• http://twitter.com/ChaseSEO Chase Anderson

    Terrific post – thank you for spending the time to review these in such massive detail!

  • http://twitter.com/jimbeetle jimbeetle

    “But the changes above strongly suggest that this is not the document that its hired human raters will be using, but more of a watered-down, public-friendly version.”

    No, it’s not the document the raters will be using. Google stated up front that “This document is a ‘Cliff’s Notes’ version of our search quality rating guidelines,” and that “it is a summary of the important topics,” and that “The raters’ version includes instruction on using the rating interface, additional rating examples, etc.”

    Ain’t no smoking gun here.

  • Lyndon NA

    Me thinks someone has seen the other versions (bit of a give away really :D).
    Darn fine post (and I bet that was hard work).

    What I don’t understand is why G would provide this under the same label?
    Why not at least give it a different name, or state it was redacted/cutback?
    Instead of looking honest and interested in getting people looking at quality – they now look somewhat slimey and as if they were trying to pull a fast one :(

  • Matt McGee

    Well said, Jim. Agreed.

  • Matt McGee

    No, I don’t think it looks slimy. As Jim points out, and as I include early in the article, they do specifically say this is a Cliff’s Notes of the real thing.

  • Miklin SEO

    wow Google

  • http://www.devdigital.com/ Mitch Ballard

    Excellent article Matt and thanks for sharing such long informative post.

  • http://entertainmentbuzzz.com/ Jia

    I totally agree Jim.

  • Durant Imboden

    You went to a great deal trouble to provide exhaustive proof of what Google had already said it was doing (presenting a ‘Cliff’s Notes’ version of the rating guidelines), but that’s one of the things I like about SearchEngineLand: You folks haven’t bought into the premise that nobody on the Web has an attention span of more than 30 seconds. Good for you!

  • Matt McGee

    Thx Durant. It might be a bit of overkill, but even if they say it’s an abridged version, I think there’s value in looking at how it was abridged.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    “If the page is well-organized and appears to be designed to be
    helpful for users and not just to display ads for users to click on, it
    should be rated based on how helpful the content would be for users.”

    I think it’s interesting that Google added that side note. You’ll notice they said “should be rated” and not “will be”—still leaves a lot of room for interpretation and that’s how some site owners get into trouble. My thought is if you feel like you have to squeeze your site past any of these guidelines by splitting errors you’re probably missing the mark on some level.

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  • http://twitter.com/OurMarketingGuy CallTheMarketingGuy

    Great article, These are healthy changes in my opinion ,and kudos for all your research.

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