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Google’s New And Improved Quality Rating Guide

By Expert Author: Mimi Naghshineh

Several months ago, Google announced it had completely rewritten its Quality Ratings Guideline, the resource used by their quality raters to evaluate websites for the search engine. Many of the previous guidelines are no longer applicable. However, the guide does present excellent new insights with regards to the way in which Google will be approaching search results and how to be ranked at the top.

This overhaul proves the amount of emphasis Google is placing on their knowledge graph style results that are consuming Google search results. The search engine is now placing a higher emphasis on those sites that are considered to boast a high level of expertise and credibility. This is a goal Google has had for many years.

E-A-T
The newest idea in the Google Quality Rating Guide is E-A-T, a website's "Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness" factor. Simply put, those websites that lack E-A-T will receive a low rating and vice-versa. This will force webmasters to ensure their sites can pass the E-A-T test in order to receive a good rating in the search engine results.

Knowledge Graphs
A considerably higher portion of the Google Quality Rating Guide is Knowledge Graphs, a knowledge base that utilizes search results with semantic search information collected from various sources. It provides detailed information about a specific topic and links to other sites. Quality raters have been advised by Google to focus more on the knowledge graphs of websites.

Vital Knowledge Graphs
In addition to simply rating Knowledge Graphs, Quality Raters will also specify a vital rating for Title Link Result Blocks (NTRB), the method by which Google distinguishes between two styles of knowledge graphs, from the landing page. This further indicates that Google is allocating more resources toward Knowledge Graphs.

Number of Advertisements
Although the page layout algorithm has attempted to reduce prominence in search engine results for those pages with heavy advertising, previous Quality Raters did not place much emphasis on advertising. However, the new Google Quality Rating Guide wants raters to focus on advertising to determine if there is an overabundance. Google has specified that all top advertising layouts must be scrolled to see the content.

Supplementary Content
Supplementary or secondary content consists of any information that is not the primary content or advertisements. Quality Raters have been instructed to give low ratings to those websites that have bad supplementary content. This includes deceptive ad placement, advertisements placed under headings and any other content that is distracting and unhelpful will receive a low rating.

Poor Page Design
The Google Quality Rating Guide also outlines those pages with popups, a large number of ads with minor content and text ads during navigation will result in a low rating. Also included is inserting advertisements several times in the middle of primary content to break it up. Therefore, if you are considering using ads within content, it is a best practice to restrict it to a one.

Required Information on Shopping Websites
According to the new guide, shopping websites must have contact information and return and exchange policies to ensure they are in line with the offerings from smaller merchants. Previously, Google required a specific list of features to determine if the site is a true merchant destination. The new requirement evens the playing field for smaller companies who do not have the budget, need or technical know-how for the features listed in the last guide.

Overall, Google’s goal is to improve the user’s experience while using their search engine and generate better results.

Search Optics is a leader in digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry. Automotive digital marketing by Search Optics include custom websites, search engine optimization, paid search and mobile solutions that generate leads which result in sales opportunities. Search Optics specializes in car dealer marketing and automotive SEO services. For more details, please visit www.searchoptics.com.

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