Last week search giant Google officially unveiled a 160-page document detailing its Search Quality Rating Guidelines. No doubt Website Designers and those involved in site creation and SEO will already be poring over the document to see whether there are any new pieces of information relating to how sites are ranked that can be leveraged to gain a better position on Google’s SERPs.

Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines

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Apart from the fact that Google has published its updated guidelines in full this time, rather than in a truncated format, the other interesting factor to take into account is that the impact of increased mobile use is apparent throughout. This should come as no surprise to those who are running a website in 2015.

Mobile matters

Google has clearly stated that the heavily-revised Search Quality Rating Guidelines has been issued as a result of the rise of mobile usage to the point where the company is dealing with more queries from smartphones than it is from desktop PCs.

Ultimately this means raters will be looking for sites that work well when viewed on mobile devices, adhering to the mobile-friendly algorithm update that Google rolled out earlier this year. This mostly boils down to both the type of content featured on a page and the ease with which the interface can be resized for ease of use on compact touchscreen devices.

Elsewhere the guidelines remain largely the same, with Google promoting the need for sites to offer high-quality main content and present themselves in an authoritative and trustworthy way.

Real world impact

Google spokesperson Mimi Underwood released a public statement following the publishing of the document to remind webmasters and SEOs that although the firm employs people to judge the relative quality of pages, the influence the raters hold does not result in direct action taken against individual sites; instead, the raters provide the feedback that influences Google’s wider search strategies. Specialist agencies such as Vizion Online will be able to help businesses to formulate an appropriate response based on the new information that is now available.

In essence these guidelines show what many already knew − that more people are searching the web and visiting sites from smartphones and tablets. If sites want to succeed, they must make sure they are optimised for visits from portable devices.