What does it mean for a webpage to be a “high quality“?
While to most people this term seems subjective, Google puts enormous efforts into quantifying our subjective experience of “quality” when it comes to web pages.
To achieve this end, Google hires human raters who rate webpages as to their quality based on a set of rigidly defined criteria.
Google publishes a document for the benefit of these raters called the Search Quality Rating Guide.
Google Search Quality Rating Guide
Google then periodically publishes a summary of this document to the general public.
The most recent edition of this summary document was published on March 28th of 2016.
This SUMMARY document is 146 pages long. You can download the full document here.
The purpose of this post
This post is the first of many that inform you as to how Google defines quality in respect to web pages. It’s a lot more structured and a lot less arbitrary than most people realize.
It’s important to bear in mind that all webpages are rated for how well they match a search query (much more on that in subsequent articles), yet Google does allow the raters to “release tasks” which is to say to NOT rate web pages for a variety of reasons.
What you need to get out of this post: the minimum
Some of those reasons might cause YOUR pages to not get rated, so it’s helpful for you to know what they are:
- Lack experience: This means the rater feels they can not personally rate the page. This will not count against you.
- Suspicious files: This WILL count against you.
- Offensive content: This WILL count against you.
- Technical problem: Will only count against you if the technical problem persists for a long time.
- Wring language: The web page is in a language not appropriate for the location of the rater. Will not count against you.
- Content behind a paywall: This content can not be rated (or indexed).