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Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Google Search Quality Checklist

If you’re involved in any aspect of the SEO business, you’re aware that Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines have been released for the first time. You may not have read the 160-page document for yourself, but this is important information that will have a very real effect on the way SEO is done. This is the deepest insight we’ve ever had into the Google algorithm, and if you’d like to learn more, you’ve come to the right place.

What Are These Guidelines?

Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are essentially the rules that Google’s staff uses in evaluation and quality assurance testing of their algorithm. The company hasn’t shared the algorithm itself, but these guidelines can tell us a lot about how it works.

What’s Inside

The guide presents an overview of the process document as well as parts focused on different topics, with one section being dedicated to mobile search. With mobile search such a fast growing segment of the search market, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out just how serious Google is about mobile users.

Google Search Quality - Mobile

Most of the rest of the document has to do with two things that are widely known to be important components of the Google algorithm: reputation and trust. The guidelines contain a lot about the process of determining whether a site is trustworthy and whether its reputation is positive. Before long, online marketing experts will have reverse engineered these guidelines to the point that we’ll have some idea of how the algorithm handles this.

What Do The Guidelines Mean For SEO

A lot of what’s in the guidelines is information we already knew; this just confirms it. However, there are also some answers here to questions that have long been debated.

There is some information about screen size, scrolling and unsupported media like Flash on mobile devices and it’s now clear that Google has accepted the fact that every mobile OS and device is different. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test has given a lot of webmasters the idea that their site is already optimized for mobile, when the truth is much more complicated – now we know that.


Trust is a very important part of Google’s approach and the guidelines tell us a few best practices to improve SEO in this regard, namely citing (with links to external resources) facts and including the names of authors and contributors, linking them to bios if possible. Think of your site as a print publication and you’ll be partway there.

Google Search Quality - Trust

User experience is also an important part of trust.

Your navigation should be intuitive and include links to important pages like “About Us” and “Contact Us” as well as to your privacy policy on every page. It’s important to provide your visitors with the best possible user experience anyway – as is often the case with Google, most of what you need to do to get noticed are things you should already be doing.

Author Bio:

Mark Long manages content creation for various companies. He is currently writing marketing blogs for Connect with him on Google+ to keep in touch and read his current blogs.

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