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Google's human reviewers: real people judge about your Google rankings

Most people think that Google purely ranks websites by using mathematical formulas. Google even has an official statement about the way that search results are calculated:

"A site's ranking in Google's search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query. Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted."

Not everything is done by software robots at Google

If you read the above quotation carefully, you'll see that Google relies "heavily" but not fully on computer algorithms. In a recent interview, Google's Engineering director Scott Huffman explained that a lot of human reviewers (probably 10,000) manually review Google's results:

"Every day, we are looking at a random sample of grades that we think represent the queries we get from users. Evaluators look at the quality of each result relative to those queries."

Real people take a look at Google's search results and they tell Google which websites they don't like. If your website looks spammy, it might be reported to Google by these people.

Google's algorithm is constantly changing

Google constantly updates its algorithm based on the feedback of the human reviewers:

"The evaluation site ratings that we gather never directly affect the search results that we return. We never go back and say, 'Oh, we learned from a rater that this result isn?t as good as that one, so let's put them in a different order.' Doing something like that would skew the whole evaluation by-and-large. So we never touch it."

That means that a website won't be automatically removed from the search results if a human reviewer finds it inappropriate (unless it is an obvious spam page).

It does mean that Google's algorithm is constantly changing and that you have to keep your website up-to-date with Google's latest algorithm.

You have to keep an eye on your website rankings

A website that has high rankings on Google today might lose these rankings tomorrow based on Google's ever-changing ranking algorithm.

As a rule of thumb, websites with many inbound links and good content that is related to the searched keyword will remain much longer in Google's search results than websites that obtained their high rankings through tricks.

If you use spammy SEO methods, you can quickly get high rankings on search engines. Unfortunately, Google will completely remove your website from the search results as soon as they find out that you use these methods:

Spammy websites can be detected by Google's human reviewers and your competitors can report your spam website to Google.

If you use ethical SEO methods, it will take longer until you get high search engine rankings. However, your rankings will grow steadily and you'll get a much better performance in the long run:

Do not use spammy SEO methods to increase your rankings on Google. It will backfire on you.

If you want to get lasting rankings on Google, you have to keep an eye on Google's changing algorithm. You should check your website regularly to find out if it is compliant to Google's current algorithm.

If you create a website that is compliant to Google's algorithm and only use ethical SEO methods then your website will get page one rankings on Google and it will keep these rankings as long as possible.

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September 2009 search engine articles