Are you sick of abbreviations yet? Well, buckle up as we dive into re-understanding Google’s quality rater guidelines! With the latest revisions to their guidelines (which you may have missed!), and we’re here with the only guide you’ll need to keep up with your SEO relevance and authority in Google’s search engine.
(Fuzzy on SEO? Here’s a quick refresher on what it is and why it matters.)
Improving your website’s SEO can feel like a constant game of unknowns. How can Google’s quality rater guidelines (QRGs) can help you? Let’s take a closer look at what QRGs are, how they work, and how you can use them to improve your SEO with the new EEAT model.
How Google’s revised quality rater guidelines are ranking your content — and what it means for your SEO
First — what the heck are quality rater guidelines, and why should I care?
Quality rater guidelines (QRGs) are a set of guidelines that Google uses to rate the quality of websites and their content. They’re designed to help Google’s human raters evaluate the quality of search results, and to help Google’s algorithms understand what makes content high-quality.
This covers several factors — the accuracy of the content, the expertise of the author, the trustworthiness of the website, and the overall user experience. Google uses these guidelines to help determine which websites and pages should rank highest in its search results.
QRGs provide a set of criteria that Google’s human raters use to evaluate the quality of websites and their content. The raters are given a set of search queries and asked to evaluate the quality of the search results.Then they evaluate the content based on the aforementioned factors. Based on the raters’ evaluations, they’ll provide feedback to Google’s algorithms. This is what helps determine which web pages rank highest in its search results.
In short, QRGs are important (and should matter to you!) because:
- Google determines which websites and pages should rank highest in its search results. This means that if you want your website to rank well on Google, you need to pay attention to these guidelines.
- They help you understand what Google considers to be high-quality content. This can help you create content that is more likely to be found by Google’s algorithms and human raters, which can help improve your SEO.
- They provide a clear roadmap for creating your own high-quality content. By following QRGs, you can improve the quality of your own website’s content, and in turn, improve your website’s ranking..
Okay, so QRGs are a big deal for ranking on Google. That’s one set of letters. What about these letters: EEAT?
Let’s back up: EAT was the original acronym for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google has since added an extra “E” to the equation for effectively ranking content geared toward betterment of its consumers: experience.
From Google, to assure you further that you don’t need to panic and throw out your entire understanding of the EAT framework:
These are not fundamentally new ideas. And we’re by no means abandoning the fundamental principle that Search seeks to surface reliable information, especially on topics where information quality is critically important. Rather, we hope these updates better capture the nuances of how people look for information and the diversity of quality information that exists in the world.
Using this framework, Google ranks web pages according to the first-hand experience and unique value the content creator can offer readers.
For instance, one of our clients specializes in digital printing — specifically laminated plastic cards and key tag mailers for businesses who benefit from custom membership cards, loyalty cards, and even physical savings promotions. Their blog targets specific clientele who they’ve already served before (such as fitness clubs, HVAC companies, and more) and who are searching for this specific product.
Know your audience, know their needs, and make it personal. Target your keywords and content accordingly!
So what are the main factors considered in quality rater guidelines?
As we mentioned earlier, remember the main tenets of the acronym: expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness (EEAT).
Also keep in mind that while Google wants to provide users with content that is accurate and written by experts in their field, Google also wants to provide its users a positive experience when they visit a website. Factors like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and ease-of-use are critical to keep up with hand-in-hand with your content.
How can I improve my SEO with quality rater guidelines in mind?
First, here are a few basic tips for improving your SEO with quality rater guidelines in mind:
- Focus on creating high-quality content that is accurate, informative, and engaging.
- Build on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness by providing accurate information, using credible sources, and using tip-top grammar, spelling and syntax (seriously). And build on experience with first-hand accounts and prior work to point to. Bolster your expertise in your field, and prove it. We especially love the use of testimonials for this reason!
- Prioritize user experience by optimizing your website for speed, mobile-friendliness, and ease-of-use. Have an awesome web support team, whether it’s internal or remote (we can certainly help with that — with your first month of web services free!)
- Limit the number and placement of ads and supplementary content on your website to ensure that they don’t detract from the user experience.
Wondering if you’re doing this whole SEO thing right? We have a quick and dirty beginner’s guide to SEO just for you!
On the flip side, here are just a few common mistakes to avoid when creating content according to Google’s QRGs:
- Plagiarism — This should be a given. Google penalizes websites that use content that is copied from other sources. And this includes AI, as we like to continually discuss with our marketing peers. Trust us: Google can tell when AI did your work for you.
- Second-hand content — Piggybacking off the prior point, are you regurgitating content and commentary already made by someone else with no unique insights that you (and only you) can offer? I think we’ve said enough here.
- Keyword stuffing — Keywords are everything. But overusing keywords by the tens and in unnatural (and usually cringey) repetition can devalue your content and really hurt your website’s ranking on Google.
- Poor user experience — This means websites that are slow to load, difficult to navigate, or not mobile-friendly can hurt your SEO.
Want more? We wrote a list of rookie SEO myths that still somehow keep popping up year after year! Read it and weep. (Not really — we love you no matter what.)
The future of Google’s quality rater guidelines and its impact on SEO
So what’s next? Well, wouldn’t we all like to know. *cries in SEO*
But in all seriousness, Google’s quality rater guidelines will continue to play a major role in determining which websites and pages rank highest in its search results. As Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated, SEO experts, marketers, and marketing-minded business owners need to look to the source and adapt to the standards that make or break truly optimized content.
In the end, Google’s guidelines and the “insights” it provides are actually pretty common-sense action items once they’re verbalized (hence the quotes around “insights” — nothing new under the sun and all that).
And so we repeat: keep creating high-quality content that prioritizes user experience and expertise, and have the right people working alongside you in that endeavor, and you absolutely can improve your website’s ranking on Google and attract more visitors to your site — whatever changing guidelines Google may hurl your way.
Is my SEO on the right track to rank on Google with EEAT?
The importance of creating quality content that meets Google’s standards cannot be understated.
This might be your sign to start with R Creative’s content marketing services. We amplify your SEO relevance and authority with in-depth keyword research, brand voice consultation, careful subject matter research, and (of course) the writing itself.
Our content writing team is dependable, capable, and (best of all) kind. We know your website is the lifeline your business depends on to function. We take every blog article, landing page, tagline, and every other written thing you can imagine very seriously — because we value our customers’ peace of mind as we reach their customers.
Ready to be heard? Your next step to improving your marketing content is as easy as contacting us.
(P.S. Need new web maintenance? Sign on with R Creative, and get your first month of web-related service free).