Download and READ Google's latest "Search Quality Rating Guidelines"

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  1. makingamark profile image70
    makingamarkposted 8 years ago

    Read "Updating Our Search Quality Rating Guidelines" - plus comments - on the Google Webmaster Central Blog

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … uscomments

    Ratings from evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, but are used help us understand our experiments. The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want. (my bold)

    You can find the update here (PDF) and DOWNLOAD it … elines.pdf

    I suggest you focus on sections 5, 6 ,7 and 8 initially which are the definitive guidelines from Google as to Highest Quality, Low Quality, Lowest and Medium Quality Pages respectively.

    There are LOTS of examples of different types of pages and why they get the rating they do.

    These address a number of questions which are raised on a regular basis in this forum.

    In addition - in relation to Page Quality (PQ) Ratings - the Guide makes clear (bottom of page 58) the following

    The top three most important PQ considerations are:
    • Quality and quantity of Main Content. Examine the MC carefully. Given the purpose of the page, evaluate the quality and quantity of MC.
    • Level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the page and the website. The level of E-A-T is extremely important for YMYL pages.
    • Reputation of the website. The reputation of a website is very important when the website demands a high level of trust.

    These “top three” considerations will help you rate many or most pages. High or Highest quality ratings must be supported by evidence from at least one of these top three considerations.

    That means, bottom line, in order to get the highest ratings your content needs to meet Google's requirements for high quality content, you need to demonstrate/reference your expertise and why you are an authority and totally trustworthy AND you need to have your content on a site that Google trusts.

    It also makes me wonder whether Hubpages should have ANY hubs on topics which Google think demand the highest level of trust.

    All this explains - in part - why so many people do well when they remove content and place it elsewhere. The creation of a new website or blog has no "history" with Google and you have much more scope to establish why you are an individual who can be considered an expert and trusted. (I do entire "about me" pages on my websites)

    1. relache profile image72
      relacheposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      What if it's not individual Hubs or subdomains that have the trust issues (which is how HubPages approaches the problem) but the fact that HubPages itself has millions of back links pointing to it from thousands of now-untrustworthy sites and a history of poor quality behavior?

      Suppose your site users just went everywhere for several years, back-linking like crazy anywhere they could find on the Internet, and you kept encouraging it, even as whole other sites and social link networks banned your site users and site links as spam. 

      Would disavowing those entire sites a few years later really make your site be perceived of as more trustworthy?

  2. Mark Ewbie profile image83
    Mark Ewbieposted 8 years ago

    I have sort of decided I am not interested in what Google wants.

    I am much more interested in what my visitors want. 

    I largely know what they searched for and what they got. 
    I know whether they stayed, shared or disappeared. 
    I know whether that is reasonable given the content and what they might have been trying to do.

    I also know that however hard Google try they cannot understand and catalogue into an algorithm every aspect of our internet needs.

    The best they can do for people like me is to see if visitors carried on looking or got what they wanted.

    Do I want to create from a manual of dos and donts?

    No thanks.

  3. Mark Ewbie profile image83
    Mark Ewbieposted 8 years ago

    Despite my better judgement I went and had a look.  Even scanning it rapidly took too long - it's over 100 pages!

    It has some poorly drawn stickmen in it to try to break up the text and make it slightly more human.

    It fleetingly mentions art and humour but that is not what it is about.

    Essentially it seems to be Googles rules for MTurkers.

    Here is a little parable concerning me.

    I have spent countless hours reading forums, SEO guides, searching the web, learning HTML and coding stuff, trying to do this that and the other - and it makes no difference.

    I spend five minutes drawing something, put it on Zazzle and some months later sell a tee or a mug.

    I didn't need the latest guru thinking or Google guidelines - and I would have drawn many more pictures if I had spent less time worrying about this crap.

    You can programme the fun out of life.

  4. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 years ago

    You are one of last gentleman players, Mark.

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image83
      Mark Ewbieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks - I think.

      I am vaguely aware of the games and other efforts some people make but I am lazy. 

      The answer seems fairly simple. 

      Don't fake it, do your best, be as genuine as possible.

  5. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 years ago

    Do you need any more rope?

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image83
      Mark Ewbieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      No, that is probably sufficient.  Assuming you were talking to me rather than the guru.

      I am thinking of redrafting my about page to improve my standing in the eyes of the world.

      1. Will Apse profile image88
        Will Apseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I think even Jeremy Corbyn will manage a little bow.

  6. makingamark profile image70
    makingamarkposted 8 years ago


    Section 17 is interesting and the practical examples are helpful for those trying to create informative sites

  7. ChristinS profile image39
    ChristinSposted 8 years ago

    I looked through some of this out of a morbid curiosity I suppose.  I was looking in the "bad examples" section and if you click on the link about the Ginger article as the example of the worst quality content, what should appear but a screenshot of a former Squidoo article. 

    Seeing as how many of these articles were transferred here it does make one wonder.  Not that HP was stellar in quality prior to - it's not me ripping on former squids here promise.... Just pointing out that if Google uses Squidoo as an example in its manual of what not to do - and they know that it was taken over by HP .... just thinking out loud.

    Anyway, no one knows what Google wants.  We can guess and speculate and argue back and forth til we're blue in the face - and to no avail.  Me? I started focusing on quality and developing stuff that people want to share and that works for me.  I'm over trying to play SEO games.  I do what I enjoy, I share it on social media and that's where the bulk of my traffic comes from.  I'd rather enjoy what I do than fret over Google. Just my two cents..

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image83
      Mark Ewbieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      +1 more cent.

  8. makingamark profile image70
    makingamarkposted 8 years ago

    I guess the thing is that most people who are in it for the long haul write about what they like and know about and do it because they want to.

    What survives in the long term is what is good in the first place and only gets better over time.

    The platform is irrelevant in some ways because sooner or later you want it on your own site looking the way you always wanted it to look - and with nobody telling you what to do!

    I only look at the Google guidelines to find out if there are better ways of people finding my material - and finding its presentation and scope satisfying - and to avoid any inadvertent mistakes

    What I mostly learn is that Google thinks pretty much the same way as I do about what good sites should do and what they should look like. It's nice to have my gut feel validated! smile

  9. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 years ago

    There is a lot to learn from that document but it is hard if you have decided that you are already perfect and none of it applies to you.

    One thing for sure, a depressingly large amount applies to this site as a whole.

  10. makingamark profile image70
    makingamarkposted 8 years ago

    I've only dipped in so far (it's far too long to have read thoroughly and digested!). However I've not found anything at all I disagree with. Absolutely zip! Everything they say seems eminently sensible to me.

    Maybe that as a statement would help you to better understand where I'm coming from?

    Can you explain which bits apply to this site given it explains how to rate everything from the totally wonderful to the absolutely abysmal?

  11. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 years ago

    I decided to give myself a reprieve with that stuff. It gets too depressing and it is Saturday. Even internet moles like me like to blink at the sun on a Saturday.

    One thing I noticed a while ago is this (adjust number as you wish).

    There are nearly 200,000 pages of Q&A. I thought HP only had around 250,000 pages in total?  If that is true it means Q&A outnumber articles 4 to 1.

    Some of those Q&A pages are informative. Most will certainly fail the 'satisfying main content' criteria in that raters doc.

    Our lovingly crafted pages are mixed in with this:

    I have a feeling that the site will sink or swim on Q&A.

    Anyway, enough of that. I am getting out my dark pebble glasses and risking the exterior.

    1. makingamark profile image70
      makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this


      I've never been able to understand how a site which preaches so much about quality content allows so much apparently unmoderated rubbish on the site because it happens to sit under a different 'heading'.

      This is exactly the sort of thing that any decent search engine would turn its nose up at!

      1. Will Apse profile image88
        Will Apseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Articles go through QAP and they are assessed reasonably well in my view (I know a lot of people disagree but it is certainly better than nothing). Q&A is just a sink of vacuous nonsense at best.

        The silliest thing is that HP allow people to earn from Q&A. It encourages huge piles of dross to build up.

        Then they mix Q&A into the folders that contain our pages. Madness.

        Q&A really should be walled off in a very tall, very sturdy silo. Preferably South of Tierra del Fuego.

        1. makingamark profile image70
          makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I've always thought Q&A should just be deleted and sunk without trace

          You simply can't claim to have a quality site and a section with content like Q&A

  12. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 years ago

    One of the notable trends in HP's approach to getting back in Google's good books over the last year is the focus on high traffic pages. HP believes the route to success is upgrading the best pages.

    I am not taking issue with this. Google raters will only ever encounter the top hubs, for example. Most of the user metrics that Google collects will be for the top hubs (nobody visits the really poor hubs because Google excludes them).

    This does not mean that the rest of the site is not crawled by Google algos.

    Panda, Penguin,  the various spam filter algos, all look at the site from top to bottom.

    When Panda emerged, the received wisdom was that the lowest quality pages had the biggest impact on Panda's assessment. The received wisdom may have changed and may never have been right in the first place but...

    The lower reaches still matter.

    1. makingamark profile image70
      makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Totally absolutely 100% agree - the mark of the quality of a site is the WORST content on it - not the best.

      (It's a mantra I convey to artists all the time on my blog and websites. If you submit a portfolio of artwork to a competition, the tendency is to judge you by the worst work not the best. If you want to impress then the whole portfolio has to be the very best you can do!)

      My understanding has always been that the only thing HubPages dislikes more than **** content is content which is apparently hidden from view. Must try and find the bit in the guidelines which talks about hidden webpages.......

      Of course if HubPages takes action on this then a number of things might happen. For example:
      * hubs previously unfeatured might now be unpublished
      * the servers might be dominated by unpublished and inactive hubs rather than active ones. It might be time to implement an 'age' policy for how long people have to got to upgrade hubs and republish or remove them from the site.
      * There may need to be a review of how quality is being assessed and the means used to do this.
      * the business model might be smashed to smithereens. In principle, I'm guessing 80% of the income comes from 20% of the site - but it's never easy to lose any income.

      1. Will Apse profile image88
        Will Apseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        '80% of the income comes from 20% of the site - but it's never easy to lose any income.'

        That might be the rub. When survival is the issue, cutting anything at all might be just too hard to do.

        Anyway, the best we can do in these forums is offer some food for thought.

        p.s. Apologise to Mark for me when you see him. I was rather rude.

        1. Mark Ewbie profile image83
          Mark Ewbieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          No problem Will.  That's what the forums are for.

          1. Will Apse profile image88
            Will Apseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            You are a gentleman, Mark.

            By the way, why is no one turning up to defend Q&A? Someone must think it's a good thing.

            1. makingamark profile image70
              makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Obviously not!

              Now I shall return to my best efforts at writing a blog post about what the Guidelines mean!


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