quality raters

What Role Does the “Quality Raters” Play in Algorithm Rules?


Google team has always been doing their best to have an efficient search engine that can generate valuable results and answer every user’s query in the web. And notably, with the current initiatives and/or changes that they are taking to enhance it, the goal to provide the users with what they are looking forward to and safeguard the interests of the webmasters, they’re getting nearer to the accomplishment of their goal.

One proof is the latest interesting Webmaster Help Video which has somehow triggered the webmasters to wonder what role does the “quality raters” really play or how are they evaluating or reviewing the search results and other relevant matters related thereon to enhance quality user-search experience.

Here’s the video:

 The question for which the discussions of Matt had focused on is:

question to Matt

This is the reason why I read articles about “quality raters”, specifically, the previous post from the Search Engine Land in which the content is about an interview with a human quality rater who belong to the group of raters reviewing the search results, and evaluating whether or not they are matching with the query or are focusing on the development of quality user search experience. It simply wants us to realize that having a “quality controller” in a company is a must or gravely necessary so we’ll be able to have “high rates” for our posts or feeds the moment the raters begin their job.

See how Google implements its current change:

You will see below the role of the rates and the process on how they implement the algo changes.

search testing
Source: Google.com

More about this on how Google search works.

Another critical matter which Matt had clarified is:

Do human quality raters influence the site impacted by Panda Update?

Matt said that the raters don’t directly influence the algorithm changes because such matter is actually based on the engineers’ ideas, or belong to their job in coming-up with new plans to implement. The main purpose of quality raters, thus, is to look at the two sides of the search results (the left side and the right side), and assess which one is valuable and what is irrelevant. In the case of irrelevant items, the Google takes their feedback so as to know whether the algorithm is working accordingly or not. Congruently, if a rater says that he doesn’t like a site, that does not basically mean that he will rank it lower, he will only be giving feedback to the engineers of Google who are tasked to ensure that the algorithm is working smoothly based on their intuition. Matt Cutts also noted that the raters are not responsible for voting down a website; they are, again, simply knowing whether the ranking goes accordingly with the overall page quality. Matt had likewise mentioned that they would be making the “raters’ quality guidelines” available to the public soon, and that’s one beneficial thing if the users will be able to read it too. That, however, a was not considered in the past according to him.

So, just to simplify these things, here are the summary of the important points given by Matt:

human quality raters

Google’s “Quality Raters” don’t directly influence the [formulation of] algorithm rules or updates, it is the call of the search engineers to implement the algorithm change or they are the one who comes up with the change;

The rates have nothing to do with the ranking of the sites; they just give feedback;

The feedback from the raters are being considered or used by the algorithm engineers whenever they’re analyzing the effectiveness of the algorithm changes or if it is working accordingly;

Left or negative side of the raters’ feedback does not necessarily mean that the site will then rank lower;

Google will soon provide human quality rater guidelines to avoid misconception from the webmasters and to let the users know how the search results are being evaluated before feeding such to them.

Here’s My Brief Analysis:

• Matt says that the raters don’t “directly” influence the rules and updates, but does that mean that they still “indirectly” affect how the engineers are making new developments in the search engine?

• If they have nothing to do with the site’s ranking, then for what purpose is their feedback intended to? Their feedback, I believe, is one basis of the current rules and updates in the search engine, and such updates have sometimes bad effects to the status of the sites.

• Does the left side or negative feedback cannot affect the site’s status since it does not mean low evaluation or ranking for the site? How can the raters say that something is to be included in the left side? Do they have an objective basis? • Do the future guidelines include the bases of webmasters to ensure that their posts are of high quality or value for the raters? Or we’ll just stick to the “quality guidelines” previously provided?

How will you ensure “high quality” in your posts to have good response from the raters? Here are my simple recommendations:

• Have an interesting yet relevant title and lead – these two are the two parts of an article which you must seriously pay attention for since they’re the ones attracting or getting the attention of the readers. You should be creative and flexible, however, because the title and the lead of your content are based on the topic you intend to write about.

• Ensure the value of your content – make your content valuable so it can hold the readers’ interest until the end paragraph of your article. The value here means that your content must be timely, informative, and entertaining.

• Be direct, clear, and concise in giving your points – don’t make your points vague for the readers won’t be able to comprehend what you really mean, nor have irrelevant words or terms to convey an idea for that will only irritate them. By being short and straight to the point, you can avoid undesirable response from the users.

• Don’t preach; write an article in a friendly and entertaining tone – don’t preach a gospel; teach a new lesson instead. As you know, readers don’t want to be underestimated by making your article a somewhat “dictatorial”. Learn how to play your thoughts smoothly so you’ll not end up offending them.

• Observe consistency in your posts – it simply means that you have to update your content and follow the same format in writing your article. Why? Because that’s one way of giving what the users want and building your identity among them.

Matt Cutts was really true when he said that “there’s nothing to worry about” because the role of the “quality raters” do not really matter if you’re certain that what you regularly provide for the users is of high quality or valuable for the search engine to consider in their succeeding updates. So never worry about the raters, think about how can you provide what the Google and the users want!

Questions, feedback or ideas? Just share it below.


SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder. “Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”