• http://twitter.com/SEODIRECT4U The SEO Geeks

    Very insightful thanks for sharing it with us all.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    It’s an interesting leak but people who think they will be able to tie these guidelines to specific algorithm tweaks and updates are in for a rude awakening. It’s not that simple.

  • Riaan Aggenbag

    Good stuff guys! Who don’t appreciate a little inside information on Google? Can’t wait to see if more is found :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Codex-Meridian/100002285341528 Codex Meridian

    What if quality raters are not expert themselves, are they in the proper position to judge expert content or websites? I found lots of sites in the Internet that are not ranking in Google but ranking well in Bing. The site don’t look very well (dirty design, poor design, website navigation is horrible, etc), but the content is superb.

    What is surprising is that author does not actively participate in social media. Not so much Facebook fans, no Google+ page or Facebook like box, no Twitter connections, etc. The author is introvert. But I do really love the content, the message and the technicality/techniques being employed. I learned a lot by simply reading and get hooked.

    The author is simply an expert. I know that because I am directly practising that profession and made me to judge the quality of the content properly regardless of other factors such as the website looks, links and even its reputation.

    This is simply the worst flaws of the Panda algorithm, and in no way no matter how brilliant the engineers in Google can rank better websites if they based their guidelines based on the above screenshots as shown by Matt Gee.

    Probably that’s the simple reason why I don’t love searching in Google these days. I simply do not like the quality of the search results, I am wondering why but until now I know some partial reason. Probably these quality raters do not have the expertise themselves to rate expert websites. Don’t expect quality results if the measurement system employed is wrong/faulty or inaccurate.

    It takes more than an eye to judge the overall quality of the website. As from the book of Little Prince, I learn this quote:

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357682611 Gordon Campbell

    Hi Codex, that’s an interesting point and one that I agree on. However, I would imagine that several quality raters will review each site and then an average result will be taken.

  • http://www.webstatsart.com/ Webstats Art

    As usual, the leaked documents show that google never gives examples of different quality ratings which means the topic is still subjective. SEO’s never give actual examples either which means the raters are not scientifically trained. They are probably low paid stenographers.

  • http://www.eyes4tech.com/ Arsie

    I do agree on your point here codex.

  • daveintheuk

    This is all very well, but when we see these rules applied to Google’s own properties? How many “Knowledge Graph” units supply anything other than scraped data? How many blank Google+ Local pages with nothing but an address on would be considered of good quality?

    In fact, how would Google’s own SERPs fair now? Dominated by adverts, self interested results and scraped content…

  • http://www.winsonyeung.com/ Winson Yeung

    agree with you too

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357682611 Gordon Campbell

    That’s a good point Dave and I actually carried out a mock test using Google’s own guidelines and done a blog post on it this morning.

  • http://twitter.com/Kevin_Lee_QED Kevin Lee

    Of course the funniest scenario would be where rater’s comments are given little if any weight. ;-) Actually, were I a Google engineer, I’d use the entire ratings platform simply as a way to make my algo’s smarter, and less as a way of influencing rank of specific rated pages.

  • Tom Houy

    I’m surprised this hasn’t surfaced sooner. It was relatively easy to obtain. Regarding the concerns that the quality raters may not be subject matter experts, the same could be said for marketers too though. There is some good material in here, such as how to think about and classify your keyword lists in your paid search campaigns and pair them with appropriate ad copy that matches up the type of user intent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/revaminkoff Reva Minkoff

    Two thoughts:
    1. It will be interesting to see if the weight of the human raters ratings increases now that the criteria has lengthened and become more elaborate. Anyone have any insight accordingly?
    2. Is this criteria just for ads or is it having any effect on SEO as well?

  • Janeth Duque

    We don’t know what Google is doing with the information or rather it’s even used. It’s actually a pretty good guide for building a website.

  • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

    I think the guide is just that a great guide especially for the new blogger to avoid getting hit by Panda. But it is still up to the site owner to make sure they actually have great solid content!

    What is funny is 99% of this is all common sense. Just use your head and don’t try and “game” the system.

    Still an interesting read!

  • http://twitter.com/techgurus Tech Gurus

    Interesting that this proprietary information was leaked. I wonder if Search Engine Land will suffer as a result?

  • http://twitter.com/chillingbreeze Sunita Biddu

    There are actually high chances of having biased quality raters looking at what they find of high value and what not, specially about content…

    In such case, pages/posts with good user discussions stand higher chances. But at the same time, I see lot of great pages/posts keep their comments off to avoid unnecessary spam. Social shares may give better weight to such landing pages.

    So much to discuss and question about the quality rating of any landing page when it comes to a realistic rating.

  • Ryan Webb

    Kevin – I think you just hit it on the head. There is no way in hell that these “human rater” ratings are not being collated, organized, analyzed, and somehow implemented into the algo itself… I believe that to be the “purpose behind the purpose”…. which may or may not be a bad thing –

  • Thomas Møller Nexø

    Great article!

    The problem is that even Google seem to have forgotten about these quality guidelines http://www.winfrastructure.net/article.aspx?BlogEntry=Contradictions-in-Googles-policy-for-search-and-the-content-displayed