Build an SEO Plan Using Google Quality Rater Guidelines 2021
Understanding Google’s algorithms is a convenient way to develop effective search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Everything you need to know is in these Google Quality Rater Guidelines 2021 — a document designed to help experts rank indexed websites. Also called QRG, it’s a grueling 172-page read, and not all of it is relevant to your SEO journey.
Thankfully, the experts at Infintech Designs have written this article to simplify Google’s guidelines. We’ve gathered valuable data on Google raters, quality guidelines, and pro SEO tips.
Read on to discover ways to boost your strategies.
What Is a Google Quality Rater?
A Google quality rater is an individual who validates the relevance of search engine results. Google often tweaks its algorithm to improve page suggestions, making these positions critical to elevate customer experiences.
Google hires quality raters throughout the world. They should have a deep understanding of the local language and culture.
Below are the core tasks of these workers:
- Review online content.
- Rate the relevance of search results based on QRG.
- Report findings to Google.
The guidelines allow these employees to understand how Google’s algorithm should work. Afterward, Google uses their feedback to discover how it impacts users.
The 3 QRG Pillars
While the latest QRG contains 172 pages of text-heavy information, we can divide it into three pillars. Let’s discuss each of them in detail.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Google raters evaluate pages based on their expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). While Google doesn’t assign an E-A-T score, it uses external and internal links to assess this feature.
The more authoritative sites use your page as a reliable information source, the better your E-A-T results get.
As much as possible, spend enough time on your research to become the data origin for particular topics.
Like any organization, Google wants to provide its users with exceptional value. In the search engine industry, these are some of the red flags that indicate low quality for consumers:
- Not being mobile-friendly: With global mobile online searches reaching over 50% of total search engine activity, Google raters consider mobile-friendliness a top priority.
- Content: Website owners should provide clients with valuable information.
- Page load speed: Recent website statistics reveal that a site should load in two to three seconds. A whopping 53% of site visitors will leave if it doesn’t.
- Grammar errors: We highly recommend proofreading and editing your content to impress potential clients and search engines alike.
Needs Met Rating
Lastly, Google observes a needs met rating. It refers to how well a page addresses a searcher’s needs. Here are some guidelines to help you ace this criterion.
- Create materials that inform, educate, and entertain visitors.
- Use keywords relevant to your topic.
- Consider a visitor’s overall website experience, including easy navigation, working links, and readable fonts.
Pro SEO Tips
We dug deep into Google Quality Rater Guidelines 2021 to provide you with these pro SEO tips. Below are some of the key takeaways.
Optimize for Mobile
Have you ever visited a website using your phone and got frustrated over confusing navigation, small buttons, and barely readable text? These brands failed to optimize for mobile.
Being mobile-friendly is so much more than compressing your content to fit a small screen. It’s about creating the entire customer journey for such gadgets.
The goal should be to minimize roadblocks in achieving desired customer actions.
These are some of the components to consider:
- Readable fonts
- Visible buttons
- Small images
- Auto-fill features
- Guest checkout
Keep in mind that over 50% of search engine activities now come from mobile gadgets. If you don’t optimize your site for these users, you lose the opportunity to connect with these consumers.
Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to learn how your website fares. To evaluate your site’s mobile-friendliness, paste your URL in the space provided.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google will make improvement recommendations.
Provide Users With Valuable Content
According to the QRG document, organizations should find the time, effort, and talent to create informative materials. Google raters evaluate copy based on three criteria: clear message, originality, and accuracy.
Google denies using grammar as a ranking factor, but the QRG reminds raters to note sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation errors. Remember that Google’s algorithm changes constantly, and grammar may be on the next set of ranking factors.
Whether it affects your SEO or not, we suggest proofreading your content to build your authority.
A Google quality rater gives top marks for original content. This criterion includes developing unique products, services, and experiences. Even if you discuss popular topics, it’s essential to offer a fresh perspective on them.
Apart from being understandable and unique, your content should also be accurate. Include external links to credible sources and veer away from unverified claims.
Review Keyword Intent
Search intent is not a universal experience all the time. For example, football means very different things to American audiences and most of Europe and Latin America.
The QRG document informs SEO professionals to consider how potential clients use keywords and make sure their results offer value to searchers at any given time.
This stipulation also reminds marketers to think of an item’s seasonality.
For instance, college students looking for a school wardrobe online in the summer may be searching for something else in the winter. Also, if the same users type in accounting conferences near me, they are likely looking for upcoming ones.
Remember to align your content with keyword intent to score points with raters and searchers alike.
QRG informs raters that a quality page isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but functional as well.
They make an effort to go through every page on a site to confirm that all clickable elements work as they should. In some cases, the customer journey falls apart after a few clicks.
Think like a rater and evaluate your site. Check the following features:
- Page load speed: Make sure your load time is below three seconds. Anything above this time frame affects your bounce rate.
- Interactive content: If you have games, maps, or calculators on your site, they should work accordingly.
- Embedded videos: These materials encourage visitors to stay longer, but they often cause user experience (UX) problems. Sometimes, they end up corrupted, blurry, or slow. Check your videos to make sure they play as expected.
- Check out process: If it takes visitors dozens of clicks to make a purchase, your website needs massive UX improvements. Don’t make it hard for them to buy products or services.
Manage Your Reputation
Google raters check various information sources to confirm your online authority, but two factors stand out against others: online reviews and business details.
Naturally, Google My Business (GMB) carries more weight in this department than other review sites.
While you should always aim for good reviews, you should welcome negative ones as well. After all, they provide you with the opportunity to improve your products or services.
Here are a few reminders when dealing with reviews:
- Clients don’t just leave ratings for the benefit of others. They use review sites as a platform to voice their opinions.
- Reply to all client reviews. Thank the customers who left positive reviews, but also reach out to complainants. Keep in mind that clients can edit GMB reviews, and addressing their concerns might turn negative ones around.
- Recent online review statistics reveal that 53% of consumers who leave negative reviews expect a reply within a week. Unfortunately, only 63% receive a response at all.
Another simple way to boost your ranking is to oversee your business details on various online platforms. Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across directories like GMB, FourSquare, and Yelp.
Enhance Consumer Confidence
As a consumer-centric company, Google values organizations that consumers trust. Raters look for signs of trustworthiness, with different standards for various industries.
Google sets higher standards for e-commerce and Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) websites — those that affect consumers’ safety, health, or financial stability.
Below are some of the factors raters consider, based on QRG:
- Business information: Raters consider websites that contain about us pages, policies, and contact data more trustworthy than those that don’t. Additionally, it’s best to include information like delivery time, return policies, and frequently asked questions.
- User engagement: Displaying your reviews and your replies on your website could boost your SEO ranking. Also, we recommend encouraging engagement by adding a chatbox and improving your linking structure.
- Consumer security: Google Chrome marks non-HTTPS websites as not secure. If you use progressive web apps (PWAs), it’s best to use HTTPS to protect your company and clients from cyber attacks.
Refine Your Website Ads
Google understands that ads are a crucial source of additional revenue. Therefore, the search engine giant supports their use. However, it’s not okay to display ads that affect the customer journey.
Pop-up, in-video, and autoplay ads are some of the worst types for consumers. Keep their use to a minimum.
Also, these are the Google Ads policies that raters likely observe:
- Ads shouldn’t contain counterfeit goods, dishonest practices, and offensive content.
- Google doesn’t support inappropriate data collection and use.
- Sites with sexual, alcohol, and gambling content should abide by laws.
While Google enables businesses of all sizes and industries to reach potential clients, it aims to create a safe space for users. It regularly reviews industry regulations and online trends to improve customer experiences.
Acknowledge Your Experts
Google recognizes that some sites require more expertise than others, such as government, medical, or financial sites.
However, it’s best to acknowledge the author of each website page. Name the authors of your materials to boost your credibility, along with information on what makes them qualified to write about specific topics.
Create a Call to Action
This advice may seem obvious, but organizations sometimes forget to include a call to action (CTA) on their sites. This portion of your site tells potential clients what to do next to complete their transactions.
Let them know if you want them to buy an item, schedule an appointment, or sign up for a mailing list.
Recent CTA statistics also reveal that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than typical ones. Read up about this topic to boost your conversion rates.
Boost Your Online Presence Now
Understanding the role of a Google quality rater can help you understand the company’s algorithms better. However, reading the 172-page document is not enough to learn how to use SEO to boost your online presence. This digital marketing subset may take years to hone.
Google’s global audience has reached a whopping 4.39 billion. A groundbreaking SEO strategy is one of the most cost-effective ways to capture, engage, and move potential customers to action.
If you don’t have SEO experts on your team, we recommend outsourcing such services. At Infintech Designs, we’ve been in the industry for over 13 years.
We know what it takes to transform websites into revenue-generating machines. Book a free consultation now to propel your company to new heights.
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Infintech Designs is a digital marketing agency that specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses succeed online.
Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, we understand the importance of making sure your business gets seen by customers searching for you on Google or other search engines—and this can be done through an effective web design strategy and clever use of ads.
We want to help make it easier for people like yourself with limited resources to get started! Contact us now!