Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines


From time to time the Spam Raters Guidelines get “leaked” from Google. Of course, there is a concern that since this can not be verified that it is actually bogus, so we always give these “the smell test” before putting much stock in them. This seems legitimate based on the content, style and tone.

The Guidelines cover the following topics:

Part 1: Rating Guidelines

1.0 Welcome to the Search Quality Rating Program!
1.1 URL Rating Overview
1.2 Important Rating Definitions and Ideas
1.3 The Purpose of Search Quality Rating
1.4 Raters Must Represent the User
1.5 Internet Safety Information
1.6 Releasing Tasks
2.0 Understanding the Query
2.1 Understanding User Intent
2.2 Task Language and Task Location
2.3 Queries with Multiple Meanings
2.4 Classification of User Intent: Action, Information, and Navigation – “Do-Know-Go”
3.0 The Language of the Landing Page
4.0 The Rating Scale
4.1 Vital
4.2 Useful
4.3 Relevant
4.4 Slightly Relevant
4.5 Off-Topic or Useless
4.6 Unratable
5.0 Rating: From User Intent to Assigning a Rating
5.1 User Intent and Page Utility
5.2 Location is Important
5.3 Language is Important (This section is for Non-English Task Languages)
5.4 Multiple Interpretations
5.5 Specificity of Queries and Landing Pages
5.6 Common Rating Problems
6.0 Flags
6.1 Spam Flag
6.2 Pornography Flag
6.3 Malicious Flag
6.4 Compatibility between Ratings and Flags

Part 2: URL Rating Tasks with User Locations

1.0 Important Definitions
1.1 What is the User Location?
1.2 Why are the Task Location and User Location important?
1.3 User Location, Task Location, and Explicit Location in the query
2.0 Location-Specific Rating Task Screenshot
3.0 The Role of User Location in Understanding Query Interpretation/User Intent
3.1 Queries with Local Intent
3.2 Rating Landing Pages when the task has a User Location
3.3 Vital Ratings for Rating Tasks with User Locations
3.4 Rating Examples

Part 3: Page Quality Rating Guidelines

1.0 Overview of Page Quality Evaluation
1.1 Introduction to Page Quality
1.2 Important Guideline Information
2.0 Landing Page Considerations
2.1 Identifying the Purpose of the Page
2.2 Identifying the Main Content, Supplementary Content, and Advertisements
2.3 Rating the Quality of the Main Content
2.4 Rating the Quantity of Helpful Main Content
2.5 Rating the Helpfulness of the Supplementary Content
2.6 Rating the Layout of the Page/Use of Space on the Page
3.0 Answering Homepage and Website Questions
3.1 Finding the Homepage of the Website
3.2 Is the Purpose of the Page Consistent with the Website?
3.3 Who is Responsible for the Content of the Website and the Content of the Page?
3.4 Does the Website Have an Appropriate Amount of Contact Information?
3.5 What Kind of Reputation Does the Website Have?
3.6 Is the Homepage of the Website Updated/Maintained?
4.0 Assigning an Overall Page Quality Rating
4.1 Highest Quality Pages
4.2 High Quality Pages
4.3 Medium Quality Pages
4.4 Low Quality Pages
4.5 Lowest Quality Pages
5.0 Additional Page Quality Rating Guidance
5.1 Assigning a Page Quality Rating to Pages with no Main Content/Error Messages
5.2 Balancing Page Level and Website Level Questions to Assign an Overall Page Quality Rating
5.3 How to Check for Copied Content
6.0 Page Quality Rating and URL Rating
7.0 Page Quality Rating FAQs

Part 4: Rating Examples

1.0 Named Entity Queries
2.0 Action Queries
3.0 Information Queries
4.0 Queries that Ask for a List
5.0 Rating Examples for Task Locations other than English (US)

Part 5: Webspam Guidelines

1.0 What is Webspam ?
1.1 The Relationship between Ratings and Spam
1.2 Why do Spammers Create Spam Pages?
1.3 When to Check for Spam
2.0 Browser Requirement
3.0 Looking for Technical Signals
3.1 Hidden Text and Hidden Links
3.2 Keyword Stuffing
3.3 Sneaky Redirects
3.4 Cloaking
4.0 Helpful Webpages vs. Spam Webpages
4.1 Pages with Copied Content and PPC Ads
4.2 Fake Search Pages with PPC Ads
4.3 Fake Blogs with PPC Ads
4.4 Fake Message Boards with PPC Ads
4.5 Copied Content that is NOT Spam
5.0 Commercial Intent
5.1 Thin Affiliates
5.2 Pure PPC Pages
5.3 Parked (Expired) Domains
5.4 Pages with Unhelpful Content and PPC Ads
6.0 Phishing Websites
7.0 Spam and the Resolving Stage
8.0 Conclusion

Part 6: Using EWOQ


google-guidelines (PDF)