Download The Latest Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines

We have been tipped off to a revised Google Quality Rating Guidelines handbook that has been leaked. It has been over three and a half years since we last saw a leaked Google Quality Raters Handbook and that document was from back in April 2007.

Pot Pie Girl found a copy of the March 30, 2011 version 3.18 of the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines handbook used by Google Search Quality Raters around the world. It’s 125 page long, and you can find it linked off their post here.

We’d had it posted earlier ourselves, but Google said that it was a copyrighted document, and since he hadn’t done any fair use work with it (such as excerpting it), so that we needed to remove it from our site or we’d get a formal legal request. So head to Pot Pie Girl if you want it, for as long as it’s there.

Clearly, there are a lot of good tips on what Google considers to be quality versus not quality. What you can learn from documents like this is how Google classifies types of content and pages.

Understanding how Google quality raters are trained and how they work can be useful for all SEOs.

Hat tip to E Brundige.

Related Stories

Image from MedusArt/Shutterstock.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Search Quality Raters | Google: SEO


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Jon

    It is interesting, and reassuring, to read some of those guidelines. I wonder though how often the quality rater does get it wrong? Some of the items that Google has emphasised could suggest that these are areas that in the past a manual reviewer has just got wrong – such as lots of adverts, using affiliate links etc.

  • Brian Nelson

    If Google forbids you from publishing it due to the fact that it is one of their copyrighted documents, then that makes it legit. Went and grabbed it straight away. I would advice anyone else who wants to see it do so as well.

  • Nicole Miller

    @Brian Nelson, had searchengineline not published the copyright infringement tidbit, I would have never believed this document belonged to google since there’s nothing in it to support that claim. Nothing I could find, anyway.

  • T.C.V.

    This is either the best link bait ever, or you really don’t know that you’ve published an article that links to nothing but a 404 page. No guidelines in sight. ;)

    Don’t spose you have a link for the PDF that still works?

  • Robin Good

    @Brian Nelson thank you for your recommendation. I would really like to research this document in depth but I got here too late to see it. If you want to reach out for me on Twitter or Facebook, I am always “RobinGood” and would very much appreciate your help on this.

    Many thanks

  • robinlmay

    Does anyone have a copy of this doc they could send over. I’d like it for light reading !! LOL I tried PotPieGirl, but google asked that it be removed from her site based on the same legal issues.. Anyways, if you want to share – email it on over !!

  • Nicolas Sacotte

    @Barry, there was another one, leaked in 2009…. ;-)


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide