WTF are Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Understanding what Google wants (sort of)

We can read Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines to get an idea about what Google favours.

In these guidelines, Google specifies what they want to see – and implicitly how to be successful with SEO. At the time of writing, this is the latest version: 20th June 2018.

It is a 164 pages PDF that might be worth your time. And if you don’t have time, check this summary by SEMPost.

Mainly, I would like you to understand E-A-T, content quality and context.

E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.”

Quote from the guidelines:

Remember that the first step of Page Quality rating is to understand the true purpose of the page. Websites or pages without some sort of beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, or pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the Lowest rating. For all other pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important. Please consider:

  • The expertise of the creator of the main content.
  • The authoritativeness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, and the website.
  • The trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, and the website.

This is especially true for “Your Money or Your Life” website. This is:

  • medical
  • financial
  • legal

Hence, why so many pages in the health niche got hit recently.

In short, this what the guidelines tell you about content quality. Quote:

What makes a High-quality page? A High-quality page should have a beneficial purpose and achieve that purpose well. In addition, High-quality pages have the following characteristics:

  • High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
  • A satisfying amount of high-quality main content, including a descriptive or helpful title.
  • Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfying customer service information.
  • Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the main content on the page. Positive reputation of the creator of the main content, if different from that of the website.

However, the quality rater guidelines are NOT the algorithm. Without AI can never truly understanding authority and trustworthiness. That is why there are hundreds of ranking factors trying to break this complicated topic into measurable parts.

As SEOs, we optimized our content, on-page signals, technical infrastructure and backlinks because Google’s algorithm considers those factors to determine a ranking.

However, are looking for a nice read at night? Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines might just be what you have been looking for.

Reach out to learn more about our SEO services, talks and digital trainings.

Author: Viola Eva

Viola is passionate about digital entrepreneurship, flow, and mindful marketing. As a marketing consultant and SEO, she has worked with clients ranging from individual digital entrepreneurs to software companies to multi-national corporates and government institutions. She is a speaker, educator, and specialist on all things SEO.

3 Replies to “WTF are Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines

  1. I’m unable to understand this EAT process. None of the three are related to content but the writer. How would Google know if a writer is EAT or not? It should be the content that matters and not the author? This is what co-relational SEO also tells us?

    These quality rater guidelines seem to be very old when Google started using authorship rich snippet.. just my thoughts.

    But as always, your article is on top .. written straight from the heart. Keep it up 🙂

  2. Hahaha… this is what Google tells us.
    And something that a lot of drops in rankings for “Your money, your life” websites that got hit in the last two months. We (as users) and Google, too, want to know if an author is trustworthy when talking about medical, financial or legal topics. That is why citing relevant sources is becoming more important, too.

    What is your experience with E-A-T?

    1. Most of my experience is with technology related websites. In my opinion “website trust” and “website relevance” to the topic of search is weighted more than the author’s trustworthiness. So my strategy is to create content related to one topic and make Google “assign” a category to the website. SILO is the way to go like you explained it in your post.

      So I would attribute EAT to the website rather than a specific author. What do you say about this?

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