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Google Raters Guide: Ratings Don’t Directly Affect Rankings

Matt Cutts: Just a quality control measure for the algorithm team

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Google Raters Guide: Ratings Don’t Directly Affect Rankings
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Earlier this year, following the initial roll-out of the Panda update, Google’s Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal did an interview with Wired, in which they talked about people they had rating search result quality.

Last month, the raters handbook was leaked. Morris Rosenthal had some interesting things to say about it here.

The raters are discussed a bit more in this video from Google:

Cutts and Singhal spoke together at PubCon this week. Here some takeaways from their keynote discussion (which includes talk about algorithms in testing, which would focus more on sites with too many ads above the fold).

Matt Cutts was reportedly talking about the raters guide at a PubCon networking event. In the WebmasterWorld forums (via Barry Schwartz), user Tedster says the following clarifications came from Cutts:

Webmasters tend to put a slightly skewed angle on this. The quality raters are actually rating a SERP (that is, a particular algo configuration) as a quality control measure for the algo team. Their ratings do not directly change rankings- but they hep the algo team see if the algo worked as planned or not.

Also, note that this document is not for the spam team. They also have a training document and use human quality raters – but that document has never been leaked.

While it may not hurt to pay attention to this handbook, I would consistently refer back to that set of questions Google put out earlier this year. That “above the fold” stuff is right in line with some of the stuff on that list.

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Google Raters Guide: Ratings Don’t Directly Affect Rankings
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  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    I find it very interesting that Google would say such a thing when I’ve seen direct evidence to the contrary. I’ve seen different results when I search for things and sites that I’ve +1′d show up on page 1 and then when I log out of anything that is Google I don’t see those sites I have +1 show up at all on page 1, 2, 3. I suppose I could find where the site really ranks, but what if it’s like page 100? So Google isn’t telling us the full truth.

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  • http://www.jnbwebpromotion.nl John Bertrand

    When an internet marketer write about a topic, he or she must write like an expert, this give more trust and relevant traffic.

    • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

      Chris Crum,

      You guys should stop drinking the Google Kool-Aid and do some investigating before you publish a story where Google says outrageous things like they’re not going to be using +1 as a direct ranking signal, but more of a testing signal to see if they get things right. They told us before it would be used as a ranking signal, and even I have seen clear evidence to suggest that Google is up to more than they are telling us. It seems with this new transparency campaign that Google is telling us they’re pushing for (and seemingly already doing) they still are using that excuse as a way to not tell us the whole truth, which can at times be just as worse as lying. I urge you or some of your co-workers to do a bit of testing about Google +1 rankings instead of jumping on the bandwagon that everybody else is when Google claims that +1 is nothing more than a way to share with your circles and a testing signal for Google’s algorithm.

      • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

        Who said +1′s aren’t being used? This article has nothing to do with that.

        • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

          Sorry I post a bit on here and I think I got crossed which post I was commenting about at the time. But still, Google lies to us. You should do an investigative story on the merits of Google’s +1 button being only a testing signal at this time and not actually being used as a live signal, because it is being used as such already.

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