Google Quality Rater: that’s who determines the ranking of your website

June 8, 2020 @ 3:02 AM By Web Digital Group

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Google appoints “real” people to evaluate whether your content is of good or bad quality. The rules are public. Here are the mistakes not to be made.

Google carefully examines the contents of the websites it indexes. To establish that one page of a site is better than another, Google has set an extremely complex algorithm with its own rules (constantly updated) to establish what is quality content or bad content.

But Google’s automatic evaluation algorithm isn’t the only way to determine the quality of a page and site . On the one hand, Google continually refines its automatic algorithms to establish the quality of content; on the other hand, there are “human” collaborators who manually scroll the websites and establish their quality: these collaborators are the Google Quality Rater .

More precisely, the Quality Rater examine the sites to confirm whether Google’s automatic algorithm has correctly assigned to each page the right quality level, or if the algorithm has been wrong, and in that case they report that the algorithm has not centered the evaluation.

The Google Quality Rater therefore do not judge the quality of a site directly , but indicate the exceptions in the Google evaluation algorithm, while indicating how to improve its automatic evaluations.

The quality rater guidelines

To coordinate the Quality Rater and obtain uniform assessments between them, Google has developed a series of indications and its own rules, namely the Quality Rater Guidelines , which are public and visible. This document is particularly important for those who deal with digital communication, in particular web communication, and in particular those who deal with positioning on Google – SEO  .

It is essential to know what are the criteria according to which Google determines that what you have published is really good quality content, or not. Obviously, it is essential to know this because knowing and avoiding the behaviors considered despicable can bring your digital communication to an excellent level.

Recently, some rules have changed that establish what is a low and bad quality content, or what are the practices, behaviors, omissions that can nip the positioning of your website by SEO.

What is a low quality page according to the quality rater guidelines

In a nutshell, according to the Quality Rater Guidelines (updated to 2019), pages that fail to provide the information they should be considered are low quality pages . This can happen basically for two reasons:

There may not be enough Main Content – MC to adequately satisfy the reader,

Who created the content does not have sufficient expertise on the topic he is dealing with.

In this regard, here is the extract (translated) from the Quality Rater Guidelines:

“A page should be designed to serve a certain purpose. However, a page should be classified as low quality if it does not achieve its purpose correctly because it lacks some kind of contribution; this can happen if the page does not have enough content, or if the creator is not an expert on the theme covered by the page. ”

Why content is classified as low or poor quality

This is an important change. The importance of the authoritativeness of the author is systematically introduced. In more detail, here are some of the checks suggested by Google to its Quality Raters. Quality Raters classify a low quality page if they detect at least one of the following points:

There is an inadequate level of Competence, Authoritativeness, Reliability (in jargon they are indicated with Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, summarized with the abbreviation EAT).

The quality of the main content is poor.

There is an unsatisfactory amount of main content, compared to the purposes of the page

The title of the main content is exaggerated or shocking

Advertisements (Ad) or sponsored content distract from the main content

There is too little information on the website owner or the author of the content, and there is no good reason to remain anonymous

According to research and reputation assessments, the creator of the content or site has a bad reputation on other sites, other pages, other content.

Running one of these ratings results in a low page quality rating. If a page incurs 2 or more of one of these issues, it may be appropriate to assign an even worse rating, i.e. of poor quality .

Clickbait? Poor quality page

Note above all point 4, which is further deepened and clarified in the Guidelines. The reference is to those contents that present excessively sensationalistic titles, aiming to earn clicks only by leveraging the user’s curiosity (“Clickbait”), without actually providing satisfactory content. Google-clickbait posts or articles are now considered low quality, regardless of the actual quality of the content.

On this point, Google underlines more clearly:

“Exaggerated or shocking titles can cause the user to click on certain pages in the search results. But if the actual content doesn’t match the expectations generated by the title, the user experience is one of confusion and disappointment. Pages that have exaggerated or shocking headlines, and that don’t exactly describe the main content, should be rated low. ”

Related Post: SEO and guarantee of the result

Other interesting details from guideline

Here are a number of other recent changes made to the Google guidelines for the Quality Rater, relating to the identification of low ( low ) and bad ( lowest ) quality pages :

  • If the advertisements published on a page have grotesque content, these are to be considered distracting anyway , and therefore the content that hosts them is to be classified as low quality.
  • To assess the reputation of the author of the content, it is necessary to carry out an extensive and accurate research.
  • Identifying the author of the content with an alias / nickname known and used for a long time on the Internet is considered acceptable practice.
  • A page is rated of poor quality when the purpose of the page itself is not well established.
  • Pages “Your Money, Your Life” without information on the author of the content are to be considered of low quality. The “You Money Your Life” pages (often abbreviated with the initials YMYL) are contents that deal with guiding and advising personal choices in terms of money (investments, insurance, banks, etc.) and health / well-being / life. In recent months, this type of content has been controlled and classified by Google with great attention and severity.
  • Outdated website pages should be rated of poor quality if they fail to achieve their purpose due to lack of updating.
  • Pages that promote hatred towards groups of people who are victims of atrocities or based on political, social and economic issues should be classified as of poor quality.
  • Pages that incite to perform (on themselves or towards others) actions that involve mental, physical or emotional damages should be classified of poor quality.
  • Content should be rated of poor quality if the author has a negative reputation or has already published false, inaccurate or slanderous information.
  • Pages with links that are harmful to the user, such as links to downloads of infected malware or software, should be classified as of poor quality.
  • Pages that aim to misinform the user with content that can be shown to be inaccurate should be classified as of poor quality
  • Any page designed to trick the user into clicking on a link should be rated as poor.

All these latter points constitute a new update to the Google Quality Rater Guidelines .

Take care of quality and authority of content

Ultimately, the points listed constitute an extremely interesting update to the content classification rules. They indicate more and more clearly that the quality of the content remains the fundamental point to refer to for a good positioning.

The main novelty is related to the fact that the authoritativeness of the author (expressed in his different ways) plays an equally important role for a good positioning of the site on Google.

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