A lot has been made of the current update to the Google Quality Raters’ guidelines that were recently leaked once again. It begs the question. Who are the quality raters anyway?
About 10 years ago, Google created a worldwide focus group, now several thousand strong, of people from around the world to help review its search results and the quality of the web pages that rank well in its algorithm. They serve as a human feedback and check and balance system to the electronic algorithm.
Quality raters do not work for Google. Instead they are contractors for companies such as Lionbridge, Leapforce, and Butler Hill among others.
Raters are provided one keyword and one URL and then asked to rate the relevance or utility of the website to the intent of the keyword and if it is relevant to the searchers desire to do or know something or to go somewhere. Raters can also determine that the URL is spam.
Google has very high expectations of its raters. They are judged on the number of URLs they can evaluate in a given hour. This means that a rater may only spend two to three minutes on your site. First impressions are very important.
While Google Quality Raters don’t directly impact how a page ranks in the search engines, SEO professionals can glean new insights into what Google deems high quality relevant websites from the guidelines. The quality raters’ guidelines that were recently leaked can offer ways to improve your website and consequently help it rank higher in the search results.