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Why Everyone Cares About Google’s New Search Guidelines

Why Everyone Cares About Google’s New Search Guidelines

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Searching for what to get that cool marketing nerd for the holidays this year? It might be too late because Google has already given the perfect gift. For the first time ever, Google has released the full version of its Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines.

Here’s why this is a big deal.

The Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines focuses on understanding user intent behind search queries. Google is constantly honing its algorithm to better understand user intent so it can deliver the best, most relevant content to satisfy users.

Despite Google announcing its new self-learning algorithm – RankBrain, the company still uses real people to rank websites. These ratings don’t impact a page’s standings on the search engine results page (SERP), but they’re a critical piece of information when Google is running experiments and updating its search algorithm.

The guidelines focus on a few key topics:

  1. Page Quality Ratings – Google doesn’t publish their exact search algorithm, but knowing how Google defines quality can help us produce great web content.
  2. Understanding Mobile Users – Focuses on answering the question: What do you do on your mobile smartphone. I have a follow-up piece diving into this section in greater detail.
  3. Needs Met – Does a result meet the needs of the user? As webmasters, our focus here to make deep content that’s accurate and well labeled. Trying to trick users into clicking on your page will end in failure.

This document is incredibly insightful for anyone creating web content because Google is giving you a glimpse into what it finds valuable. As search engine optimizers (SEOs), we strive to decipher Google’s trends and compare them to what we’re seeing with our clients.

An entire cottage industry has sprung up around Google watching as we try to better understand Google’s algorithms. We optimize our client’s websites to mirror what Google finds important.

The Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines allows us to see precisely what Google is looking for in a meaningful web page, today and in the future of SEO.

Knowing the platonic ideal of a “highest quality page” may not seem like a big deal, but if I’m spending hours developing content for a site, I’d be a bad SEO if I didn’t use that information as my goal posts.

Continue reading: Understanding Mobile User Needs

Ryan Chauvin
Ryan is a senior specialist in corporate marketing at Forthea. He’s worked on everything from SEO to social media marketing and he spends his downtime obsessing over the New Orleans Saints on his blog The Black and Gold Review.


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