What to Know About Google’s Updated Quality Rater Guidelines

Many website owners may not be aware that Google has official guidelines that break down the dos and don’ts of quality content. A few weeks ago, Google announced it had revised these guidelines for 2022.

It seems that every year Google makes some changes to the 167-page document, as last October was the most recent time it was updated.

Let’s examine what was updated in this current round and what you should know.

Changes to Their Guidelines to Keep in Mind

  • The most significant changes were to the “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) category, which details websites that have content that could cause harm to readers.
  • In the past, Google displayed a list of niches that fell into the YMYL category. In the updated document, however, this list was removed. They now define YMYL topics as ones that may significantly impact or harm a person’s health, financial stability, safety, or wellbeing.
  • To help explain “Your Money or Your Life,” Google updated this chart that gives examples of content you may find online that is, may be, or is likely not YMYL.
  • For YMYL topics to be considered unharmful, they explained how these sites’ content must showcase expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), as misinformation on these topics can impact one’s life.
  • Further, they also noted that low-quality content can exist on what are otherwise high-authority and trustworthy websites, such as government or academic sites.
  • Given that their quality guidelines can be confusing, Google recently published a new resource to help people understand how search works, how they strive to improve search results, and their process of determining the quality of websites.
  • If you would like a more detailed explanation and breakdown of all the changes made in their document, Search Engine Land published a very informative post to help.

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Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company via various SEO, web design, and PPC strategies. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Search Engine Land, GoDaddy, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, and Mashable.

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