Should not be news to you but let’s begin – Google has quality raters that judge how well Google’s search algorithms are doing by rating the search results and the web pages that come up for a wide variety of search queries.
What the rater do does not affect the search directly. It gives feedback to the search engineers who make the changes.
My theory is that sooner rather than later the raters guidelines will be implemented in the search and that is why they are important and worth reading.
It is 164 page document that is aimed at evaluating different kinds of searches so here I will focus on what is important for me – how to improve the quality of my affiliate sites.
In the last version, there are two important factors – Page Quality (PQ) and Needs met (NM)
The goal of Page Quality rating is to evaluate how well the page achieves its purpose. In Googles point of view, websites should be created to help users.
Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting an overall Page Quality rating:
- The Purpose of the Page
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness: This is an important quality characteristic. Use your research on the additional factors below to inform your rating.
- Main Content Quality and Amount: The rating should be based on the landing page of the task URL.
- Website Information/information about who is responsible for the MC: Find information about the website as well as the creator of the MC.
- Website Reputation/reputation about who is responsible for the MC : Links to help with reputation research will be provided
There are different types of pages (news pages, forum pages, video pages, pages with error messages) and the type of page does not determine the PQ rating – what determines the PQ is how helpful the page is and how well it serves its purpose.
The PQ is even higher for pages that Google considers Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Pages. Those are in niches like shopping, financial, medical, legal, public/official pages etc.
Keep your page designs simple.
This will help the raters identify fast the Main Content (MC) of the page.
Pay attention to the title. Descriptive MC titles allow users to make informed decisions about what pages to visit. Helpful titles summarize the MC on the page.
Google does not frown upon ads and affiliate links as long as they are clearly identified and does not interfere with the main content. “The presence or absence of Ads is not by itself a reason for a High or Low-quality rating.”
The About information is very important.
Google urges the rater to look for information about the website and who is writing the content both on the site and from independent sources. If the two conflict, they have to take the info from the independent source. So make sure all your citations that rank on the first two pages are positive.
“When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.”
Here are a few suggestions from Google on where you want to get citations from. Make sure you do it the right way.
“News articles, Wikipedia articles, blog posts, magazine articles, forum discussions, and ratings from independent organizations can all be sources of reputation information.”
Have clearly identifiable links from your home page to the about and contacts pages.
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is defined by the expertise of the author.
Make sure you give a good reason in the About page or the author’s bio why he is an authority on the topic. E.g. if you have a site about dental implants make sure you say the author is a dentist with this and that education and specialization and so on.
What makes a High-quality page? A High quality page should have a beneficial purpose and achieve that purpose well.In addition, High quality pages have the following characteristics:
- High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- A satisfying amount of high quality MC, including a descriptive or helpful title.
- Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfying customer service information.
- Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Positive reputation of the
creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.
Conclusion (And actionable advice)
- Make your titles descriptive and not shocking.
- Make sure the design of your site is simple and professional and the Main content is easily spotted.
- Include enough information in the MC to solve all the user’s questions on the topic.
- If you use ads and affiliate links, make sure you have disclosure and they do not distract from the MC.
- Build a detailed About us page and explain why you are the authority on the topic of the site.
- Build citations and links with the domain name and the brand in other blog posts, forums, Q&A sites, Wikipedia. Make sure they mention the brand (author) in a positive way.
- Update and maintain your site regularly. Unmaintained sites are considered the lowest quality.