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Diversity and Impartiality Are Emphasized in Google’s Search Quality Guidelines Update

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Google Instructs Raters to Avoid Personal Bias and Consider User Diversity

For the third time this year, Google has released a new set of updates to its search quality evaluator guidelines, this time to emphasize diversity and impartiality. The changes were less significant than previous ones, but indicate a changing way of thinking, and reinforce the importance of maintaining a non-bias and understanding diversity when it comes to rating search results.

So, What Are Rater Guidelines and What Do These New Changes Mean?

The Google Search Quality Rater Guideline is a handbook of criteria used by Google’s search quality team to evaluate the quality of the sites that come up in search results. Essentially, these guidelines instruct Google’s raters on how to make their assessments when it comes to site quality. According to Google, the new updates to these guidelines reflect the complex nature of certain queries and inadvertent bias when it comes to rating sites. “Different types of searches need very different types of search results,” stated Google in the updates guidelines. Snippet from Google rater guidelines Source: Search Engine Land

So, What Exactly Has Changed?

Here are the new guidelines that have been added:

  1. Removing Rater Bias

In the new guidelines, evaluators were told that their ratings “should not be based on personal opinions, preferences, religious beliefs, or political views,” unless their rating task indicates otherwise. Raters were also advised to ‘Always use your best judgement and represent the cultural standards and norms of your rating locale.”

  1. New Definitions

The terms “search engine” and “user” were also added to the ‘Definitions’ section. Within these guidelines, the term user has been defined by Google as a person trying to find information or accomplish a task on the internet. “Keep in mind that users are people from all over the world: people of all ages, genders, races, religions, political affiliations, etc.,” said Google. Another interesting takeaway is that the term “people” has been replaced by “user” in certain contexts. Section of new Google rater guidelines Source: Search Engine Land

  1. Diversity and Political Affiliations

The importance of understanding the diverse cultural and political backgrounds of users was further emphasized later in the guidelines, particularly when it comes to reporting offensive content. “Remember that people of all ages, genders, races, religions, and political affiliations use search engines for a variety of needs. One especially important user need is exploring subjects that may be difficult to discuss in person. For example, some people may hesitate to ask what racial slurs mean. People may also want to understand why certain racially offensive statements are made. Giving users access to resources that help them understand racism, hatred, and other sensitive topics is beneficial to society,” said Google. So, there you have it. While these changes may not have been as extensive as previous updates, these updates could be an indication of more things to come, and possibly even an upcoming algorithm change.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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