Google Rating Guidelines


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The presentation prepared by Kiran Nair highlights how Google’s team of search quality raters perform search queries and rank the links that show up in Google’s search engine results page. Taking into account all the rating guidelines and Google’s approach to rate a particular URL, we have also listed out the paradigm shift that we need to follow so that our SEO efforts get aligned with Google’s rating.

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  • The presentation prepared by <a href="">Kiran Nair</a> highlights how Google’s team of search quality raters perform search queries and rank the links that show up in Google’s search engine results page. Taking into account all the rating guidelines and Google’s approach to rate a particular URL, I have also listed out the paradigm shift that we need to follow so that our SEO efforts get aligned with Google’s rating.
  • Google Rating Guidelines

    1. 1. Prepared by- Kiran Nair
    2. 2.  How to rate an URL? Research the query Click on the URL to visit the landing page Assign a rating based on the guidelines
    3. 3.  In-order to rate/evaluate the landing pages one needs tounderstand the user intent E.g.:When a user in U.S searches for tetris the most likelyuser intent is to play the gameTetris
    4. 4.  All queries have a task language and task location. Users indifferent parts of the world may have different expectations forthe same query. E.g.: Query: footballIn USbut in UK it means soccer.
    5. 5.  Action intent (Do) Information intent (Know) Navigation intent (Go)
    6. 6.  The intent of an action query is to accomplish a goal like : E.g.:The intent of a user entering the query download adobereader is to download the software
    7. 7.  The goal of an information query is to findinformation. E.g.: Query: how to tie a tie?
    8. 8.  The intent of a navigation query is to locate a specificwebpage. Users have a single webpage or website in mind.This single webpage is called the target of the query. E.g.: Query : iphone wikipedia TargetWebpage:
    9. 9.  The rating scale offers five rating options that are based onuser intent and the utility of the landing page:
    10. 10.  The Vital rating is used for situations like:1. The most likely intent of the query is navigation, and thelanding page is the target of the navigation query.2. The most likely query intent is an entity and the landingpage is the official webpage of the entity. E.g.: Query: cristiano ronaldoUser Intent: Go to the official Homepage –Vital Rating
    11. 11.  AppropriateVital: The version of the official page seemsright for the task locationE.g.: for UK InternationalVital: The page is a “choose your language”or “choose your location” page.E.g.: OtherVital: The language or location of the official pagedoes not match the task location, and a better versionexists.E.g.: for Germany
    12. 12.  A rating of Useful is assigned to pages that arevery helpful for most users. Useful pages shouldbe high quality and a good “fit” for the query. E.g.: Query: broadway tickets.User Intent: Buy broadway tickets
    13. 13.  A rating of Relevant is assigned to pages that are helpful formany or some users. Relevant pages fits the query, but theymight be less comprehensive, less up-to-date, come from aless authoritative source, or cover only one important aspectof the query. E.g.: Query: Abraham lincoln birthday can be rated as relevant since Lincoln’sbirthday is not prominently displayed
    14. 14.  A rating of Slightly Relevant is assigned to pages that are notvery helpful for most users, but are somewhat related to thequery. Slightly Relevant pages may be low quality and/orcontain less helpful information. E.g.: Query : Pregnancy symptomsBUT….Is it
    15. 15.  Assigned to pages that are not helpful for majority of theusers. Off-Topic or Useless pages are unrelated to thequery and have no utility. E.g.:Query:Result:
    16. 16.  Some queries look like URLs.These queries are called URLQueries. E.g.:Result:
    17. 17.  Some of the information queries may be about recent orpast events. For some queries, timeliness is very important. E.g.: Query: us open golf resultsIntent : to get information on the most recent results for thetournament. can be ratedas useful since it displays the most recent results.
    18. 18.  DifferentTypes of Flags: Spam Flag Pornography Flag Malicious Flag
    19. 19.  Pages are assigned a spam flag if they have spam signals asspecified inWebspam Guidelines The different types of spam flags that can be assigned are:Not SpamMaybeSpamSpam
    20. 20.  Pornography Flag is to be assigned to all the pages thatcontain pornographic content like porn images, links, pop-ups, videos or ads
    21. 21.  A page should be assigned a Malicious flag if: You are forced to quit your Firefox browser due to promptsthat keep coming back and will not go away There are attempts to download spyware,Trojans, viruses,etc.
    22. 22.  For certain queries it is important that we know the userlocation in-order to understand the query intent of theuser. E.g.: Query: User location:Query: Pictures of kittenUser location:
    23. 23.  For page quality rating the user has to click on the URL andthen evaluate the landing page.When a page loads oneneeds to look at 2 parameters: Does the landing page load? Is the page in the task language or English
    24. 24.  The content on a webpage can be classified into 3 sections: Main Content (MC) Supplementary Content (SC) Advertisements (Ads)
    25. 25. Main ContentSideNavigationSupplementaryContent(Satisfying the purpose of thePage)(Navigation tosimilar pages ofthe samewebsite)AdsNot relatedto thewebsite
    26. 26.  Rating the content is an important stepof page quality rating If the main content is helpful and itachieves its purpose then it can berated as high or highest Uniqueness of the content is alsoimportant
    27. 27.  For page quality rating it is also important to analyze theentire website. Some website checks that needs to beperformed are: Finding Home Page of the website –The home pageshould be easily accessed via the landing page throughlinks or by the website logo Purpose of the landing page should be consistent with theentire website It should be clear who is responsible for the contentpresent on the website.The contact us / about us sectiongives information about who owns the site
    28. 28.  Reputation research in Page Quality rating is very important Websites reputation is based on the experience of users andopinion of experts in the topic on the website Online stores have user ratings which help other users tounderstand the stores reputation
    29. 29.  Identify the "homepage" of the website Try one or more of the following searches on Google: homepage reviews (ebay reviews) homepage complaints (ebay complaints) homepage (ebay – (
    30. 30.  URL rating is dependent on the quality of landing page aswell as the query in the task whereas Page quality rating isquery independent. High quality pages should not always have a high URL ratingas the page might not be helpful to the user
    31. 31. [Elton John], English (US)Likely User Intent • Do – Purchase music performed by Elton John• Know – Users want information or news about Elton John• Go – Users want to go to the homepage of Elton John’sofficial websiteVitalThe homepage of Elton John’s official and well maintainedwebsiteUseful – helpful for most users• Quality pages with biographical or good generalinformation, such as this Wikipedia page about Elton John• Amazon page with Elton John MP3 downloads and CDs forsale:Relevant – helpful for many or some users • A timely article about Elton John• Lyrics website page with links to lyrics of many Elton JohnsongsSlightly Relevant – helpful for few users An outdated article about Elton JohnOff-Topic or Useless – helpful for very few or no users Very low quality page with keyword stuffing including multipledisplays of “elton john” and “elton john tickets
    32. 32.  Webspam is a term for webpages introduced by webmastersthat are used to trick search engines and draw users to theirwebsite. Webspam is commonly referred as Spam and webmasterswho use these spamming techniques are known asSpammers Spam flags do not depend on a relationship between thequery and the landing page.
    33. 33.  When evaluating a page for spam one should look for thefollowing: Hidden text and hidden links Keyword stuffing Sneaky redirects Cloaking with JavaScript redirects and 100% frame
    34. 34.  We know that Google defines 3 types of userintent for queries Do Know Go
    35. 35.  There are different types of websites cateringto different purposes E-commerce site or brand selling products Service provider Informational site
    36. 36.  For e-commerce sites: Do : Know : Go = (high : low : high) For Service Provider Do : Know : Go = (medium : high : low) Information site Do : Know : Go = (low : high : medium)
    37. 37. Type of Website Do Query Go Query Know QueryE-commerceWebsite60% 25% 15%Information Site 15% 25% 60%Service Provider 30% 50% 20%
    38. 38.  Step 1: Divide the keyword basket into keywordclusters Step 2 : For a keyword cluster map the keywords todifferent URLs based on their intent.Keyword Cluster A Mapped URLKeyword 1Primary PageKeyword 2Keyword 3 Support page 1Keyword 4 Support page 2
    39. 39.  While creating content we should understand thequery intent of keywords that have been mapped ona page. So while specifying the content themes we need tokeep in mind the actual query intent.
    40. 40. 1 Use Keywords Keyword InstanceProvide content themes according to the query intent Keyword 1, Keyword 2 1-2Paragraph 21-2Provide content themes according to the query intent Keyword 3, Keyword4, Keyword5Paragraph 31-2Provide content themes according to the query intent Keyword 4, Keyword1Total no. of Recommended Words onPage 200-300
    41. 41.  For each keyword we need to have all thevariations which can probably match the 3search intent Then we need to link those keywords to theappropriate webpage using a diversified linkstructure.