How does Google think about search quality when it relies on subjective signals?

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How does Google think about search quality when it relies on subjective signals?


Matt Cutts discusses the merits of how Google thinks about search quality when it relies on subjective signals.  The subjective signals inherent in every search engine influence, which sites display the search results. The speaker in this video clarifies the assumption of some people that Google’s quality human raters do not take into context the search query itself when evaluating entire domains. Moreover, he also tackles the philosophy that search engines are subjective.

This video highlights the following points:

  1. Human quality raters of Google do take into consideration the search query itself when conducting evaluation of domains. They take the search and look at it side by side. They would not be able to evaluate it without knowing the search query itself. They look at the domain and the search query and they will figure out how these two factors interrelate.
  2. There are subjective signals. Every search engines has its own philosophy and algorithms. Those algorithms encode the ranking philosophy of that particular search engine. Some search engine veers more towards diversity and some may show Wikipedia more. Due to these different algorithms, there would always be diversified ideas about what the ideal search results would be.
  3. With such diversified algorithms, there is no scientifically provable way to rank websites. Moreover, every search engine might yield diversified results.
  4. Google admits that although they have a team of experts that handles the technical side of the business, they could still get wrong. Hence, they also consider the feedback of people outside Google as vital. Nevertheless, they ensure that their human quality raters have actually good context and that they do see the search query.

To achieve better ranking you should:

  1. Always provide excellent and persuasive context. This will guarantee that you will always have good quality links. You will not be able to influence the outcome of any search engine but having compelling content will ensure that you will be seen online.
  2. Optimize your site with the right keywords. Do not overstuff your site with keywords to avoid being considered as spam.
  3. Be proactive with your links. Choose quality over quantity when considering back links. Do not go beyond the usual number of links in a page.