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We recently completed a major revision of our search quality rater guidelines to adapt to our mobile world. The rating guidelines are used to help our evaluators give us feedback on our experiments in search, not to determine individual site rankings, and they reflect what Google thinks search users want. Read more about the updates to the search quality rater guidelines over on our blog → http://goo.gl/wQPC7s

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This is extensive, just one question...

How do the evaluators do the following:

The page and website are expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic of the page.

What are authoritative, and trustworthiness of a page based on?

4.1 Characteristics of High Quality Pages
High quality pages are satisfying and achieve their purpose well.

High quality pages exist for almost any purpose,
from giving information to making you laugh.

What makes a High quality page? A High quality rating requires at least one of the following high quality characteristics

• A satisfying amount of high quality MC.
The page and website are expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic of the page.
• The website has a good reputation for the topic of the page.

In addition, the page and website should have most of the following:

A satisfying amount of website information, for example, About Us information, Contact or Customer Service information, etc

• SC which contributes to a satisfying user experience on the page and website.
• Functional page design which allows users to easily focus on MC and use SC as desired.
• A website which is well cared for and maintained.






 
+Donnie Strompf That is one question?:) I haven't read the full doc yet but I have previously read that external sources could be used to validate topical expertise. 
 
+Rick Bucich  Yes, it's mentioned several times in the doc and if this is algorythmical or planned on breing integrating in that way it may be gameable. I would love to see this evaluation process live and double test it.
 
I think live evaluation would amount to nothing more than an invitation for faux-evergreen churners to game the system. Not such a good idea.
 
+Steve Bertolacci external factors are subject to manipulation. Dissecting ranking sites and identifying clean authority/trust is not a simple task.

Sifting through 1,000s of backlinks is the only way to really tell if you can trust a site. With all the other tasks at hand I don't see how this is possible to ensure the best results.

I'm not saying that Google's quality score system is flawed. However, specifically for service type queries there's outdated crappy looking sites that tower over sites with better content, UX, OnPage, OffPage, Social, brand recognition you name it. External factors make your business vulnerable to anything!

Oh and the cherry... The same guy who made you vulnerable is buying or faking authority/trust.


If I were Google Search and wanted to count external factors for my index, I would make sure that anyone who wants to be in my index would need a physical license to do it. If a licensed user gets caught cheating, their license would be suspended or expelled. I would make every user in the index responsible for their own actions.

Otherwise, what would I be teaching all those who do actually sift through link profiles that have crappy sites?

They would learn that they cannot compete unless they join and live with the fear of being slapped down. It only creates more garbage results.

Again, to my knowledge this is specifically for service type industries, I haven't spent too much time on the other query types mentioned in the document.

I'm specifically referring to high stake service type PPC terms, this is where I find skewed SEO results which are not where they should be. If webmasters had to take responsibility for their actions, do you think they would still take these risks?


 
+Donnie Strompf​, I see where you're coming from, but that really doesn't answer the question. You're stuck in the score keeping mentality. Think of it as the normal user thinks of it.
 
+Steve Bertolacci in a sports game all the players have uniforms, both teams wear nike and have coaches, cheerleaders, fans and are equally in love with their sport. The only thing that sets them apart at the end of the day is score. The team with the most points wins.

These quality raters are scoring external factors which I'm doubting they truly understand. For service type businesses many are doing the same things. The only difference is, the team without shoes, fancy uniform and fans win with points they cheated to get. Look at Lance Armstrong, is what Lance did fair to the other bikers, fans, etc.?

It's the hidden external factors that should be controlled or tossed out. Just like in the example I gave above, if two teams are visually equal, who is the winner without the score to set them apart?
 
Lol what is PA, DA and PageRank? These are all scores. How else will a rater evaluate external factors? Please enlighten me.


 
+Donnie Strompf, you're over complicating it by hanging onto things of the past. There's a reason why PageRank disappeared when it did. It's not used in any way like it used to be. Think of the quality guidelines for search as the human component reality check to the machine learning processes in the background. If you try to boil it down to nothing but a score that isn't used, you get lost and lose focus on the task of catering to your user base.

Here's a good example someone brought up recently. If you search for "big bang theory", https://goo.gl/tjQbA4 you no longer get information about the actual theory and it's meaning. Now you get information about the TV show of the same name. Even the wikipedia link is for the TV show. Now you ask why is it that the wiki page for the theory is somehow less relevant than the wiki page for the TV show, but you miss the key point. It's not less relevant. The difference is the user intent. More people were wanting information about the show than the physics.
 
Big Bang theory is not a "service" no one pays hundreds of dollars per click for that term.

With that being said if PageRank matters not, would you say disavowing an entire link profile would have no affect on your rankings?

Would you like me to dissect the site you're working? 
 
+Donnie Strompf​​​​ > Sifting through 1,000s of backlinks is the only way to really tell if you can trust a site.

No. There are dozens of other (and better) ways, which regular users use every day, and that without even knowing what a backlink is.
 
+Donnie Strompf, I'm betting the NBC people may feel a little differently about that no one cares about that term. They'd probably be interested in pulling that audience over to watch Heroes Reborn. 

Now if you really want a site to pick apart, try something like http://www.chewy.com/ for pet stuff. I just ran the test gauntlet there because I needed a dog door piece (flap for a sliding door insert), but had to go through all the same trust exercises than any other user would have to go through. 
 
+Giacomo Pelagatti I'm sure there are in non competitive spaces.

Where there's lots of money to be made, webmasters play dirty.

What site do you work on? I'll take a gander for you if you like, I'll even show you how your competitors cheat you, that is only if you are in a competitive space.
 
+Steve Bertolacci

What does a PPC campaign cost to target Big Bang theory? Compare that to a local service type business, say dentist. 

And how does UX relate to external trust signals? They don't.
 
If you can't see how links rank above all other factors you're a total noob or you're a cheater yourself and don't want anything to change.

Other factors do matter and good UX is a no brainer but the links are the most important part of the equation. I have no problem with sites who obtain them in a reasonable manner, it's the BS that needs to go. You asked me what I would do differently, I answered your question. You don't have to agree with it, you're entitled to your opinions, as I am to my own.

My simple question that no one can answer is, what tools will the evaluators use to check for trustworthiness and authority?

I don't want an excuse or opinion I want a straight answer to that question, doubt I will get one but hey, might as well try right?
 
+Donnie Strompf​​ Suppose you were seeking medical advice online: what "signals" would you evaluate or look for, in order to decide whether you should trust the information found on a particular website? Would you look at its link profile? Or maybe the author's bio?
 
Both! I'm not your average searcher... The average searcher puts their trust in what Google displays which can easily be manipulated via external factors.

Are these TRUST evaluators going to determine SAPE Links from real links? Can they find personal blog networks or negative SEO?

What exactly will they be evaluating?


 
I don't believe quality raters will necessarily evaluate external backlinks, as they're not part of what makes a website a quality information source (as perceived by users, not search engines), and have generally little to do with trustworthiness. I imagine they'll look for other types of references or trust signals instead, such as (real) user reviews, ratings or comments, things like that: exactly what your "average searcher" (with no SEO knowledge) would do.
 
+Donnie Strompf Everything that is an asset can be turned into a liability. The Web is so saturated with crap it's hard to the true from false. Dating sites are the worst. I had to learn that the hard way. I'm a music freak, so I'm on YouTube quite a bit. The social media can kiss my ass. It's only good for links. Even then, is it real, or bullshit? I dunno.
 
+Donnie Strompf great. it is google in a nutshell. same ancient script + 100's of updates, pandas etc, and yet the first page is still full of crappy sites. More tikka-massalla for little indians at Google Labs might help?
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