Google Announces Changes in Search Quality Raters

Laptop on "search" Google Clone

Google Offers Some Hints About Searches

There are three terms you’ll need to know:

QRGs: Search Quality Raters Guidelines. Google gets feedback from third-party raters, who are real humans who evaluate how useful search results are.

E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. It looks at the site, the author of the content, and the accuracy of the content to judge its validity. Google is looking very carefully at the reputation of information and content creators on websites.

YMYL: Your Money, Your Life. Google looks for signs on a website that may affect “the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users”. Ecommerce sites, medical sites, news websites, and others all fall under this YMYL bracket and are held to a higher “Page Quality” standard. 

Tying QRG, E-A-T, and YMYL Together

Last month, Google announced changes to its QRGs which might give us an idea about the future direction of algorithm changes affecting content and E-A-T.

Google has always included personal information related to “race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity” when identifying groups. Recent additions to group identification include classifications like Caste, Gender expression, Immigration status, Sex/gender, Victims of a major violent event and their kin, and other characteristics associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.

What Does This Mean?

Accuracy is becoming more important – Websites will need to say what they mean and mean what they say. Online statements and website content will need to take into account the perception of the readers, and most importantly, the Quality Raters. Subjects that may cause concern include: 

  • Websites that doxx people
  • Content that can be considered offensive or dehumanizing stereotypes
  • Content that contains instructions on committing suicide or homicide
  • Harmful content that can be easily refuted by widely accepted facts
  • Unsubstantiated theories that are not grounded in facts or evidence