Google recently updated its Search Quality Guidelines. The update is user-centric and shows how diversity in users’ language and point of view can change the search result.
Search Quality Rating
Google processes 5.6 billion searches per day, which means that users search the internet for a variety of purposes, right from finding an answer to buying a product online. Hence, it becomes necessary for Google to make sure that all the results appearing on the web are trustworthy and authoritative.
Search Quality Raters are individuals who analyze the actual search results which Google provides them. They then rate the quality of pages that appear in the top results — hence the name “quality rater”. The search results data which quality raters analyze helps Google to improve the efficiency of its search algorithm.
These ratings will help Google evaluate search results quality across the world. Good search engines provide results that are helpful to people, relevant to their location and in their particular language.
A new section named ‘Introduction to Search Quality Rating’ has been added to the Search Quality Rating Guideline, as seen in a screenshot of the document’s section 0.0 below. The section explains why people conduct searches and how they perform them.
The paragraph highlighted in blue explains the complex nature of the search query and how difficult and essential it is to provide the exact result; it sets the tone for the rest of the guidelines.
The line, “Different types of searches need very different search results” indicates that the results should be provided based on the intent of the user’s query. Search queries which involve many perspectives should provide diverse sets of results.
The term ‘user’ is also replaced with ‘people’ in many sections of the guidelines.
For instance, in the current version, section 0.2 has been revised from “Raters Must Represent the User” in the September 5 iteration of the guidelines to “Raters Must Represent People in their Rating Locale.”
Eliminating Biased opinion.
Along with the retitling of Section 0.2, a new paragraph has also been added, which explains that the quality rater must provide unbiased ratings minus any personal opinion or political view.
Definition Section Update
The terms ‘search engines’ and ‘users’ have been added to the important definitions section.
In this section, the quality raters are reminded again that the users are people of different backgrounds and viewpoints: “Keep in mind that users are people from all over the world: people of all ages, genders, races, religions, political affiliations, etc.”
This point is again emphasized in section 12.1
The point highlighted in blue indicates the new addition to the section.
Search Quality Rating Guidelines do not directly impact rankings but help Google in improving the ranking algorithm. Three months ago, Google made an update to the search quality guidelines, which emphasized E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) within “Page Quality” in individual sections.
This update focuses on users who may be different from the quality raters and evaluators; this will help in providing unbiased reviews and ratings. Earlier, Google and Facebook have both faced issues related to providing a biased opinion on certain political news and parties. Ratings on content related to politics is the area where Google expects evaluators to give neutral feedback without any personal opinions.
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