Sgt_Kickaxe - 12:30 pm on Sep 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Is Google also using human raters to directly change the rankings of specific sites in a positive way or is this done only through the algo?
Only Google knows for sure but...
- Several raters must rate a page before the rating is accepted
- Something algorithmic determines when a page is up for review
So from that limited information I would think that pages come up for review when the algo decides a page *might* be worthy of page one results. If the raters think so too welcome to the club. If the raters don't think the page is prime time material, and you accumulate many of these unworthy pages, then the entire site might struggle.
That's a simplified version of how I would do it anyway. Keeping the number of low quality pages to an absolute minimum has always served me well and I use googlebot noindex meta tags quite liberally on my own sites. I suspect it's also how Google trims the spam out of their index after an algo update since some always seems to float for a day or two afterwards.
tip: keep an eye on which pages google does not send traffic to. If a page hasn't received traffic from Google in some time it's safe to remove it from the index with a googlebot noindex tag until you improve it or delete it.