner, and according to the scanner, there were 281 content replacement changes, 233 content insertions and 209 content deletions. Most seem stylistic.

Google added a section to explain the role of examples in these guidelines. Google also moved the section about the relationship between page quality and needs met. Google also added a section for rating dictionary and encyclopedia results for different queries.

Google did add a "change log" section on the final page, page 175. Here are the changes:

  • Added note to clarify that ratings do not directly impact order of search results
  • Emphasized 'The Role of Examples in these Guidelines' as an independent section in the introduction
  • Added clarification that Special Content Result Blocks may have links to landing pages; added illustrative example
  • Updated guidance on how to rate pages with malware warnings and when to assign the Did Not Load flag; added illustrative examples
  • Changed the order of Rating Flags section and Relationship between Page Quality and Needs Met section for clarity
  • Added 'Rating Dictionary and Encyclopedia Results for Different Queries': Emphasizes the importance of understanding the user intent and query for Needs Met rating; added illustrative examples
  • Minor changes throughout (updated examples and explanations for consistency; simplified language regarding raters representing people in their locale; fixed typos; etc.)

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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