What Are Google Quality Raters And Are They The End Of SEO?

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Marketing, SEO [ 1 Comment ]

While Google does rely heavily on automatic computer-based algorithms to help them come up with search engine rankings, they also rely on Google Quality Raters. These raters are hired as contractors to conduct in-depth Internet based research and evaluate websites based on a set of guidelines set by Google. One of their main goals is to access whether or not a website is breaking the rules or using some kind of unethical SEO tactic. Google trusts their raters, which therefore makes them very important to the search engine rankings process, but are they that important that they could be the end to SEO?

Well, while Google Quality Raters have an important job of helping to control the quality of search engine results and boosting sites that are deemed more useful than others, the are in no way an end to SEO. They do, however, bring a new perspective to SEO and how website owners must think when optimizing their sites.

Image Credit: http://blogoscoped.com/

Google Quality Raters add a human touch and opinion to search results, which could result in a world of different scenarios and outcomes. With human judgement comes human error, biased opinions and just plain ignorance. For instance, raters could be in a bad mood or not like the topic of your website and thus rate your website accordingly. Ever worse, raters could not be aware of all of the rules and could unintentionally sabotage your website (or even intentionally if they’re just not a fan). This really changes SEO because your website is now in the hands of a complete stranger with a powerful position.

No longer do websites owners have to focus on just optimizing their sites for search engine robots. Internet marketers and Web professionals have taken years to learn the ins and outs of SEO based on Googlebot and crawlers; many have no idea that humans are involved now as well. While not all websites may go through the rating process, a great deal do. For instance, if your site is flagged for suspicious activity, you can be sure that it will be viewed by a human before being totally banned from Google or given a second chance. While Google Quality Raters could hurt your site though, they could also help you by proving your innocence to Google and getting your website back in good standings.

Image Credit: http://blogoscoped.com/

If you want to take preliminary measures and further optimize your site, then it’s a good idea to know the rules. While the Guidelines for Quality Raters is not readily available by Google, it was leaked a few years back and can still be found lingering around. The version is a few years old, yet it still gives you an in-depth look at the general guidelines Google Quality Raters have to follow and the things they’ll look for in your website.

So again, are Google Quality Raters the end to SEO? No they are not, but they do make things more complicated. Just when website owners thought that they had figured it all out, Google threw in a monkey wrench and gave us even more to worry about. On the other hand, while it is OK to be worried, don’t stress yourself out too much about it. Google Quality Raters have been around for a few years now. So if you’re website hasn’t suffered in the past few years, you probably won’t be too affected in the future unless you change you drastically change your techniques and your morals.

This was a post sent to us by Lior Levin who is an advisor to an applicant tracking software startup company from New York and also works closley with the MA Israel school in Tel Aviv University

One thought on “What Are Google Quality Raters And Are They The End Of SEO?

  1. Pingback: In-House SEO: An Interview With Gordon Magee of Drs. Foster and Smith – Marketing Pilgrim : SEO Blogger Tips | Free SEO Tips and Resources |

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