The 2017 Google Quality Rater Guidelines are here. Each year the Google Quality Rater Guidelines are updated around spring, giving interested SEO people and webmasters a glimpse into the future of Google algorithm updates and what Google sees in their eyes as a quality website which will provide searchers with the best answers a machine can serve up.

The Quality Rater Guidelines were announced by Jennifer Slegg at The SEM Post here.

You can download the 160 page PDF file from Google here.

Schreenshot of the updated guidelines

Just in case it goes missing I have a copy provided on my web server here: searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf.

What are the Google Quality Rater Guidelines?

Google has thousands of contractors (quality raters) who are given a proprietary software to evaluate websites and search results. They provide feedback and flag problems in search results such as low quality websites which outrank higher quality websites. For example, you would likely be better off receiving cancer information from Mayo Clinic than

The Quality Rater Guidelines are basically instructions for these contractors. The feedback provided does not directly affect search results but may in future algorithm updates.

What’s in the 2017’s Google Quality Rater Guidelines?

There are 160 pages of information in the PDF which I am not even going to begin to cover here. If you have a website you should definitely check the document out. Any site which adheres to these standards will provide users with a quality user experience.

I skimmed through it and did have a few quick takeaways, one of which is there is now an emphasis on “fake news” without coming out and calling it fake. I just recently pondered a Google fake news penalty a couple of weeks ago. 🙂

For a good overview of what is new, check out The SEM Post article about the updated guidelines here.


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