Woman using laptop to review search quality ratings

Search engines like Google have a tough job of trying to deliver the most useful and relevant results from all over the internet to its users. A huge part of how they establish a hierarchy for delivering those results is search quality ratings. These ratings are extremely important to the SEO and discoverability of a business’s website. We’ll discuss what search quality ratings are, why they’re important, and the metrics behind these important numbers.

What Are Search Quality Ratings

Google works with over 16,000 external search quality raters to determine the search quality of a page or website. These raters examine the quality of results for internet searches to determine if the results are relevant and/or useful for users. These quality ratings are important for Google and other search engines because they ensure they function optimally. If search engines failed to provide relevant and useful results, people would stop using them.

Why a High Page Quality Matters

On the simple side, providing a high-quality web page means you are providing users with a quality experience on your website. However, that search quality is also an important metric for how Google generates search results. Pages with high quality will be given priority in search results, while those with low or failing quality will be delisted from searches entirely. Considering that Google still provides over 83% of all internet searches, it’s a serious concern if your pages aren’t being listed. Ensuring you meet Google’s quality expectations means that your website is optimized for search engines and is discoverable.

How Google Defines Search Quality

Since it works with so many quality raters, Google provides a thorough, 176-page document explaining how search should function and what kind of results should be returned for an acceptable quality. There are certain major criteria that search quality raters consider when determining the quality of a page: purpose, content, and its EEAT.

A Page’s Purpose

First, raters consider why the page was created and what is its main job is. They want to determine whether it does this job in a way that is beneficial for those accessing the page. Some of the main beneficial functions are sharing information or content, expressing an expert perspective, providing a place for others to share points of view, selling products or services, and entertainment.

A Page’s Content

When considering search quality, Google divides a web page’s content into three groups: main content, supplementary content, and ad content. 

  • Main Content is any of the content that is central to the page accomplishing its purpose. That will be the articles or the entire article itself on a blog page. On a business page, that main content could be services with descriptions or products with images and prices. This main content is a huge component of the quality rating. 
  • Supplementary content is anything that improves or aids the user’s experience. These can include navigation aids, links to articles or other pages, or even comment or review sections. If designed well, they add to a page’s overall rating; if designed poorly, they will reduce it. 
  • Ad content is any kind of content that is sponsored. These are less typical on business and nonprofit sites, but they are still a key part of the quality rating. Even if you did not make the advertisements, their quality will affect your page’s rating if the raters find them excessive, obtrusive, deceptive, or distracting.

The EEAT Rating

Google has search quality raters who consider a page’s experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust (EEAT) for its content and purpose. The major search engine puts special emphasis on that last one: trust. To determine the EEAT of a web page, raters need to consider the knowledge of the content’s creator(s) and the reputation of the website’s owner(s). This metric is especially important for pages that Google defines as “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. These are web pages whose purpose or content can impact a person’s or society’s health, financial stability, or safety and well-being. Google considers these pages important and has search quality raters subject them to high scrutiny. Their EEAT rating needs to be thoroughly validated to obtain a high-quality ranking.

The Research for Quality Starts with Your Website

Search quality raters can conduct some thorough research to verify a page’s EEAT. To determine your website’s reputation and expertise, raters will search through the website for pertinent information. This will include information about your business, its owners, and staff, and look for any contact information to further verify the page’s credibility. As a result, these are all important things to include on your website in an “About” and “Contact Us” page.

Quality raters will similarly research any named creators of the content. That includes reading reviews about the website or business. The rater will also research whether the business or website is recommended by experts, mentioned in news articles, or has received any awards. Again, including or linking that information on your website will help make the rating process easier and increase your business’ trustworthiness for both quality raters and prospective customers/clients.

Designing for Quality

Search quality ratings are vital to your website’s SEO, which is why you want to design a website with high-quality pages. Without suitable page purposes, quality content, and a good EEAT rating, pages can remain undiscoverable. A poor-quality rating will severely reduce a business’ discoverability since many pages on a website are designed for SEO to increase discoverability. This is especially why blogs on websites need to be well-written and accurate. Their content needs to meet quality standards, or it will begin to negatively impact the reputation and trustworthiness of a website and overall decrease its quality rating. If you’re interested in improving the quality of your web pages or designing an entirely new quality websitecontact us at Rosewood Marketing.

Google building hosting ads great for small business

It’s a misconception that the monolithic online advertising platform of Google Ads is only for large businesses. Google Ads provides a platform that is actually advantageous for small businesses to grow their reach and brand discoverability. Scalability, precise targeting, and detailed reports make Google Ads great for small business. If you’re curious how, keep reading.  

Budgeting that Scales

Scalability is one of the central reasons Google Ads is perfect for large and small businesses alike. Google Ads doesn’t require running a full marketing platform of every kind of campaign with a massive budget. Instead, small businesses can start with a single targeted campaign and expand as you determine what methods are successful. After that, it is easy to scale up and down as needed. This is great for small businesses who occasionally have product or service launches, special promotions, or more active seasonal periods. Google Ads makes it easy to run those additional campaigns at the appropriate times and scale back to more standard ads when its timely.

Pay Per Click Model is Great for Small Businesses

Google Ads run on a pay or cost per click model, i.e., a business only pays for each click on the ad. The rates for these ads are according to the search terms set for the ad. More popular key terms will have a higher fee than those searched less frequently. This is great for small businesses because they often operate in a niche, meaning their ad key terms can be more focused and cheaper. Furthermore, you will only be paying for the ads that are working, meaning an ad’s cost is directly relational to its performance.

Targeting Locality

Today, many small businesses benefit from online sales, but they still rely largely on local customers and clients. This makes Google Ads especially great for small businesses. Over 46% of Google searches are for local information. This means nearly half the searches made by those near your small business are providing ideal advertising opportunities. With Google’s Geotargeting, you can define your ads to appear specifically in searches made in the area around your business. Google’s detailed metrics even allows you to target certain demographics within those locals. Overall, Google Ads are great for increasing your business’ local presence and discoverability.

Customizability where Ads Appear

Google Ads can appear in Google searches, shopping suggestions at the top, maps, Play apps, and partner websites. This provides a small business with a wide assortment of places to put their ads. These further allow a business to target a specific demographic or potential client. For example, product-based businesses can have their products appear at the top of any search as a shopping suggestion, increasing your business’ discoverability as a shopping option.

Clear Metrics and Transparent Results for Small Businesses

Google provides thorough and clear statistics and reports for any ads and campaigns you run. These statistics will indicate which leads generate clicks, where ads are most effective, and what kind of ads people respond to. For small businesses that will be creating fewer and more targeted ads, this provides immensely valuable information for tracking performance and selecting and creating the most effective ads. Those metrics also include detailed budget tracking that is highly beneficial for small businesses. These clearly show the ROI of each ad and campaign so you can properly scale and allocate your advertising budget appropriately.

Great Feedback for Small Business SEO

Advertising tends to provide more immediate results for determining what generates clicks and visits to your business’ website than building up its search engine optimization (SEO). Smaller businesses tend to add pages slower to their websites, since they inherently have a smaller content production pipeline. This can make optimizing search engine performance a lengthier process for a small business. However, SEO is vital for the performance of your business’ website in searches and growing your brand’s discoverability. The performance metrics from Google Ads are great for a small business to determine what potential customers or clients are interested in, helping you tailor your site’s content to organically appear more often in their searches.  

Getting Started with Google Ads

Hopefully this short list of key features of Google Ads makes it clear how the platform is great for small businesses. It’s scalability, local functionality, diverse tool set, and detailed reporting make it ideal for small business advertising. Want to start growing your business’ discoverability with Google Ads? Contact Rosewood and ask about our Google Ad services to help you get you started!

Graphic of a man and a women touching different parts of the website on a screen. There is another man off the sign holding an EU flag and a megaphone to their mouth

As a website owner, it’s critical that you ensure you are in compliance with worldwide laws regarding website cookies. If your business website has traffic from European countries, take the time to consider whether you are meeting the EU minimum website cookies compliance standards. If not then it’s time to make the necessary updates to your site.

Who Needs to Comply with the European Cookie Law?

The EU cookie law applies to any website which attracts visitors from the EU. Even if your business is located in the US, Canada, or elsewhere in the world, you need to make sure you are meeting the minimum standards when you have EU visitors. In order to remain in compliance, your website should not load or save any cookies until the site visitors confirm their decision via your cookie consent form. This form needs to offer the option to decline cookies entirely, or you will be breaking this law.

When designing your cookie consent form, another part of the regulations in the EU is the colours and sizing of the buttons. You must not force or influence the actions of the visitors, so the accepting and declining buttons must be the same colour and size. Another regulation to keep in mind is that in Austria, the use of Google Analytics to track website usage became illegal in January 2022. At the moment, this only impacts Austria, but there’s a chance we may see other countries follow this trend in the future.

Different Types of Cookies

To remain in compliance with EU law, it’s critical that you are aware of what cookies are in terms of your website. Cookies are text files that contain smaller pieces of data to identify your computer within a network. The data that’s stored within the cookies will be created by your server when you connect, and it’s labelled with a unique ID for your computer. The server can then read your ID and know how to serve you best.

HTTP cookies are created by a web server when someone browses your website. They will then be placed on the device or computer by the user’s web browser, allowing web servers to store information on your device. They can be used to track a user’s activity or save information that they’ve previously entered online.

Another type of cookie that you may use on your website is an authentication cookie. These are used by web servers to check that a user is logged in and the account that they are using. This stops users from having to authenticate themselves on every single page that has sensitive information, offering a better user experience while keeping your site secure. Finally, tracking cookies are used to create long-term records of a user’s browsing history. These are non-essential cookies, and so you will need to ensure you are receiving informed consent from your website visitors for storing these on their devices.

As you can see, it’s critical for website owners to keep in compliance with EU laws when they are attracting visitors from European countries. To help you keep up to date with GDPR cookie compliance, we highly recommend using this WordPress plugin on your site.

Contact us today if you would like us to look into whether your website is complying with the EU laws.