Google announced that it has updated its guidelines for search quality raters. The reason behind this (much like the reason for many of the company's announcements) is the increasing use of mobile devices.
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) November 19, 2015
The company says it recently completed a "major" revision of the guidelines with mobile in mind.
"Developing algorithmic changes to search involves a process of experimentation," says Google search growth and analysis senior product manager Mimi Underwood. "Part of that experimentation is having evaluators—people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments. Ratings from evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, but are used help us understand our experiments. The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want."
"In 2013, we published our human rating guidelines to provide transparency on how Google works and to help webmasters understand what Google looks for in web pages," Underwood adds. "Since that time, a lot has changed: notably, more people have smartphones than ever before and more searches are done on mobile devices today than on computers. We often make changes to the guidelines as our understanding of what users wants evolves, but we haven’t shared an update publicly since then."
You can see the update here.
Google says it won't update the public document with every little change, but will try to do so for the big ones.
Image via Google