Google Updates Search Guidelines

Google has issued an update to its search quality guidelines, and the documents are set to be a bumper read clocking in at a massive 164 pages.

The document is issued to the company’s network of more than 10,000 search quality raters worldwide. These paid raters are given actual searches to conduct that are drawn from popular searches that happen on Google. They then rate the quality of pages that appear in the top results.


Adding biography of contributors

Whilst the document is sent exclusively to the tester group, many elements of the guidelines do leak into the public domain. In the new guide, there is a focus on quality, both for the site and for writers of blogs and other supporting materials within the site.  Leaked extracts of the report suggest that customers should be looking to add bios of authors to their site, as well keeping an eye on the reputation of outside contributors. This doesn’t apply just to written content, but other types of content as well, such as videos and social media.


Add pages for user experience, not just Google Searches

Google’s search raters are also being encouraged to mark down pages that do not add new information or opinion, and solely exist for click bait reasons or to further a set of keywords.  Whilst useful and detailed content is encouraged, there is a move away from the low-quality searches.


Can the raters at Google de-list my pages?

Whilst the raters do not have the power to delist searches themselves, their data helps inform the changes that Google makes to its search algorithm. This should mean that lower quality sites should be listed further down the SERPS or completely delisted in future.


Google public URL submission tool closed

In related news, the California-based search company has also announced that it will drop the ability for public URL submissions. The move doesn’t affect logged in webmasters who are still able to suggest individual pages and entire sitemaps through the Search Console’s Fetch as Google tool or via sitemaps submission.