Google is considering offering its search quality rating guidelines to the public. The news comes near the end of the latest webmaster video just posted today on YouTube.
In it, Google’s Matt Cutts answers a question about how Google uses the data it collects from its human search evaluators — in short, “those folks don’t influence our algorithm in any direct sense,” Cutts says. But near the end of the video, Cutts talks about the possibility of sharing its search quality guidelines with the world. It comes at about the 2:20 mark:
“We might be able to make those human quality rater guidelines — that we make available to people at Google — available to the larger world. I think that would be a good thing, because then people would be able to read through it.”
Google has been using human quality raters for at least the past seven years (see my story, An Interview With A Google Search Quality Rater, for more on the program). The search quality guidelines document that they use has leaked a couple times, but stayed mostly within the SEO industry. The most recent leak involved version 3.27 of the document, which is date-stamped June 22, 2012. That version of the document is 161 pages long.
About four years ago, Google released an SEO starter guide, and the search quality raters’ guidelines would complement that document well.
Here’s the full video that I referenced above: