Google Search Quality Guidelines Update 2021

Published by Editorial Team on

Google Search Quality Guidelines Update 2021

A year ago, Google updated the company’s search quality assessment guidelines, and recently it updated again. This time to expand the YMYL category, it has been constantly updated and modernized with minor updates. This document was last updated on October 14, 2020, previously on December 5, 2019.

What’s new?

Here is a record of the changes to this document.

  • Expansion of the definition of the YMYL subcategory “Groups of people”
  • Updated instructions for finding reputation information for websites and content creators
  • Restructured and updated the section “Quality of lower page”; examples reorganized and updated to reflect the new structure
  • The simplified definition of “UpsettingOffensive” to eliminate redundancy with Lower page quality
  • Minor changes throughout updated screenshots and URLs, wording and examples for consistency reasons; obsolete examples removed; typo fixed; etc.

YMYL – subcategory ‘Groups of people

Google has added more examples to this subcategory for YMYL, Your Money – Your Life, section for this section with groups of people. The updated section is titled “Groups of people” and is now defined as:

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

The other changes

Google said that most of the changes in this update “update the language for clarity and update the organization. These updates “included clarifications on what constitutes lower-quality content and an updated and modernized guide to investigating reputation for users’ websites” said Danny Sullivan of Google.

Google made a lot of changes to the document. I counted over 1,000 content changes, but these largest updated items were the People Groups section and the lower-quality content section.

Conclusion

Although evaluator ratings for search quality do not directly affect ranking (as Google clarified in the document), they provide feedback that helps Google improve its algorithms.

Download the full PDF.


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