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Google’s updated Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Updated July 14, 2023
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Google’s updated Search Quality Rater Guidelines include changes and additions in Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), and E-A–T (Expertise Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness), which significantly impact page rankings. To improve search rankings, it is essential to understand what they are and how you can incorporate them into old and new content.

Although search engine optimization (SEO), content specialists, and search engine ranking experts agree that Google E-A-T is essential for search rankings, it’s unclear how much. A reason is that creators cannot answer the question, “What is YMYL Content?” This causes them to have trouble creating a YMYL website and content that meets search engine criteria and user intent.

Google updated its Quality Raters Guidelines on July 28, 2022. The following is a summary of the changes to the Guideline Change Log, Appendix 2.

* A refreshed language that aligns with the new Search Quality Rater Guidelines: An Overview.

* Focused YMYL on topics that require high accuracy to prevent serious harm; created a new table and updated existing examples.

* Added explanations to the Low and Lowest Quality Sections to highlight that E-A-T is a function of the page’s purpose. However, it can happen on any website.

* All devices can use the same Refactored Language

* Modifications throughout (updated photos; removed or updated obsolete examples and concepts; removed user locations when irrelevant, etc. ).

The Google Quality Raters Guidelines have been updated and are excellent. The updated definition of “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) provides more clarity for content and SEO internet market services about “what high-quality content” is and what “low-quality content.” It also explains how digital content can harm individuals and society.

This update also explains the importance of Google E-A-T to page quality for YMYL content and the consequences of low-quality content being on trustworthy and authoritative sites.

The Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines are a guide for evaluators. However, they can also be a valuable resource for content and search engine optimization services. They can improve the Google search results that appear on search engine result pages (SERPs) by understanding the most recent Google algorithm update.

What Is A Google Quality Rater?

Google uses an automated system that crawls, indexes, and ranks pages/posts based on search keywords. Google releases an update to its search algorithm from time to time so that search results match user intent. Google still needs people to improve its search engine.

Google has contracted Google Quality Raters to help them evaluate web pages appearing in search results. They are available during a planned Google algorithm update. Google could generate hundreds of search results for such cases in two sets, one with the most recent Google algorithm update and the other with the planned changes.

They would also rate the results using a scale described in the Google Quality Raters Guidelines. They would consider the following criteria.

* Musts Met (NM).
* Page Quality (PQ).

The Google SERP ranking for websites they rate is not affected by their ratings. Their work is the basis for an update to Google’s search algorithm to improve its search results.

What Google Updated In The July 2022 Search Quality Raters Guidelines

These are the most critical updates Google made to address these questions:

* How do I use YMYL content to create?
* What is the importance of Google E-A–T for page quality?
* What’s low-quality content?
What makes high-quality content?

1. YMYL (Your Life or Your Money)


Google used to break down YMYL topics in previous versions of its Search Quality Raters Guidelines.

* Current events and news
* Law, government, and civics
* Financing
* Shop
* Safety and health
* People groups
* Others

Google removed these categories in the July 2022 update. Google now defines a YMYL page or site based on its potential to cause harm.

The Quality Rater Guidelines have been updated to define YMYL as a potential cause of harm. These topics could impact the “health, financial stability or safety of individuals or the welfare and well-being of the society.”

Google also identified the potential dangers of these topics:

* A person who has viewed or used the content directly.
* Other persons affected by the person who viewed the content.
* People or groups affected or influenced by the actions of people who viewed the content.

Next, Google defined YMYL topics to be:

Dangerous or harmful, including self-harm, criminal acts, and violent extremism.
* Causes harm if it’s inaccurate or not trustworthy.

The Google Quality Raters Guidelines have been updated to instruct raters on determining whether a topic is considered YMYL. They must consider the potential harm it could cause.

* Safety and health
* Financial security
* Society
* Others

Google has also updated to say that a page that is hypothetically harmful about a topic other than YMYL will not be considered harmful. To be considered YMYL content, it must not have the potential to harm or affect well-being.

Google added a new table on page 12 of its Search Quality Raters Guidelines to help you determine whether a topic is Your Money or Your Life.

2. Google E-A–T (Expertise Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and Expertise)

Google values websites that show authority, trustworthiness, and expertise. These factors can include the website, creator, and content.

Google has added informational [main content] on topics related to YMYL to the updated Search Quality Raters Guidelines. Section 6.1 defines E-A-T.

Google stated that E-A-T is required for pages depending on their purpose and topic. E-A-T is essential if a page is YMYL because of the possible harm it could cause. Even if a YMYL website has a good reputation, search quality ratings must still rate a webpage as low-quality content if there is a risk of harm.

For SEO internet marketing services and content writers to understand the updated definition of E-A-T, they must ensure that their content is not potentially harmful to be considered high-quality content for Google SERP rankings. However, this would depend on many other factors.

3. Lowest Quality Pages

Lowest quality pages
Lowest quality pages

A new section in section 7.0 on Lowest Quality Pages was added to the July 2022 Search Quality Raters Guidelines. This section states that pages created by an authoritative, expert, or official content creator can also be harmful. Search quality raters should give these pages the lowest quality rating.

Before considering any other Page Quality attributes, Google instructs search quality raters to carefully evaluate pages from government websites and academic institutions.

These are summaries of all the types of Lowest Pages found on pages 43-44.

Source: Google

Incorporate YMYL And E-A-T Guidelines To Boost SERP Rankings

To keep optimizing pages and posts for Google SERP rankings, individuals, businesses, and other organizations that provide content and SEO services should always be aware of the most recent Google algorithm update.

The latest Search Quality Raters Guidelines update provides essential cues for improving Google search results. It is important to focus not only on on-site, offsite, and technical SEO strategies but also on meeting search user intent through providing content that conforms to page quality rating guidelines.

Google has done a great job making it easy to understand the YMYL and E-A-T ratings. They also included new tables and references.

Still confused? Call us at (702-904-4262) for more information about creating high-quality content that search-quality rating raters will consider quality content. Our experts can help you understand how to incorporate the best SEO practices and the latest concepts in content creation to build expertise, authority, and trustworthiness for your website.


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