Google redefines Search Quality Evaluation Criteria

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  1. Solaras profile image94
    Solarasposted 2 years ago

    Google search quality evaluator guidelines

    Here is the 172 page PDF link. … elines.pdf

    YMYL has been expanded to include:

    Groups of people: information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their
    kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.

    ● Other: there are many other topics related to big decisions or important aspects of people’s lives which thus may be considered YMYL, such as fitness and nutrition, housing information, choosing a college, finding a job, etc.
    Please use your judgment.

  2. Solaras profile image94
    Solarasposted 2 years ago

    6.4 Distracting Ads/SC (Page 34 of the PDF has links to examples)

    We expect Ads and SC to be visible. However, some Ads, SC, or interstitial pages (i.e., pages displayed before or after
    the content you are expecting) make it difficult to use the MC. Pages with Ads, SC, or other features that distract from or
    interrupt the use of the MC should be given a Low rating.
    A single pop-over Ad or interstitial page with a clear and easy-to-use close button is not terribly distracting, though may
    not be a great user experience. However, difficult-to-close Ads that follow page scrolls, or interstitial pages that require an
    app download, can be truly distracting and make the MC difficult to use. You can see examples of interstitial pages here.
    The content of the Ads, SC, or other features may be distracting as well: sexually suggestive images such as here,
    grotesque images such as here, and porn Ads on non-porn pages should be considered very distracting.
    Finally, Ads and SC can be distracting if the titles or images of the Ads or SC are shocking or disturbing. Here is an
    example of a page with shocking and exaggerated titles, images, and text in the Ads and SC.
    Important: The Low rating should be used if the page has Ads, SC, or other features that interrupt or distract from using
    the MC.

    1. Holly Howard profile image89
      Holly Howardposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Fascinating. Thank you for hunting this down and posting the info. I think that, as is always the case, HP will have to adjust to these new standards and in the meantime we just keep creating and wait for the next wave.

    2. chef-de-jour profile image95
      chef-de-jourposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Well, yes, thank you for this. When the ads are annoying Google gives the page/website a lower rating!
      Plain common sense tells us that the more annoying ads you have the fewer visitors will stay. Likelihood is they won't return.
      I hope and pray that those involved in webpage design and coding, and the ads people,  and management teams...have read this document...and are working round the clock with their common sense fully intact?

      1. Solaras profile image94
        Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I expect that those who run Maven or TAG have given the HP staff a monthly bottom line figure they must meet, by hook or crook. So if page views are down, add more ads to maintain the revenue. Then add sponsored links to content that Google will not rank, so they have to pay others to sponsor it for them.

  3. Rupert Taylor profile image94
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    Solaras thank you for your detective work. The problem is that, as usual, when these missives come out they are in a language I don't speak. SC, MC, interstitial page (even the explanation doesn't help me) are terms I have no familiarity with. What comes to my mind is South Carolina, Master of Ceremonies, and a medical term referring to spaces between tissue.

    Can I distill the whole thing down to "If pages are cluttered with advertisements they will be punished by Google?"

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image91
      Kenna McHughposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That about sums it up.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image68
        Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I completely agree. I was wondering what's  MC, SC and the other words. Also wondering if Rupert's explaination agrees with Google!                                       Whatever the challenge is, let it be. We writers are not dumb and dim witted. We can leverage along that when the sky becomes clear. Cheers!

    2. Solaras profile image94
      Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      MC= Main Content
      SC= Supplemental content (i.e. comments or ads, links to unrelated articles on crummy sites etc.)  That can add to or ruin the main content.

      Interstitial page  is a web page displayed before or after an expected content page, often to display advertising or confirm the user's age (prior to showing age-restricted material).

      So when I go to PetHelpful, there is an Interstitial video: "Welcome to Pethelpful," which is preceded by a video ad, and covers 1/3 of the screen.  That video bar, which greys out 1/3 of the screen, follows me as I read the entire article. To make matters worse there is a banner ad at the bottom, which leaves only half the screen visible to the reader.

      These videos covering the screen are unexpected by the reader, undesirable and give a poor reading experience.

      Once the site, PetHelpful, thinks I have become inactive, it switches to a full page ad, which is covered by the 1/3 page video bar.  The video bar must be closed before the ad can be closed.  It's a total cluster F...

      Some of those links at the bottom of the article are to sponsored content that is completely unrelated to pets, and also are probably composed of misleading titles etc... which is classified as the lowest quality possible, in Google's eyes.

      And we are linking to it, creating a endless downward cycle of trying to improve revenue with sleazy links, while traffic continues to plummet, then a sleazier scheme for higher CPMs and fewer visits , rinse repeat,  until HP niches end up in a vortex. 

      The interstitial ads can't be working as intended, or it is a vile experiment being conducted on one of their better HP properties.

      I am very discouraged.  This smells like Squidoo, grasping for improved revenue, but driving traffic into the ground with each new scheme. First the "Reviews" pages which were of the lowest possible main content quality and now all of these gimmicks that will cause readers to back out of the page, if they ever find it.

  4. JerryFisher profile image92
    JerryFisherposted 2 years ago

    I think this is a 'told you so Hubpages' moment. I've had friends read through some long  articles of mine when asking for improvements and the response hasn't varied. 'Sorry, gave up after trying to step over the ads.' I think I'll give up on continuing editing to try and arrest the steady decline in views as I'm beating a dead horse. Surely the Hubpages team must be aware of page 34. Someone must be paid to follow all Google manuals that come through. But I would have thought common sense and logic would have prevailed regardless.

    1. Solaras profile image94
      Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I'd like to know who is running the ad revenue part of HP.  One person lacking moral compass can do a lot of damage.

      Carly Fiorina nearly put Hewlett Packard out of business by acquiring a failing business, Compaq.

  5. JerryFisher profile image92
    JerryFisherposted 2 years ago

    Only replying to this as it seemed to have disappeared from current forum discussions. Strange?

  6. Kyler J Falk profile image91
    Kyler J Falkposted 2 years ago

    Explain this to a layman who doesn't speak SEO any further than, "Write more concise, and better."

    As I understand it, this is what is being said in relation to HubPages' layout: "Google frowns upon almost everything that HubPages/Maven does with its layout."

    1. Jodah profile image90
      Jodahposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I was lost at YMYL….lol…but understand it all now. Funny how this was all obvious to the authors right from the start that ad overkill and invasive videos wasn’t a good move.

      1. Solaras profile image94
        Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        It is a vicious  cycle more obtrusive ads, pageviews go down, more intrusive ads, page views go down, add more unrelated content links to spammy sites, page views go down. 

        We maintain some semblance of revenue until the bottom falls out -then no page views, no revenue, Squidoo.

        Someone is killing the site to protect their career for a few months longer.

        1. viryabo profile image95
          viryaboposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Oh my goodness!!
          This is getting worrisome.

          1. Eurofile profile image98
            Eurofileposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            This probably explains why my views have taken a nosedive over the past few weeks. On the odd occasion that I have looked at my articles on a niche site I have been frustrated by the number of ads myself. If it added to the revenue I could see the argument, but as revenue is adversely affected, what's the point?

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image68
              Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Yea, it seems the early part of the story "Animal Farm" is being reconstructed or re-enacted. Obviously, Hubpages-Marven regard us writers as fit or good only to laying the golden egg. At the end, we're the loser, in both pageviews and revenue..

  7. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image95
    Kierstin Gunsbergposted 2 years ago

    Huh. My traffic has been on a steady decline since spring - and my earnings too. That's not surprising to me, I've been here in some capacity since HubPage's early days. But it's super clear that the current ad model isn't working for us. Where I was once #1 in the SERPs for my most written keywords, I can't even find myself on page one. The quality of my content and SEO knowledge has only increased over the years so I know that's not the issue.

    1. Solaras profile image94
      Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this


      1. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image95
        Kierstin Gunsbergposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I really do trust that sooner or later, whatever small team is left to manage HP will get the ads squared away. I understand that we're now under a corporate umbrella but it will almost always behoove them to rectify any algorithm trip ups because HP is essentially free money for those at the top. We aren't paid to write, we just get a lil' cut.

        Traffic will rebound in time, once the issues are fixed. As long as there's online content there'll be traffic ups and downs (and yes, income ups and downs too - annoying nature of the beast). That's not to downplay the obvious user experience quality issues here, it's just to say that I've been around here a while and I know there's always light at the end of the tunnel. And then another tunnel.

        1. Jodah profile image90
          Jodahposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I hope you are right, Kierstin. I like to give the benefit of the doubt that they will also get things right in the long run. There have been many changes over the years but HP is still going so I suppose all we can do is wait and see. Still, this is the worst situation I can remember.

  8. Rupert Taylor profile image94
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    Kierstin - I like your optimism, but it would be nice to hear from the poobahs in charge. The silence from head office is unsettling.

    1. JerryFisher profile image92
      JerryFisherposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Also what's unsettling is exactly how many decent writers are still writing for HP. If it's just the handful that are on this forum from time to time, we're in deep trouble. Is there anyway to see an index of current writers?

      1. Jodah profile image90
        Jodahposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        There are a lot of wonderful writers here who never visit the forums, but unless comments return they may not be here much longer. Many were scared off the forums long ago and only communicate through the comments.

      2. Solaras profile image94
        Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        No, not that I know of, but I checked the recent activity of many well known accounts and there was no recent activity.  Some announced their departures, others just slipped away. 

        Folks I miss seeing who have had no activity on their profile: Lean Man, Will Apse, Crazyhorsesghost, Luis E Gonzalez, Ellen Greekgeek, Barbara Kay (Badder) Rebekah Elle, MillionaireTips, Marcy Goodfleisch, DzyMissLizzy, Writer Fox, Dale Hyde, Sherry Hewins, Janderson99.

        And many others. HP staff does the occasional update for them.

        If you are still out there let us know!

        1. Miebakagh57 profile image68
          Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Good to note. Goodnight.

        2. JerryFisher profile image92
          JerryFisherposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Let's add Brandon to that list. He was great to clarify tech issues.

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image68
            Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

            That I agree.

          2. Solaras profile image94
            Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Brandon is still active on his account, I guess he is too busy to come over to the forums.  Hopefully that is good news for him.

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image68
              Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Hope he wades in.


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