View Full Version : Leaked Google Doc Offers New Insights
11-14-2011, 01:38 PM
A few weeks ago, a Google employee accidentally leaked their 2011 Raters guide. This is the document that their quality raters use to know how to evaluate websites. Yes, real people are spot-checking the algo for quality.
There are 2 posts in particular that do a good job of explaining everything in this 125-page document.
Pot Pie Girl (http://www.potpiegirl.com/2011/10/how-google-makes-algorithm-changes/) - PLEASE keep in mind that Pot Pie Girl does a LOT of supposing :)
SEOMoz (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/16-insights-into-googles-rating-guidelines?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=16+Insights+into+Google%27s+Rating+Guidel ines&utm_content=Moz+Top+10+-+November+2011%2C+Issue+1&utm_campaign=Moz+Top+10+-+November+%231) - They have a more straight forward approach.
11-15-2011, 09:55 AM
In the SEOMoz article, #6 & #14 were especially interesting. #6 talks about intent of keywords and characterized as Do/Know/Go making it even more important to optimize web pages for keyword intention (looking for information, ready to buy, etc.).
In #14 they say that the document says, “If a page exists only to make money, the page is spam” is somewhat disturbing considering that these raters are making this determination. Surely they don't give the spam rating to product pages on ecommerce sites or sales pages in general whose only purpose is to sell a product and (gasp!) make money. Would that mean that 99% of all Google SERPs are spam?
11-15-2011, 10:01 AM
Yeah, I agree. I just posted an article (http://www.marketingwords.com/blog/?p=1609) about this on my blog.
Well, with the moneymaking thing, keep in mind that they also said this dealt with "ads without value." Their post read:
When Google says “only to make money”, they seem to be saying money-making without content value. It’s ok to make money and have ads on your page, as long as you have content value to back it up. If you’ve just built a portal to collect cash, then you’re a spammer.
11-15-2011, 10:10 AM
The operative phrase from SEOMoz is "they seem to be saying..." -- an educated assumption for sure, but nonetheless, an assumption and with G you never know for sure and with any one individual rater? If you and me and 10 raters all looked at the same 10 pages, would we all agree?
11-15-2011, 10:17 AM
You are correct. This is an internal handbook so it is written for humans. And yes, for anyone who doesn't know, Google does have human reviewers now. They do not review every single web page, but they sort of spot check them.
I don't know if they review web pages as a group or not. I would think so from reading stuff like "if they all agree" and whatnot in the other posts I've seen. But that, too, is a guess :)
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