Transparent Growth Measurement (NPS)

Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines: An Overview

Contributors: Chandala Takalkar
Published: October 30, 2021

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Just when you thought that you are done with academia and ready to be a master in the SEO and digital marketing arena, Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines of over 170 pages surprised us! But fret not, if you need an in detail analysis of this ‘Google ranking Bible ‘ then this quick read is for you.

The Google Rater provides crystal clear guidelines of what Google thinks of quality but SEO masters and website developers can refer to these google search quality guidelines to better the performance of their website and improve their ranking.   

As always, let’s begin with the basics and answer the primary question.

What is Search Quality Rating? 

Google is known for delivering quality and relevant results for over 2 decades now. Ever wondered how do these search results pass the quality test and reach the user? Google has hired over 10,000 experts from around the globe to rate the websites.

Their ratings won’t affect the rankings of the websites, instead these ratings will be used to measure how well search engine algorithms are performing for a broad range of searches.

Google made the Google Search Quality Guidelines public in 2015, which is wonderful for everyone with a website because it allows you to see what a Google rater is looking for and adapt your site to meet their needs.

Quality Raters have three main responsibilities:

  • Assessing the quality of web sites, 
  • Making sure mobile results are helpful,
  • Checking whether queries in general show quality results.

The Purpose of Search Quality Rating 

Search Quality Ratings influence the quality of search results. The ultimate aim of Search Quality Rating is to provide relevant and quality information for users. But this rating also helps website developers understand if their website is compatible with Google guidelines.

These search quality evaluator guidelines state what a Google rater takes into consideration while rating your website. 

When we look at the areas that a Google rater is expected to look at, we’re effectively doing the following:

  • Evaluating what Google wants from the algorithm.
  • Getting a sneak peek at what Google algorithms will prioritize.

Who is a Google Quality Rater?

External Search Quality Raters is a group of persons who have been trained in accordance with the Quality Rater Guidelines stated by Google. A Google Rater assess how well a website responds to Google users’ search intent based on the content’s knowledge, authority, and trustworthiness.

A group of over 10,000 people from all over the world work as Google rater. Raters assist the search engine in determining how people are likely to experience their search results. Essentially, a Google rater assists Google in ensuring that the proposed improvements to its algorithms will produce more relevant and high-quality results. 

Let’s take a look at what the guide explicitly states:

“As a Search Quality Rater, you will work on many different types of rating projects. The General Guidelines primarily cover Page Quality (PQ) rating and Needs Met (NM) rating; however, the concepts are also important for many other types of rating tasks.”

The following are some examples of evaluator tasks:

  • Compare two sets of search results and determine which is superior, why, and by how much.
  • Assess how natural or unnatural an automated voice sounds.
  • Determine which category a particular firm falls into and classify it accordingly.
  • Build queries that instruct a mobile phone to perform a specified task
  • Examine the usefulness of completions and related queries.
  • Rate how useful knowledge graph panels and other types of special results are.

Elements To Judge The Quality Of A Web Page

The two most important factors of a Webpage are Needs Met and Page Quality. Let’s dive deeper into these concepts and understand how these two factors help in judging the quality of a webpage. 

Needs Met

Needs Met is a simple notion that basically implies “intent.”

“How helpful and/or satisfying is this result?” would be the question raters would be asking themselves when evaluating a page.

The search quality evaluator guidelines clearly states that – 

The Needs Met rating is based on both the query and the result.

A rater may visit a single website or a search results page and rate each result during this testing. Both will send Google information on the changes in site layout, device, demographic, and location outcomes. There are a variety of other factors that go into scoring each result (there’s a reason they have over 10,000 raters worldwide).

Page Quality 

Page Quality is determined by a variety of interconnected elements, just like a Google algorithm works.

And the weight assigned to each is determined by the type of site and query.

Factors That Influence Your Website’s Quality


Google is cool and the evidence is Your Money or Your Life a.k.a  YMYL. This is an interesting concept which categorizes websites into further categories as follows: 

  • News and current events

Important issues such as international events, economics, politics, science, and technology are covered in this section. Keep in mind that not all news stories are YMYL (for example, sports, entertainment, and ordinary lifestyle themes are not typically YMYL).

  • Civics, government, and law

Information about voting, government agencies, public institutions, social services, and legal matters (e.g., divorce, child custody, adoption, will-writing, etc.) that are crucial to keeping citizens informed.

  • Finance

Financial advice or information on investments, taxes, retirement planning, loans, banking, or insurance, especially on websites that allow individuals to make purchases or move money online.

  • Shopping

Information about or services relating to product/service research or purchasing, notably web pages that allow consumers to make online transactions.

  • Health and Safety

Medical advice or information, drugs, hospitals, emergency readiness, the dangers of a certain activity, etc.

  • Groups of people

Pages dedicated to information or claims about groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of major violent events and their kin, or any other characteristic linked to systemic discrimination or marginalization.

  • Other

Many additional topics connected to large decisions or key areas of people’s lives, such as health and nutrition, housing information, choosing a college, finding a career, and so on, may be considered YMYL.

Please use your discretion.

The Webpage Content 

The sections of a website are grouped into three primary groups, according to the guidelines:

The Main Content 

Any component of the page that directly assists the page in achieving its goal is considered main content. Webmasters have direct control over the page’s MC (except for user-generated content). MC can take the form of text, graphics, videos, page features (such as calculators and games), or user-generated content (such as videos, reviews, and articles) that people have added or submitted to the website. 

The Supplementary Content 

Supplementary Content enhances the user experience on the page but does not immediately contribute to the achievement of the page’s goal. Webmasters control SC, which is an essential aspect of the user experience. Navigation links, for example, are a frequent sort of SC that allow users to go to other portions of the website.

Note that content hidden behind tabs may be deemed part of the page’s SC in some situations.


Advertisements/Monetization (Ads) are material and/or links that are displayed on a page in order to monetize (make money from it). The presence or absence of advertisements is not a factor in determining whether a website is of high or low quality.

Because it costs money to run a website and generate high-quality content, certain webpages would be unable to operate without advertising and monetization.

Advertisements and affiliate programmes are just two examples of how to monetize a website.

The Concept of E-A-T

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are all key factors. Please examine the following: the MC’s creator’s expertise. the MC’s creator’s authority, the MC itself, and the website’s trustworthiness. the MC’s creator’s authority, the MC itself, and the website’s trustworthiness.

Keep in mind that there are high E-A-T pages  and websites of various kinds, including gossip, fashion, humour, forum and Q&A pages, and so on. In fact, some sorts of knowledge are practically solely obtained on forums and conversations, where a community of specialists can offer useful viewpoints on a variety of topics.

In Conclusion

Phew! This is a shorter and relevant version of a 170+ pages Google Google is trying to help us by providing the exact requirements that will improve a website’s overall performance. Adhere to these important search quality evaluator guidelines for a better website performance. 


How does the search quality evaluator guidelines help website developers?

 It allows you to see what a Google rater is looking for and adapt your site to meet 

their needs. It also helps you modify your website as per Google’s requirements so as to improve the visibility of your website. 

Can a Google rater influence the ranking of your website? 

A Google rater does not decide the ranking of your websites. They ensure that the proposed algorithm improvements will result in more relevant and high-quality results.

Which factors determine the quality of a website?

The important factors that determine the quality of are:

  • Purpose of the page. 
  • Amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. (E-A-T)
  • Main content quality and amount. 
  • Clear and satisfying website information. 

About the Author


Chandala Takalkar is a young content marketer and creative with experience in content, copy, corporate communications, and design. A digital native, she has the ability to craft content and copy that suits the medium and connects. Prior to Team upGrowth, she worked as an English trainer. Her experience includes all forms of copy and content writing, from Social Media communication to email marketing.

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