8 Digital Marketers Take On Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

On November 19, 2015, Google sent shockwaves through the digital marketing world by releasing the Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines document. Call it what you want – the Holy Grail of SEO, a search skeleton key, a golden ticket, or the largest cat to ever be let out of a bag – but one thing is for sure: You best be paying attention.

This isn’t to say that following these guidelines to a ‘t’ is going to guarantee you a top SERP (after all, Pirates of the Caribbean did teach us that “guidelines” are – at best – suggestions). However, to ignore the information at hand would be a serious oversight. Our SEO team spent some time reading the Guidelines, and while it’s evident we all read the same document, the variety of perspectives indicates the plethora of information that was actually in those 160 pages. Scroll down to read our takeaways…

Jared Townsend | SEO Copywriter

When weighing where to place your website within its search results, at its core, Google’s algorithm has always asked, “Does your website provide a direct answer to the user’s search query?” To accomplish this, it’s important for your website to be unique, reputable, high quality, and easy to navigate – true whether it’s being accessed on desktop or through mobile. In the always changing world of SEO, checking to see if your website meets these standards is more important than ever.

Read Jared’s Perspective

Angela Sanders | Content Marketing Specialist

I remember when Google first appeared to the public as an alternative to encyclopedias. I also remember when my teachers limited the use of Internet resources in research papers. Then people started using it as a verb, which quickly resulted in Google (v.) being added into the Oxford English Dictionary. Seeing this transformation has been an odd privilege, but it does verify one aspect of Google – the company is doing something right. So, to have access to information as organic as the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines is something I will gladly accept.

Read Angela’s Perspective

Hannah Scherrer | SEO Copywriter

As Google evolves, SEOs and digital marketers will continue to seek ways to “beat the system” and work their way into the top spot. With that said, spammy strategies have been shown the door by consistent algorithm updates and improvements. How are we – in the digital marketing space – to respond? By giving users what they really want: trustworthy, relevant content; simple, effective page design; and universal user experience across all devices.

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Reed Langton-Yanowitz | Account Manger, SEM Specialist

When designing a site to be high-quality in the eyes of Google, the cardinal rule is to focus on the user experience. First consider what the user hopes to achieve by visiting the site, then tailor your main content around achieving this objective as clearly and conveniently as possible. Make it as easy as possible for the user to find the content that they want, and don’t forget to demonstrate to the user why they should trust you as an authoritative content provider.

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Andrew Vanderiet | SEM/SEO Copywriter

Google has created new search quality evaluation guidelines to match changing user behavior. The goal is to create a more engaging experience with every search. The guidelines emphasize the importance of Page Quality factors when creating a webpage. Content creators can increase their Page Quality rating by tailoring a page to clearly meet a particular purpose. The other big factor Google considers is the Needs Met rating. To score highly, content creators must create pages that allow mobile users to immediately get the information they’re looking for and not have to search anywhere else to get it.

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Tory Vang | SEM Specialist

You might be thinking, “why would SEO or quality content matter to an advertiser?” Although running campaigns consist of understanding Click Through Rates, Conversions, Cost Per Acquisitions and many more data metrics it is important to understand how quality content affects an Ad.

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Chip Fox | Account Manager, Internet Marketing Specialist

After reading through the recently published, “Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” I noticed how important testing on an Android device is for Google’s Evaluators. It brought me to consider the effect of our agency implementing the use of Android devices when we test and evaluate the performance of websites under our scope of work. The end goal is not to just produce high results through one source of search results, but across the board.

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Michelle Conway | Account Manager, Internet Marketing Specialist

Simply appealing to Google is not the be-all and end-all for your rankings—you have to put thought, time and effort into SEO to ensure that what you’re providing is valuable to users above all. There is no shortcut for valuable SEO, no black hat tactics that will secure you lasting results. At the end of the day, short-term gains are not worth investing in, and long-term results are well worth the wait.

Read Michelle’s Perspective