— Google

An overview of our rater guidelines for Search

How often are the rater guidelines updated?

Just like we make improvements to Search, we update the rater quality guidelines from time to time to make sure they’re working as intended.

Some changes are meant to tackle issues we’ve identified in Search, and may include expanded sections and new examples to help guide raters. For example, in 2017, we updated our guidelines to provide more detailed examples of low-quality web pages that included misleading information, unexpected offensive results, hoaxes or other content.

Sometimes, we identify concepts that are especially challenging for raters. We then make changes to the guidelines to improve ratings. In 2020, for instance, we provided new guidance on how to tell if a result from a dictionary or encyclopedia would be useful for a certain query.

Other changes focus on things like refreshing the language for clarity and updating organization. That’s what made up most of our October 2021 update, which included clarifications of what constitutes lowest quality content, and refreshed and modernized guidance on researching the reputation of websites.

We rigorously review, test and evaluate all changes to ensure they’re helpful and having the intended effect. And we have a publicly available log at the end of our guidelines describing in detail any changes we make. Ultimately, these updates are designed to make Search work better for you.


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