Google Update: AI Replaces 1000 Quality Raters

Reducing the Workforce through the Use of AI

In January 2024, Google announced that it would lay off over 1,000 employees of its Search Quality team in an effort to cut costs and maximize profits. This decision marks a turning point in the company’s history, as Google begins to replace manual website review with artificial intelligence.

What is it all about?

Since the creation of the Search Quality Team, Google has always used manual intervention to ensure the quality of its search results. The layoffs are a significant step away from this tradition and point to a new era of automated quality control.

Role and Responsibility of Quality Raters at Google

Google Search Quality Team - 1000 AI layoffs in January 2024

Tasks and Evaluation Criteria of the Search Quality Team

Quality raters play a crucial role in Google’s evaluation of search results. They use the Google Quality Rater Guidelines to evaluate websites for relevance, accuracy, and trustworthiness. These guidelines include factors such as E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).

Although quality raters do not have a direct impact on the ranking of individual websites, they do play an important role in the development and testing of Google’s algorithms. Your reviews help Google identify positive and negative examples of search results and adjust the algorithms accordingly.

Changes and Future Prospects of the Quality Rater Role

With the increasing use of AI in quality assessment , it is likely that the role and responsibilities of quality raters at Google will evolve.

An AI is only able to understand the quality requirements of a real person to a limited extent. Rather, she needs people to show her what to look for in a website. These can be Google employees, but they can also be classic user metrics.

How is AI changing Search Engines?

Out of all the scenarios that are likely for the use of AI in classic search engines such as Google, we at Aloma Online Marketing assume the following future in the short term : Through the use of AI, many traditional SEO metrics (there are supposed to be well over 100 measured values) will regain relevance. The dwell time, bounce rate or return-to-SERP rate, for example, can be evaluated much deeper, more intuitively and comprehensively through AI. Google’s search quality AI thus makes it possible to evaluate user behavior and user satisfaction more reliably and much more tamper-proof. A significant leap in quality of web search is possible.

If Google implements this innovation correctly, it will enable a much more diverse, colorful search experience. Despite their good quality and interesting information, many smaller websites eke out an existence on the lower search results pages (SERPs), while market leaders make up all the top ranks among themselves. This is also due to the fact that quality raters have only been able to take random samples so far. Qualitative changes and content additions of small websites were only detected with a very delay in the quality assessment and the positions in the search results.

AI-driven, better mixing of search results can make people better informed and less dependent on market leaders – a desirable effect for society as a whole, we believe.

Prediction: Google’s old-school Business Model Disappears

It’s not difficult to make a long-term outlook or predict what will happen to Google after that. After all, what’s supposed to happen if users use their own AI systems to answer search queries? It’s only a matter of time before no one will direct a search query directly to Google or click on a search ad. After a quarter of a century, this business model is obsolete.

Nevertheless, AI systems need a solid data basis to find up-to-date and reliable information. Those who have the better data can create the better AI. Whether the data services are provided centralized (e.g. by Google, Microsoft or other service providers) or are available via decentralized systems, such as blockchain oracles, would be an interesting bet.

The Evolution of Google’s Search Algorithms

Over the years, Google has made numerous updates to its search algorithms. From early adjustments that focused on combating spam to more recent updates that prioritize factors like E-A-T, Google has continuously worked to improve the quality of its search results.

The Importance of Updates for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Each update has a significant impact on SEO strategies. Website operators have to constantly adapt in order to maintain or improve the visibility of their content in search results.

Impact on Website Operators and SEO Strategies

Adapting SEO tactics to current algorithms

With the increasing emphasis on content quality and user experience, SEO strategies need to be adjusted accordingly. This includes optimizing websites for mobile devices, improving load times, and delivering content that delivers real value to users.

Best practices for website owners under the new conditions

Website owners should focus on creating content that meets the requirements of E-A-T. This includes publishing detailed and well-researched content, as well as ensuring that authors have the necessary expertise.

Future Challenges and Opportunities for SEO

The SEO industry faces the challenge of constantly evolving. With the advent of new technologies such as AI and machine learning, SEO professionals need to find new ways to maintain the quality of their websites while meeting the changing demands of search engines like Google.

Demands of Google and Consumers are Growing

The recent changes at Google and the evolution of search algorithms present both challenges and opportunities for SEO professionals and website owners. By having a deep understanding of the Quality Rater Guidelines and adapting to Google’s changing requirements, they can continue to develop effective strategies to succeed in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Focus on high-quality content

It’s crucial to focus on the user and delivering high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy content. By following these principles and adapting to new technologies and changes in Google’s approach to search ranking, website owners can continue to successfully rank in search engine results and provide a positive user experience.

Overall, the ability to adapt to the dynamic landscape of search engines and SEO is critical to long-term success in digital marketing. While change at Google presents challenges, it also presents an opportunity to develop innovative approaches and strategies that focus on users’ needs and expectations.