Industry News

SEO News: Google Ran 464k Experiments with Quality Raters in 2019

  • October 13, 2020
  • Steven van Vessum

Google Ran 464,065 Experiments with Quality Raters in 2019

Google has been always saying that its ultimate goal is to make its search results as accurate and user-friendly as possible. And one way to make this happen is to use search quality raters – humans who evaluate content on the internet and give feedback based on the Google rating guidelines (opens in a new tab).

Google keeps on using the quality raters for experiments, assessing the quality of the search results when they run these experiments, and coming up with possible improvements.

While Google claims that the human search quality raters don’t directly affect rankings, they do contribute to new Google updates.

That’s why it’s interesting to watch how many experiments Google conducts with quality raters each year and how many improvements to Search they generate.

The Experiments to Improvements Ratio Always Changes Rapidly

Google recently somewhat quietly published interesting statistics that suggest how the processes have evolved over the past three years.

According to these updated stats (opens in a new tab), in 2019 alone, there were 464,065 experiments involving quality raters that resulted in 3,620 improvements to search.

The interesting thing is that in 2018, Google conducted far more experiments (opens in a new tab), while there were fewer improvements to search. In addition, both in 2019 and 2018, Google conducted far more experiemnts than in 2017 (opens in a new tab).

Year Number of Experiments Improvements to Search
2019 464,065 3,620
2018 654,680 3,234
2017 200,000 2,400

According to The SEM Post (opens in a new tab), the reason why Google ran significantly fewer experiments is unclear. One possible explanation is that Google might be using an updated AI model to reduce the number of experiments needed. Or they could have improved the evaluation process or even the experiments.

It’s worth mentioning that the statistics go hand in hand with the exact numbers of search quality tests Google has conducted over the years. While in 2018 it was 595,429 quality tests, in 2019 they ran only 383,605 quality tests (opens in a new tab).

Google, as mysterious as ever, doesn’t provide any reasoning for the change in the numbers. However, the change in the experiments and search improvements ratio is a strong signal on the development of Google’s evaluation process.

Google Fixes 99% of Its Mobile Indexing Issues

Two weeks ago, we reported that Google was facing two major issues that significantly affected the rankings of many websites.

The first issue was linked to mobile indexing and caused Google not to be able to select pages to index at all. This issue affected about 0.2% of Google’s index. On Friday, October 8th, Google announced on its own site that 99% of affected URLs had been restored.

The canonicalization issue, where the Google Search Console URL Inspector started showing duplicate content issues for unrelated URLs, affected around 0.02% of Google’s index. According to Google, 55% of the URLs’ issues have been fixed.

Can Google index your website?

Find out if your pages are indexable by Google. Run a quick audit with ContentKing.

Web Stories Are Now Available in Google Discover

Google seems to be pushing hard for the Web Stories format recently. With their new WordPress plugin (opens in a new tab) that allows website owners to quickly generate the needed dynamic content right from their CMS, and guidelines (opens in a new tab) suggesting to users how to get the most out of this content format, the search engine appears to trust in its bright future.

And now, Google has launched a Stories carousel shown at the top of Discover – a part of the Google app on Android and iOS.

Google will allow retailers worldwide to offer their goods in the Shopping tab for free

Through this implementation, Google wants to make Web Stories even more popular. Currently, the feature is available only in the US, India, and Brazil. However, Google intends to expand Web Stories to more countries and Google products.

In addition, Google continues to surface more Web Stories across Google Search results (opens in a new tab) on mobile worldwide.

Keep up to date!

Want to be kept up to date on all things SEO?

Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media:

Steven is ContentKing's VP of Community. This means he's involved in everything community and content marketing related. Right where he wants to be. He gets a huge kick out of letting websites rank and loves to talk SEO, content marketing and growth.