Google wants to love you…so, let’s make it easy for them.
Summary: Google updated it’s Search Quality Evaluator Guide and released it 27 July 2017. Primarily the Guidelines cover Page Quality (PQ) rating and Needs Met (NM) rating, the concepts within the guide are also put to use across a wide range of rating tasks.
The “raters” orient to a purpose; [to evaluate search engine quality around the world].
Users (those using search engines and from there landing on pages) around the world should be able to get results that are useful to them in their selected language and location. If this is done then their Needs would’ve been Met (NM).
A Glossary before you go too far: We’re not going down a rabbit hole into technical terms!
- Webmaster; is someone responsible for website maintance. It’s you or another, if you own a website then you are the webmaster.
- Website; yeah I know, you know this already, humour me anyway. A website or site is a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization. Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, YouTube, etc.
- Hyperlink; it is a computing word, a link that refers the reader somewhere else by clicking, tapping or hovering. Hyperlinks may point you to a complete document or part of it. If you click on the underlined “Hyperlink” word you’ll see what I mean.
Ok, that’s close enough to that hole..!
If You Know this – You’re going to be OK.
If you know; Google has what it calls a “Search Quality Rating Program.” You can access it and inform yourself the role as a Webmaster.
- Google is all about presenting a quality experience to it’s users and this intiative focuses on two functions; seach engine quality and page quality related to user experience, they’ve a lengthy manual/guide for use by thousands of quality raters when doing reviews.
- A full copy of it can be found here.
Be warned, it’s long – 160 pages. But; It’s useful to have as a reference doc, there’s a clickable index which will take you to things you might want to know. And it’s loaded with examples of page quality characteristic from Lowest to Highest.
4 Website & Page Mistakes
The first mistake isn’t at all, is it? Neither is number 4, it’s fraud!
- Intentionally set out to harm your users, deceive them, or make money with no attempt to help users.
- Fail to make it clear who is responsible (Webmaster) for the website, it could be an individual, company, business, etc.
- Also failing to make it clear who created content on the pages. Pages should show who created the content, the individual, company, business, etc. Nearly all websites have “contact us” or “about us” or “about” pages that provide information about who owns the site. Users can be added to the site then given a role. Subscriber, Author, and etc.
- Do you create fake reviews for your site, and or employ someone to do so? Google’s reviewers are urged to be skeptical of both positive and negative reviews particularly where there are but a few of them.
Google stresses importance on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
The amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) that a webpage, website has is very important. Main Content quality and amount, website information, and website reputation all form the E-A-T of a website.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)…something to keep in the forefront of your mind when it come to page content and ultimately site quality. Read up on this in section 3.2 page 18 of the document here.
Page Purpose (HELP)
As long as it is determined that the page is there to help users then google doesn”t, as a result, consider any page purpose to be superior than another.
“What’s the purpose of this page?” A question all raters will ask themselves of the page they’re reviewing from a quality stand point.
It’s actually nice to know that when you create a page with the purpose of helping, and that you present it in such a way it’s easy for them to access the help they are looking for your page is then then considered no less worthy than any other, even, an encyclopedia page.
A page from encyclopedia Britanica is not considered superior to that of “Bill’s Satirical Weekly”, if such exists, providing Bill has done everything to make his page genuinely helpful to the user.
What’s Helpful? (Google Says)
Let’s refer to the evaluators guide.
Common helpful page purposes include (but not limited to):
- To share information about a topic.
- Government agencies do this.
- Review Blogs and posts.
- To share personal or social information.
- Facebook and other Social Media Platforms for example.
- To share pictures, videos, or other forms of media.
- To express an opinion or point of view.
- Blog posts.
- To entertain.
- YouTube, Vimeo.
- To sell products or services.
- Shopify shops
- To allow users to post questions for other users to answer.
- Training Blogs
- To allow users to share files or to download software.
Webmasters and what they directly control
As the creator of this page I have direct control over the content.
By placing images, text, pages feature ( e.g., calendars, graphs), I am working with Main Content (MC)…these bits and pieces directly help me achieve the purpose of the page, helping you.
If I were to add a link to some other parts of my site, internal linking, that would be considered “Supplementary Content (SC)” and would give you the user a better experience.
Would it help this page directly achieve its purpose? No!
Even the content behind those links may in some cases be considered part of the SC of the page.
Damn, it is easy to go off on a tangent here. The point is; all these things are part of what you as Webmasters control.
They are very important to the user and their experience.
Webmasters can choose to place Ads on their pages.
Google certainly recognises Websites cost money to build and maintain. Without this any number of them wouldn’t exist. They say the “presence or absence of Ads is not by itself a reason for a High or Low quality rating.”
You cannot create high quality content without investing money.
As far as their evaluators guidline is concerned, “we will consider monetized links of any type to be “Ads”.”
Summary: If you’re intent is to help and you follow through with it by setting up your pages in a way that the Needs of the user is Met then you’ll be on the right track. I hope this post has alerted you to two things.
- There’s such a thing as page quality rating.
- Your pages and websites must be helpful to users who’re coming to have their Needs Met.
Feel free to comment below, give me your feedback, thoughts and questions if you have any.
Thanks for reading. James