Google’s huge cuts to “quality raters” could affect SEO ratings

Google has made a significant move by canceling a major contract with Appen, an Australian data services company. This decision could lead to the termination of thousands of quality rater jobs. Appen, which has been providing a substantial number of third-party search quality raters for Google, is expected to face a revenue loss of US$82.8 million due to this termination. The quality raters are crucial in assessing the quality of Google search results, although they do not directly influence the results. Their work is vital in evaluating the performance of Google’s search ranking systems.

Set to take effect on March 19, 2024, this decision could majorly impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s unclear if Google plans to end contracts with other partners providing search quality raters or if it will replace these raters with others from different partners. However, there is speculation that Google might eventually replace all quality raters with AI, aligning with recent layoffs in the Google Ads team.

The termination of the contract with Appen could indicate a significant shift in Google’s approach to search quality. For over a decade, human search quality raters have been integral to Google’s process. If replaced by AI, the quality of search results could be affected, although the extent of this impact is uncertain.

A Google spokesperson stated that the decision to end the contract was part of an ongoing effort to evaluate and adjust supplier partnerships across Alphabet to ensure efficiency in vendor operations.

This move could signal a big shakeup for Google Quality Raters and a potential shift towards AI-driven quality assessment in search results.

Sources include: Tech Radar

Jim Love
Jim Love
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO and Chief Digital Officer of IT World Canada - Canada's leader in ICT publishing and digital marketing.

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