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Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and Crystal Balls

A short while back, we discussed search quality raters and their role in upcoming algorithmic changes. While the feedback that these raters provide to search engines, like Google or Bing, does not directly alter the current rankings, what they find online can change the process that ranks pages in the future.

Knowing how these raters do their job and what they are looking for in a website, therefore, is one of the best ways to ensure your law firm’s website will perform well, years into the future.

How Search Quality Raters Fit into the Big Picture

As you’re probably aware, search engines use algorithms to automatically rank the relevance and importance of webpages for a given search query. These algorithms, however, are constantly changing to enhance the search engine’s ability to give users what they are looking for.

Search engines do not change by accident, though. They utilize human eyes to scour the internet, compare similar pages, and rate them against each other and explain what made one page better than the other. The people who do this job are search quality raters.

Search Quality Rater Guidelines: A Look into the Future

Because search quality raters provide the data that will be used to tweak a search engine’s algorithms, knowing what they are looking for in a website can help you prepare your law firm for the future.

It is precisely because this information can help site owners better cater to search engine users that Google releases its search quality rater guidelines to the public, letting webmasters get ahead of their competition while also helping Google improve the web and satisfy its users.

These guidelines are updated and released every year or so, and typically run into the hundreds of pages—the most recent iteration was released in July, 2018, and was 164 pages. Tracking the changes from one set of guidelines to the next, therefore, can work like a crystal ball—they reveal what Google is telling its raters to look out for in a website, which betrays what Google is considering for upcoming algorithm updates.

Google search quality rater guidelines act like crystal balls