How to Leverage the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to Improve Your SEO and Traffic
The “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” is a training manual created by Google for their human manual rankers to evaluate and assign a “Page Quality Rating” to websites based on specific guidelines that rate the quality of a website’s content and the strength of their trust signals.
The following document uses copy taken word-for-word directly from the “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” manual.
The blue highlighted text is particularly on-point with the value Shopper Approved offers as part of our trust-building and SEO solution that is aligned to the Google quality guidelines in order to help our clients improve their trust signals and their Google rating.
2.6 Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content
A website’s reputation is based on the experience of real users, as well as the opinion of people who are experts in the topic of the website. Keep in mind that websites often represent real companies, organizations, and other entities. Therefore, reputation research applies to both the website and the actual company, organization, or entity that the website is representing.
A website’s reputation can also help you understand what a website is best known for, and as a result how well it accomplishes its purpose. For example, newspapers may be known for high-quality, independent investigative reporting while satire websites may be known for their humor.
Many websites are eager to tell users how great they are. Some webmasters have read these rating guidelines and write “reviews” on various review websites. But for Page Quality rating, you must also look for outside, independent reputation information about the website. When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.
As an official Google Reviews Partner, Shopper Approved is a trusted external source for verified customer reviews.
Your job is to truly evaluate the Page Quality of the site, not just blindly accept information on one or two pages of the website. Be skeptical of claims that websites make about themselves.
Shopper Approved Reviews from verified customers and our Q&A tool that allows the user community to answer questions will create highly trustworthy User-Generated Content.
2.6.1 Research on the Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content
Use reputation research to find out what real users, as well as experts, think about a website. Look for reviews, references, recommendations by experts, news articles, and other credible information created/written by individuals about the website.
Stores frequently have user ratings, which can help you understand a store’s reputation based on the reports of people who actually shop there. We consider a large number of positive user reviews as evidence of a positive reputation.
Shopper Approved collects up to 10X more verified customer reviews than any other review platform, giving you more reviews, in more places, faster.
Reputation research is necessary for all websites you encounter. Do not just assume websites you personally use have a good reputation. Please do research! You might be surprised at what you find.
Having more reviews in more places across the web makes your positive reputation easy to find and stand out. Shopper Approved uses a proprietary review distribution tool called Survey Destinations, which allows you to collect and send verified customer reviews to a variety of 3rd party, open review platforms, such as Consumer Affairs, BBB, Trust Pilot, Reseller Ratings, Site Jabber, and more. Giving you more reviews, in more places.
2.6.3 Customer Reviews of Stores/Businesses
Customer reviews can be helpful for assessing the reputation of a store or business. However, you should interpret these reviews with care, particularly if there are only a few. Be skeptical of both positive and negative user reviews. Anyone can write them, including the creator of the website or someone the store or business hires for this purpose. See here for a New York Times article on fake reviews and here for a Guardian article on fake reviews.
Shopper Approved collects only verified customer reviews to help build your reputation.
When interpreting customer reviews, try to find as many as possible. Any store or website can get a few negative reviews. This is completely normal and expected. Large stores and companies have thousands of reviews and most receive some negative ones.
Shopper Approved uses a proprietary review distribution tool called Survey Destinations, which allows you to collect and send verified customer reviews to a variety of 3rd party, open review platforms, such as Trust Pilot, Reseller Ratings, Site Jabber, and more. Giving you more reviews, in more places.
And because we collect up to 10X more verified customer reviews than any other review platform, you will have more reviews, faster. Even more reviews than you would collect as a direct customer of Trust Pilot.
2.6.4 How to Search for Reputation Information
When searching for reputation information, try to find sources that were not written or created by the website, the company itself, or the individual. For example, IBM might have official Facebook or Twitter pages that it closely maintains, which would not be considered independent sources of reputation information about the company. See here for a Wikipedia article on identifying and using independent sources.
Look for articles, reviews, forum posts, discussions, etc. written by people about the website. For businesses, there are many sources of reputation information and reviews. Here are some examples: Yelp, Better Business Bureau (a nonprofit organization that focuses on the trustworthiness of businesses and charities), Amazon, and Google Shopping. You can try searching on specific sites to find reviews. For example, you can try [ibm site:bbb.org] or [“ibm.com” site:bbb.org].
As an official Google Reviews Partner, Shopper Approved is an independent, trusted external source for verified customer reviews.
And our Survey Destinations tool can send verified customer reviews to the BBB, giving you a positive reputation with lots of reviews. And our Product Reviews give you stars and ratings on Google Shopping, Product Listing Ads, and more.
4.5 A High Level of Expertise / Authoritativeness / Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
High-quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. Remember that there are “expert” websites of all types, even gossip websites, fashion websites, humor websites, forum and Q&A pages, etc. In fact, some types of information are found almost exclusively on forums and discussions, where a community of experts can provide valuable perspectives on specific topics.
The above section 4.5 is focused on the value of User-Generated Content by way of Forums and Q&A as sources of truth to establish a website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
Both ratings and reviews and Q&A serve as a forum of sorts for collecting authentic UGC, and they both serve as a source of truth when establishing brand authority and trust.
As an official Google Review Partner, Shopper Approved offers Seller, Product, and Video Ratings and Reviews from Verified Customers (the most trustworthy), and a search optimized Q&A tool to help establish your website as the topical expert and trusted source.
6.5 Mixed or Mildly Negative Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content
Extensive reputation research is required for all PQ (Page Quality) rating tasks unless you have previously researched the reputation of the website.
Try to find as many reviews and ratings as possible, and read the details of negative reviews and low ratings before inferring that the business overall has a negative reputation. A few negative customer service reviews are typical for businesses such as restaurants.
Pay attention when there is evidence of mixed or mildly negative—though not malicious or financially fraudulent—reputation. The Low rating should be used if the website or the creator of the MC has a mildly negative reputation
Shopper Approved has a unique review collection process that occurs immediately after completing a purchase, which allows you to generate up to 10X more verified customer reviews than any other review platform. Giving you will more reviews, faster.
And because we also have a proprietary review distribution tool called Survey Destinations, you can send verified customer reviews to a variety of 3rd party, open review platforms of your choice, giving you more reviews, in more places.
If you would like to learn more about how Shopper Approved can improve your website’s online trust, ranking, traffic, and conversions, please schedule a 30-minute demo here.