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Google Rating Guidelines Leak

Friday, January 16th, 2009
 

Webmasters may have an edge on the whole Google thing, as the ‘quality rater guidelines’ have been leaked. This is a huge leak for Google, and may well make it necessary for them to revamp their algorithm once again as spammers attempt to game the sytem based on new information.

Most raters only rate “pages” and not entire domains. The leaked 44 page document refers to “landing pages” as opposed to domains. If a page is excluded by a rater, it is only excluded for a specific query, not for all queries.

The document also reveals that country relveance is a key factor in Google’s scoring system. Throughout the entire document, raters are presented with example queries that specify: [query], language (country).

For example “[camera], English (US)” or “[camera], Russian (Russia).”

The page in question may be discounted even if it provides relevant information to the query, but isn’t relevant to the country the user is in. Back to the document:

You will be given a Task language and a Task location for each query-page Task. You must evaluate each Task in the context of its language and location.

In many cases, when there is a mismatch between the Task Location and the country domain of the page, you will need to lower the rating for the page.

Google wants the raters to understand the query:

You should understand each query before you evaluate it. If the meaning of the query is unclear, you will need to do web research to learn about it. You can do this by entering the query in the search box of one or more search engines and looking at the results returned by them.

They have five levels of ranking- Vital, Useful, Relevant, Non Relevant and Off Topic. When in doubt, rate low rather than high:

Sometimes you may feel unsure which of two ratings to give: Relevant or Useful? Not Relevant or Relevant? When you are unsure, select the lower rating.

A rating of Useful is assigned to pages that contain some or all of the following characteristics: highly satisfying, comprehensive, high in quality, and authoritative. Useful pages answer the query just right; they are neither too broad nor too specific.

A rating of Relevant is assigned to pages that have fewer valuable attributes than were listed for Useful pages. Relevant pages might be less comprehensive, come from a less authoritative source, or cover only one important aspect of the query.

There are three other categories as well- Unratable, Pornography and Malicious.

Webmasters will no doubt be picking apart and evaluating this information for the next few months.

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