Google Search Evaluator Handbook

June 12, 2018

How does Google shape search results? The pay to play search giant allegedly has a guide for individuals who interact with the automated search system. The information appears at this link. The information dates to 2017. There may be a revision or additional instructional material online. If we come across that information, we will post the link in Beyond Search.

The information is described as “Search Quality Rating System.” A sample from the table of contents for the documentation appears below:


search evaluation 1

An example of the information provided to the human making quality decisions appears below:


Here’s the guidance for queries about kittens:


In my first Google monograph (The Google Legacy, 2004), I gathered about 100 factors allegedly used to determine “quality” of Google search results. What I found interesting is that Google’s listing has many more entries than I identified 14 years ago.

Quality, it seems, is more difficult to pinpoint today. The rules for relevance, however, seem to have been marginalized.

I do know that in order to obtain useful results from Google, I have to craft my queries carefully. In fact, creating a query for an old school Boolean system is easier to do. Google has added on to what was essentially a key word system by wrapping layers of software around an ageing core.

Worth spending a few minutes with the document in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, June 12, 2018


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