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Updates to Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines on Sept 5, 2019

     
1:41 am on Sep 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As reported in Search Engine Roundtable... [seroundtable.com...]

Google updated the search quality raters guidelines on September 5th.

Here is the new version. [seroundtable.s3.amazonaws.com...] (Mod's note: direct link to pdf file)

It seems that more emphasis is put on EAT.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:01 am (utc) on Sep 10, 2019]
[edit reason] Noted direct link to pdf, added article source [/edit]

9:54 am on Sept 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Erku, thanks for catching this. If we're going to be using Barry's bandwidth to download the pdf, I'm giving him also a byline and a link to his article and comments in seroundtable....

Google Updates The Search Quality Raters Guidelines On September 5th
Sep 9, 2019
by Barry Schwartz
[seroundtable.com...]

As Barry notes, the update comes 4 months after the previous update in May... which is fairly soon for a Quality Evaluators Guide update. The article cites reviewers who have published or who generally do publish reviews of these Updates. I feel that so far, all of the articles Barry links to are worth reading.

Emphasis in reviewing this ongoing document is about what changes Google makes where. Areas of change suggest where Google has been putting its emphasis in ongoing core algorithm changes.

It's quite clear that high level expertise is increasingly important in Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages or topics.... IMO, the highest levels seem to be in areas which Google feels vital to the functioning of a well-organized society. The guidelines clearly suggest that Google sees different types of expertise, formal and personal, as important for different types of sites, and that these criteria are evolving.

Note (again) that the evaluators do not rank websites... They evaluate how well groups of sites, seen by different algorithms in a blind test, fit Google's evolving criteria of quality as laid out by the Guidelines. In a sense they are evaluating algorithms. To the extent that the algorithms derive from the guidelines, they are also evaluating the guidelines.

3:33 pm on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Whatever they did, I got clobbered.
4:28 pm on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just so everyone knows, the pdf is 167 pages!
10:02 pm on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We just need to learn to work better with EAT and understand it better.
1:03 am on Sept 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We just need to learn to work better with EAT and understand it better.
Erku, IMO, it's not quite so broad and simple as that.

In order to "learn to work better with EAT", I think we need notice that EAT has become much more granular over time, and that Google has given some of those new sub-categories of Expertise, Authority, and Trust specific names and descriptions... and is telling us (and the raters) in the new guidelines how it is regarding these more granular aspects of evaluation.

Important, I think, to pay attention. It may not tell you how to optimize your site, but it may tell you that, if you're not a doctor, you perhaps shouldn't be writing articles in the medical area.

Or... if you've got a site on DIY home improvement, you'd better provide enough detailed and helpful content, say on woodworking and design, that your Expertise and Authority come through, enough so that your readers (and Google) trust you... and also trust any plans or kits or tools you might be selling or advertising.

9:11 am on Sept 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Important, I think, to pay attention. It may not tell you how to optimize your site, but it may tell you that, if you're not a doctor, you perhaps shouldn't be writing articles in the medical area.


That's why I've moved away from medical content, even though I dotted my i's and crossed my t's. Just not worth it. A doctor outranked me for a topic even though his or her information was incorrect, but they had more authority than me. I had quoted multiple sources to back up my claims, but they were a doctor = they were right (even though they weren't).

Interestingly, another doctor took an image of mine (taken by me, edited by me) and posted it on their social media this week. So far, it's been shared 103,000 times. But Google has demoted my article on that topic. That doctor did very well from the photo they pinched.
1:16 pm on Sept 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My take

Nothing new but more confirmation. Stop trying to bump articles that are ranked from #2 to #5 into #1 because they might already be #1 worthy. Instead focus on removing/improving non-competitive pages that essentially act as dead weight for the entire site. Figure out who google thinks is in your "group" of sites too, this is all relative between your site and theirs, between your page and the page google thinks is the competing page on the competitor's site.

You can't ignore your non-competing stuff anymore.
12:50 pm on Sept 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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>You can't ignore your non-competing stuff anymore.

Yes, Yes we can, and you should. We create content for our customers - however we define them.
6:57 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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non-competing stuff

I would phrase it more like the "garbage" parts of a website. Some websites that have been around long enough may have built up some poor quality pages (especially years ago a webmaster chased after certain exploits in Google's algo). These pages can be poorly written, out of date/inaccurate, plagued with errors & broken links, or have other issues that will not deliver a good user experience or make a good impression with potential link partners/social influencers.

I like to think of my sites as brands and I am not afraid to kill off content pages that might not be doing the best job representing that brand.
 

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