Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines – Marie Haynes

Back when I was thinking about setting up the Optimisey SEO events and setting myself up as an SEO consultant I asked lots of people for advice.

Lots of them ignored me, some were downright rude (I get, they were busy, I was asking for something for nothing) but some were busy and downright lovely. One of them was Marie Haynes.

Marie’s a super sharp SEO and shares lots of fantastic knowledge with a great deal of humility and honesty. So I was hugely excited when Marie generously agreed to add Cambridge to her UK tour, when she was over here speaking at BrightonSEO. Marie’s based in Ottawa, Canada so this was no short trip for her.

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Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Marie gave a killer talk on Google’s Quality Rater’s Guidelines which, given all the recent volatility in the search results and the recent algorithm updates, has more relevance than ever.

Here’s the video of the talk, slides and full transcript below – with the usual caveats that mistakes on the copy are more likely mine than Marie’s. Enjoy.

Marie Haynes on GOogle’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines

Download Marie’s slides (3MB PDF)

All right well thank you for having me here and… pay attention to what Andrew’s doing because I saw… he’s not even listening… he’s not paying attention to what I’m doing. He’s just socialising. We could just talk about him and stare at him. Everybody stare at him… ‘Oh nothing!’

Anyways he’s gonna do some really good stuff in SEO I know it ’cause he’s got a lot of drive and he got all of you people here and Optimisey… he’s gonna be a really, really big thing I think it’s… oh you didn’t hear the other stuff I said about you Andrew? Oh that’s too bad…

So my name is Marie Haynes and I am Canadian. And Andrew asked me to put something Canadian in my slide deck so this is me getting slobbered on by a moose which is one of the most Canadian things that you can do.

Most of you are probably familiar with seeing moose with big antlers and this was a female moose and I was covered in slobber so yeah so feel free to talk to me about Canadian things ’cause I love Canada.

My company… so years ago… I have a really weird career path. I used to be a veterinarian still am licensed and I know people would say you know ‘Why would you switch from such a great career to SEO?’ And it’s kind of a long story and I don’t have time to share all that with you! Happy to share it if you’re going out for a drink afterwards but for years I’ve done solo consulting mostly doing site assessments, so helping websites just be better.

And the stuff that JP was talking about is fantastic right because Google is getting better at figuring out which websites actually are serving people’s needs. You know, in the past, how many of you have been doing SEO type stuff like pre-Penguin, pre-2012 any? Okay so you guys remember like the days where most of SEO was, you know ‘Let’s just build links; let’s build our own links; let’s get more links’ you know everywhere we can get links was kind of like that was most of SEO.

And Google’s you know trying to they’re getting past like tricks and loopholes to convince Google that you’re better and they’re actually figuring out you know which sites are actually serving the user best.

So this stuff , looking at site search, is really good because:

If people are coming to your website and they can't find what they want they're just gonna go somewhere else. - @marie_haynes speaking at an #Optimisey event

And Google can figure that out they can figure out if people you know genuinely like to use your competitor’s site then it’s probably gonna rank better so figuring out what it is that can serve users better is kind of what we do.

So I say ‘we’ now because just over a year ago I started hiring people and we have ten of us now who all we do now is just do site quality reviews so there’s sort of a mixture of a site audit a technical audit looking at how well the site serves users and looking at these quality raters guidelines which we’re going to talk about today.

What are the Google Quality raters’ Guidelines?

How many of you are familiar like reasonably familiar with Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines?

Just a couple? Okay either that or people don’t like to raise hands which you know that’s that’s a pet peeve of mine: speakers that ask you to constantly raise your hands. I won’t do it constantly.

The Quality Raters’ Guidelines this is something that I guarantee you like a year or more from now you’re gonna be hearing so much stuff about these guidelines and you’re gonna say like ‘Oh wow we had this information before.’ like this is stuff that:

I’m going to show you some evidence as to why I think that almost everything in Google’s algorithms today ties back to something in these Quality Raters’ Guidelines.

And so if we can understand them we can produce really really good websites.

So these guidelines they’re available for all of us to read you can just do a search for Search Quality Guidelines or Google Quality Raters’ Guidelines and they are about a hundred and sixty pages long.

I find them interesting but most people don’t so I actually I don’t think I have the link on here but if you go maybe I can do a little bit of a pitch for the newsletter that I have.

I have a newsletter that has a free and a paid version and if you sign up for the paid version you get my checklist that my team uses to go through the Quality Raters’ Guidelines so I don’t know where maybe Andrew you have an affiliate link for that so if you want to share that you can but the point is that there’s tons of stuff here that Google uses to train people to assess quality in a website.

— You can sign-up for Marie’s newsletter here (it’s awesome) —

So if you have ever wondered I mean every time there’s an algorithm update somebody asks a Google employee ‘Well how are we supposed to recover from this?’ and their answer is always ‘Create…’ who knows what the answer is always: ‘Create great content right’ and I mean they don’t tell you how to do it and that’s what these guidelines do.

So in fact when Google first, they used to be secret, you couldn’t get them unless you were actually a Quality Rater – which I’ll talk about in a second who those people are – and then a few years ago they said: ‘Look we’re gonna let everybody read it’ and this is to help webmasters understand what Google looks for in web pages.

So if you ever wanted to know what Google considers to be high quality it’s all in this document which is pretty exciting and it blows my mind that most of the SEO community is paying no attention to these.

So let’s talk a little bit about who the quality raters are any of you could be Quality Raters you can apply online to be a Quality Rater.

I did I got approved then it turns out you have to commit at least 15 hours a week to doing it so… I have a business I can’t do that but some of you,you know you can learn a lot of stuff and you you work with other not just Google you’ll work with other businesses and search engines as well.

But the Quality Raters get these really simple to answer questions and so for example they might get instructions to do a particular search and then see the site that’s ranking number one: ‘Would you trust your site this site with your credit card information? Would you is there anything on here that you find annoying or frustrating?’

And so they asked these people and there are there’s different numbers as to how many Quality Raters are out there I’ve heard the number 10,000 being thrown around and I actually talked with somebody who works for the company that contracts out these Quality Raters she said it’s actually closer to a 100,000 people all around the world.

So let’s say that a Quality Rater lands on your site and has to assess it.

The Quality Rater is not the same as Google's webspam team so it's not like they can put a penalty on your site if they think that your site is low-quality. - @marie_haynes speaking at an #Optimisey event

Or maybe not your site – like your competitor’s site – because all of you have super high quality sites right?

If they see that then it’s not like your site all of a sudden it’s gonna lose rankings. What happens is this information gets fed back to the Google engineers. And if they see a problem – so if tons of Quality Raters are saying like there’s a site that’s ranking really well and it has these issues that the guidelines have considered low quality – then the engineers try to tweak the algorithm so that that doesn’t happen anymore.

And the big update that Andrew mentioned, this Medic Update which I’ll talk a little bit about in this talk, it really had to do with an issue of low quality in a lot of websites that were previously being able to rank well.

And so Google is is one by one is closing these loopholes.

If you’ve found ways to trick Google into thinking that you’re the best site these things are not working so well now and truly you need to actually be the best site and the most trustworthy site for people.

So understanding what’s in these guidelines is super important.

What were the Panda & Penguin ALgorithm updates?

I want to go back a little bit and talk about Panda and Penguin. I think most of you are probably familiar with these algorithm updates.

Panda came out back in 2011 and it was Google’s first real strong attempt at on-site quality at assessing it. And the reason why I want to talk about these is algorithms, they don’t work the same way that they used to back then.

So back then if you were hit by Panda you could not recover from Panda until Google ran the algorithm again. And sometimes that would be like a month later, sometimes it would be months and months later.

And this is a particular case that I worked with years ago that they came to me somewhere along – it wasn’t this whole time early but somewhere along the line – and we trimmed out a bunch of thin content.

This was a forum that had like a bunch of forum posts that you know when you do a search for something you’re like: ‘Oh this forum has the answer.’ and then you go to the page and there’s no replies to the forum question, that type of thing.

We got rid of that, we made a script to get rid of these posts that were just not helpful to people and then Panda ran again and they saw recovery.

And then Penguin is the link related algorithm.

Penguin is sort of my passion that’s what – I was actually pregnant and on bed-rest when Penguin came out and so I had all day to just try to figure out how it worked – and it became an obsession for me.

And it was the same sort of thing that you know if you were hit you were hit really hard and – I don’t know why I didn’t put a slide in with a good recovery – this one has at the end I know that makes me look bad right?

We have had good Penguin recoveries but the reality is that back then these algorithms would run and then you’d wait.

Penguin went almost two years before it ran again and there were so many businesses that were trying to figure out you know can we recover? And so that’s how things used to be.

And now this is a tweet from Danny Sullivan, who’s now with Google, and if you want to keep up to date with what Google is doing you should follow this Twitter account the Search Liaison, Google Search Liaison.

It’s he’ll just give us updates of you know ‘Here’s what Google is doing’ and somebody oh I think it even came up earlier that somebody says you know Google does three to four updates a day.

But what Danny said was every now and then we do this one that’s more significant we have a more a core quality update.

I thoroughly believe that every single core quality update we've had since early 2017 has to do with something that's in Google's Quality Raters' Guidelines. - @Marie_Haynes speaking at #Optimisey

So back in February of 2017 I started to get people contacting me for site reviews and they saw traffic drops that looked either like this or this is super typical of sites that you know – and this is all Google organic traffic.

And then we saw a lot of sites that look like this. This particular site I have a good recovery story for you that I think I’m sharing later. And the thing was that all of these sites were like pretty decent sites that used to rank really well and then we’ll change something.

And this update,in my opinion, was one of the biggest updates we’ve ever had and yet we never gave it a name it’s just to me it’s the February 7th update.

Five days after this update happened Gary Illyes from Google tweeted this like ‘random reminder’ that ‘Hey maybe we should be reading the Quality Raters’ Guidelines’ and I actually asked him in person you know: ‘Was that really random or were you telling us that the changes that we saw in the algorithm were related to the guidelines?’ and he confirmed that yes this was his reminder or his hint to say like ‘Hey if you want to see improvements then you should follow the stuff in the Guidelines’.

And then this again Danny Sullivan when he was asked about creating great content he said you know ‘We gave you this guide we had you have the Guide’ and i was thrilled that he actually retweeted one of my tweets where we were sort of bragging about a client that we had helped using the Quality Raters Guidelines.

So hopefully that’s enough evidence to tell you that this is important stuff.

Some of these core quality updates are really, really serious so this August 1st is this update that Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable named it the Medic Update.

And the main reason for that is that the majority of sites that were affected had some sort of a medical nature to it. And in my opinion I think it’s way broader than medical sites.

I mean now we’ve been reviewing we’ve reviewed quite a few sites that saw drops at this time and really this update was all about trust. And so I don’t have time to go into all of the details – was anybody here negatively affected by this update? A couple of you were okay if I don’t cover stuff like feel free to come find me afterwards and I can give you some tips on what types of things this update went after.

But primarily it’s usually trust issues and some of those can be fixed and some of them I don’t think can which can be tricky.

This graph is from SEMRush – which is a great tool you know to look at traffic for sites that are not your own -so this is a site that we’re about to do a site review on to see if we can help recover.

This is one of our clients – this is a very braggy presentation sorry about that it’s a very non-Canadian of to brag! – but it was one of our clients that actually this is the client that saw the hit on February 7th 2017 and they saw some nice increases with this update.

What ARE E-a-T and YMYL in SEO?

So all of these sites that saw hits whether it was February of 2017 or one of these core quality updates had issues with something called E A T.

And E A T stands for Expertise Authoritativeness and Trust. And so you know I tweet about this a lot.

I had somebody tweet me just recently saying: 'You don't really believe that Google's measuring this algorithmically do you?' and I thoroughly do. - @marie_haynes speaking at #Optimisey
I'm telling you this stuff - E A T - in my opinion is a bigger ranking factor than links. - @marie_haynes speaking at an #Optimisey SEO event

They’re closely tied together but you really really need to be paying attention to E A T.

So this is a screenshot from the Quality Raters’ Guidelines and they talked extensively about expertise authoritativeness and trust and it says that it’s made up of, this is main content quality.

The amount of main content website information and website reputation which we’re going to talk about in a second.

These things all make up this E A T thing. E A T is super important for sites that are ‘Your Money or Your Life’ [YMYL].

So if you are financial, medical, legal or e-commerce if you have people actually give you money on your website then you need to be paying close attention to this.

There are other types of YMYL sites as well. One of the examples in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines is sites that deal with adoptions. You know it’s not, I mean I guess you could say it’s a little bit legal, but it’s it’s an issue where you’re helping people make a very important decision in their lives.

And most web sites I mean most of you if you’re here you probably have a YMYL website so most of us should be paying attention to this.

I’m sorry this is a lot of text but the the point I’m trying to make here is that the Quality Raters’ Guidelines say that if you’re YMYL then they say if expertise authoritativeness and trustworthiness is lacking then the Quality Raters are supposed to give you a low, low rating.

The guidelines talk about characteristics of a high quality page and all of you I would say should, you know, read these sections.

I don’t again have time to go through I actually have done this presentation as a full-day presentation before and still didn’t get through all the stuff that we had to get through so you know I won’t be able to share everything.

But the very first thing that is listed as a sign of a high quality website is to have a high level of E A T. And they also have a list of low quality traits which – who can guess what the first quality of a low quality website is? Is one of these you know is necessary to be low quality… and lacking E A T is the first thing.

So if you are lacking this E A T thing which I’m going to explain then that can be assigned for Google to rank you less highly.

So this part here: ‘safety of users’ that I highlighted on here, this was added to the Quality Raters’ Guidelines in late July at least the version that they published publicly. Who knows maybe it was in there before?

And in my opinion this is what the whole Medic August 1st update was about – was Google protecting the safety of users.

Some of the sites that we’ve seen drop where sites that had issues with refunds not being honoured or sites that were medical that sort of made claims that were a little bit dubious – that you know people don’t really prescribe to or medical sites that had no scientific references, you know that type of thing.

So safety of users is very, very important.

How can you improve your eat?

And so the question that comes up is how do you improve E A T? And the reality is that it's quite difficult. - @Marie_Haynes speaking at #Optimisey

But it can be done I gave a talk in Salt Lake City recently and they had this great like feedback for speakers and the number one feedback that I had was ‘I really liked the cat gifs’ so you know here’s some cat gifs for you.

I asked Gary Illyes again at PubCon Austin: ‘How does Google algorithmically measure E A T?’ and I was surprised when he actually told us. This was you know not in a private conversation this was in public.

He said it’s primarily based on links and mentions on authoritative sites.

So if you get a mention from the New York Times there’s a good chance that that’s not a paid link. You know if the New York Times wants to write about your business then you know that’s that’s a good thing and that is a sign of trust and authority right?

If Forbes writes about your business – I realise these might be not the greatest examples for the UK – but you know if the Guardian or somebody like that writes about you generally that’s a good sign of authority.

But Google knows the parts of the web that can be easily bought and so what Gary told me was that Google knows the parts of Forbes that you can I mean any of us could contact somebody who works for Forbes and pay for a link honestly it’s very, very easy I’m sure we all get those emails all the time right very like ‘Oh I have connections with Forbes with Huffington Post with all these different sites and I can get you a link for only you know 500 pounds’ or something like that.

And people would buy that but Google knows which parts can be bought and they’ve worked really, really hard on that.

So here is what they do look at. So one of the things they look at is reputation and this is very important and this is why SEO is really, really moving away from just you know ‘Is your website technically sound?’ or ‘Do you have you know so many links?’ or things like that.

It's looking at like what real people actually think about your business. And Google doesn't want to rank sites where people say this business is horrible. - @Marie_Haynes speaking at #Optimisey

One of the first sites that I reviewed that dropped on February 7th of last year was a software that you could buy. And all of the reviews said every time I downloaded the software I got malware and I couldn’t get a refund and the company was horrible and that is factored into Google’s algorithms.

In fact they give you examples. Now these are very much American examples do you have the Better Business Bureau in the UK? Or is there an equivalent? So what I would say I mean they talk about Yelp, Better Business Bureau if it’s applicable Amazon and Google Shopping as a source to look for reviews.

When we do our site quality reviews what we do – because we do them internationally we just did one for a company in Spain – and what we would do then is look at who’s actually ranking well for your queries and where do they have reviews?

So you want to look at your competitors’ review landscapes and often what we’ll find is a vast difference in either the number of reviews or the quality of the reviews.

So if your business has five reviews on Yelp and the sites that are ranking really well have 500 that’s kind of a sign that like maybe that other business is more of an authority than you are.

So and similarly if you know if you had the same number of reviews but yours tend to be one-star reviews and theirs are four or five stars that’s the type of thing that Google’s looking at.

THe importance of reviews in SEO

So you want to you know you really want to pay attention to your review profile. And sometimes those are hard things for an SEO to fix on a website.

You know if a business has really bad business practices and is getting bad reviews it’s going to be hard to rank and back in the days pre-Penguin if we just got enough links pointing to those pages they’d rank well. And that type of stuff is not working anymore.

This is an example from the guidelines and you can see it’s the old style Google logo – so they haven’t changed the images in there – but you know if you do a search for this company there’s a lot of things saying you know ‘I felt like I got scammed’ or ‘I didn’t get my order properly’ and this was given as an example of a low-quality websites.

The Better Business Bureau again like there might be I don’t know what they do for countries that don’t rely heavily on the Better Business Bureau but they said if you have a low rating on their Better Business Bureau this is a sign of negative reputation so that’s serious right? I mean you need to pay attention to these kind of things.

This is the example that they give. Again it’s this Dome Climber site that had an F rating and so that was to be seen as a sign of low quality.

This is I did a talk recently on just the August 1st update and a lot of people asked me about this Doctor Axe. Are you guys familiar with Dr. Axe? I guess he’s well known in the States. He’s kind of like a naturopathic doctor but he’s really well-known and if you – I think I have the slide yeah – if you look at his website you know he looks like he has a lot of E A T.

He looks like you know: he’s experienced, he’s got a degree, he’s got this clinic where like he actually treats people with these natural medicines… and we wondered at first if this drop was like maybe because it was a naturopathic thing and some of that didn’t really fit into common scientific consensus?

And then we did some more digging and this is their Better Business Bureau profile not only do they have a low rating but they have like this massive red warning that says like: ‘Warning do not do business with this company because people are complaining all over the place that they can’t get a refund.’

And so we did tons of other searches like there where they have products on Amazon and their Amazon reviews we’re basically saying like all the same thing: ‘I bought the product and it didn’t work I couldn’t get a refund’ you know things like that so that is affecting their ability to rank which is kind of scary right?

You need to be like a good business all-around in order to rank now.

There’s a lot of stuff in the quality raters guidelines about Wikipedia.

So Wikipedia it’s very hard to get a Wikipedia page unless you actually are an authority. So Wikipedia has this whole process that it’s hard to spam your way in there. You have to have all these accolades, you have to have people talking about you all the time you have to have loads of experience and basically you have to have E A T and so we do these reviews where we’ll say you know oh the three sites that are ranking well they all have Wikipedia pages and you don’t.

Now there are ways you can get a Wikipedia page, I mean if any of you are working for a business that really is known as an authority then you want to start looking at that. It’s it’s a hard process to do. We want to get some of our staff sort of trained into being able to create Wikipedia pages but it’s it’s a challenge.

The other thing you can do though is it does talk about Wikipedia mentions and that’s not as hard to do.

So in the past you know we haven’t paid a lot of attention to Wikipedia links because they’re all no followed but even a mention in Wikipedia can kind of boost your perceived authority by Google.

So you can go in and edit a document that and then create a link to an external source on your website.

Some Wikipedia communities are really, they’re strong, and they will take out edits that look commercial but that’s something that you might be able to do to get yourself a little bit of a mention in in Wikipedia.

SEO & PR for link building

This is not really an awesome thing but I needed another cat gif so ‘Do awesome things’ and get press.

And the reason why I say do awesome things is because getting good press is not just about putting out a press release.

If you put out a press release that you like you know just got some funding or you just hire this big name in the industry that’s you talking about yourself.

What Google wants to see is that other people are talking about how amazing your company is and this is in the Guidelines as it says are you mentioned in news articles.

And so I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Haro.

I’m a big fan of Haro. It’s a free service that will connect you with journalists. So like let’s say you’re doing SEO for a dentist and Haro might send out an email saying ‘We need somebody to interview about teeth whitening’ and then you can connect them with your dental client and that will get them a mention in you know some type of authoritative site that’s related to dentistry.

And then well-known news sites, so Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable he did this really cool thing where he said: ‘Let’s stop like complaining about each other and let’s actually honour people in our industry’ and I really was honoured that he chose me.

But I don’t know why he chose an empty wine glass to put next to my head, I’m kind of hoping I drank it.

The reality is though that that helps my E A T right? So years ago I mean I wasn’t known in SEO and I wrote things, I got published on sites like Moz and SEMrush and I speak at events you know that that helps my E A T.

And so having somebody – I mean Search Engine Roundtable‘s known as an authoritative site for SEO – that helps me, so in your industries you know what the big players are.

And sometimes it’s hard because the big players can be your competition right? So you’re not going to get mentioned probably on competitor’s sites but the thing is you have to do stuff that legitimately gets people talking or create content that like actually people want to share in order to boost your E A T.

I talked a little bit about forum mentions and the reason why I put this gif on is that those of us who did link building years ago, we do even then we didn’t pay a lot of attention to forums because it’s so easy to spam forums. And I thoroughly believe that Google can figure out you know what conversations are actually legitimate in these forums.

For years all I did was penalty work, Google penalties. And so I’ve done so many link audits and I can tell you I mean we look at a forum you look at a couple posts and you can see like ‘Oh yeah the SEO wrote these’ or ‘People are actually talking about this company’ and this is in the Guidelines is that forum discussions can actually speak to your E A T.

I put this in there as an example because this is actually if I was doing SEO when I was a vet I would be monitoring forums in my area you know I’d be looking at where can I jump in and say like ‘Oh we can help you here’ without being to market-y.

What can I do to actually get people talking if you think about like a lot of forum discussions if you’re in any forums you’re talking about like the cool article that came out or the thing that was going viral. And so this is the type of mention that you want to get which again is really hard you can’t like manipulate your way into forums because those communities are pretty strict about about marketing stuff but if you’re truly doing good stuff then you can get forum mentions and that can help.

AUthor Authority and E-A-T

We’ll talk a little bit about author E A T and this is debatable. John Mueller from Google in a Google Help Hangout did he made a statement that sort of said it’s sort of implied that Google wasn’t looking at the E A T of authors.

But I interpreted it a different way and all throughout the Quality Raters’ Guidelines are these things about the E A T of the content creator.

So think about it if you were trying to do your taxes would and you had a question would you want to read an article that was written by like a really good journalist or an article written by somebody who has done taxes for 20 years, knows every question that has ever come up and really, really knows their stuff?

I mean obviously it’s the latter right?

And so what we are seeing all the time like these drops that happen on February 7th but one of the examples the one that had the biggest drop they were a medical site and they had no medical E A T.

And what we were seeing was that like all of their articles were written by journalists. And so we actually worked with them to hire physicians, which is very expensive, you know they hired doctors – the doctors fact-checked all their posts and then they put an author bio that said this was written by so-and-so and it was fact-checked by doctor so-and-so and then each of those – both the author and the fact-checker – had their own author bio.

And on author bios we like to see that this is a whole page that just says it brags about here’s why you want to read the article by these contributors because they have this schooling, they’ve won these awards, they’re recognised in these authoritative places.

And so we don’t know how Google figures that out but I like to put that all I like to put on our company’s About page I like to say like: ‘Look we were mentioned in all of these authoritative places’ and you know just brag as much as you can and you should be doing that.

If you have the type of content that has individual authors you should be bragging about how experienced all your authors are.

Now the question that always comes up is: ‘Well what if they’re not experienced?’ and one thing we’re experimenting with is just adding some words in there to say you know if I’m writing about diabetes I could say – I mean I’m making this up I don’t have diabetes but – I could say you know I’ve been writing about diabetes for 10 years ever since my mother was diagnosed you know and and like write personal experience.

And there are examples in the Guidelines of sites that were you know actually considered high quality because they were real-life human experience that speaks to something.

So this particular site that we had them beef-up their author profiles. Now we did some other stuff on the site as well but they’re ranking really well for very, very important medical queries.

I actually when I did the full day training I was actually at this company on August 1st when the update happened and it was like a party! It was you know because this company is gonna make millions of dollars because of their improved E A T. That’s that’s pretty exciting – and we should have charged them more I think!

This is an example of – and I know you can’t read all these words on here – but all of the things on this author bio are saying like this person is super super skilled.

One of the sites that came to us for a review was a site that helped people write their resumes. And the people who were responsible for this site had like no business experience they just created a website and thought: ‘Well here’s a niche we can get into’.

And this site, this is actually from which is an offshoot of, and Allison Doyle it says like she’s recognised by Forbes as a top one of the top 100 websites she’s like you know considered a leading person to follow on Twitter by the Guardian.

She’s worked for many years in Human Resources she’s quoted on the New York Times, CNN like this person knows her stuff right? So that’s the type of thing.

And if you are like kind of scared right now because you’re like: ‘Oh you know my authors are not this person.’ then there’s two things you can do.

I mean one is is beef-up their credibility and two is actually get authors who are known as authorities in your field, which is tricky in terms of beefing up their credibility.

The best way in my opinion is to actually get your authors to write in other places. So start getting them published, start getting them to the point where if people, if I search for her name I can see all these mentions all over the place.

Marie Haynes' Google Quality Raters' Guidelines bookWhen I search for some of our clients that had seen the drops – well they didn’t see the drops they were our clients after the drops right – we’ll see that like the only mentions of their names are their Facebook profile their LinkedIn profile whereas the sites that are ranking well, their authors have mentions on all of these authoritative sites.

And so you want to make it so that like if if those of you who actually knew who I was before I came here, you recognise my name right? Like you could say like: ‘She does penalty work. She does Penguin work.’ and that’s what you need.

You need to make it so that your authors are recognised as experts in their field and the Quality Raters’ Guidelines just have so much other stuff in them that we don’t have time to go through. But I would tell you, I mean, read through them.

If you don’t have time to read through them then this is the link where you can get the book with a newsletter sign up. This is my book that summarises what you need to know in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines.

And that’s all I’ve got for you.

2 thoughts on “Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines – Marie Haynes”

  1. I cannot believe I missed the Cambridge event! Will definitely be signing up for the latest news and will try to get to a meet up soon! Just watched YouTube video of meet up, fantastic job by all involved!

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