I Was a Google Manual Site Assessor for a Year. Learn Everything I know.

Vladamir

Power Member
Jan 4, 2012
691
488
So I have been a member of blackhat world for over 8 years (I used to have another account for years with many posts until I lost the password/email and couldn't reset. I haven't really put up an article to contribute or anything so I thought I would add a little bit here. Now the only reason I am doing this (because I did have a scary NDA from google) is that I have changed my name since working this job to my fathers surname for personal reasons (nothing shady haha) and I have moved to another country far away with nice palm trees, so google doesn't go all snowden on me there's nothing they can really do haha.

What I will cover here is the following:
1. Thin Affiliate Sites What I Looked For
2. Internal Optimization 1 - Content structure
3. Internal Optimization 2 - Site trust
4. Shady practices I looked for (your not as smart as you think 13 year old black hatter :p)
5. Tbd
6. tbd

Lets begin...two years ago was my last day on the job as a Google Manual Reviewer, they have a different name for it with a fancy acronym. But basically my job was to use a software they had developed to compare different sites on the first page then go through each one manually and decide whether they were legitimate sites, thin affiliates, thin content sites, authority sites. etc and rank them as such. After that its only my guess what my rankings would lead google to do perhaps a small rank penalty or perhaps it would be passed to a more high level review, I can only tell you what I did on my level.

What the software I used looked like:


This is the format of sites I was given on the google software. I would see top 10 results and I would see another suggested top 10 results, from these I would have to review and decide which one was the more suited result. Sometimes the top result would be a google asset such as a calendar or a calculator or an automatic answer such as "whats the standard hat size" "25 blah blah this is a google quick answer". The software was very basic and it tracked my hours while I looked at different sites and I would be given a specific time frame to complete each ranking task. I would click through to these sites and on the site itself there was no google tool or plugin. BUT I was encouraged to use inspect element and search for anything shady, Ill cover that more in another section.

1.png

#1 - Checking a site for affiliate content.

This was all down to the eye test and some criteria I was told to watch for. Firstly I would check the site for an overload of ad content, if there was ad content higher up "more priority" such as right below the header or on the head that would be fine but I would keep that in mind, then if there was ad content on the right hand side I would mark that down and take down some more points from the site, It was basically the eye test for how much ads to content ratio you had. The thing that surprised me here is the way I was taught if you used google adsense it was okay if you had two ads but once you got to the adsense ALLOWED three I could still mark you down as too much ads if your ads were big enough and obscuring the content ex. If you put all three of your ads as banner ads one on top of the other at the top of the page I wouldn't even think twice before I flagged you and put a comment down (extreme example).
I was told for shopping sites to click through links and add something to the cart and try to check out all the way to make sure it didn't take me to an amazon site.

Some sites were harder to judge since they would have affiliate links but they weren't a "thin" affiliate since they would have more content on them. I can't give an exact measure since this was down to my personal eye test and not an algorithm. But the way they taught me was about 20% or more affiliate content would make it a thin affiliate.

2.png
Amazon sites were super suspicious for this tag as soon as we saw anything amazon it was an immediate flag going up in my head it would be guilty until proven innocent hehe.

Recommendation: Keep affiliate content below 15% if your doing a product review try to have only one product link a image or a click here to see the price. Do not make amazon product charts, unless your either a churn and burn site or its located somewhere with tons of content to support it OR there aren't many links inside. If you have cloaked links and those auto amazon sites that you can add to cart and redirect, don't think your immune a manual reviewer will click through your entire buying process to see if it goes to amazon an you're a thin affiliate.

Phew lots of typing for today, hope this is helping someone let me know since its all pretty vague I assume they kept it that way to avoid me making this eventual article any more detailed hehe.

More to come...

Cheers,


Vlad
 
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Hey Vladamir thanks a lot for doing this! Looking forward for the content structure post. I guess you will test us what google prefer? Also, dont you have a secret ranking sauce :p? lol, thanks man.
 
How many peoples sites have you killed from here i wonder tutt-tutt head shake, i forgive you man at least your on the right side now.

Thanks for the thread we love this type of insider info.
 
Nice insight. Think much of it would have changed in the last few years.
 
Thanks for posting Vladimir, if you have something more to share....please share.
 
what sites go through a manual review?

Or is it keywords that go through a manual review. Like see whats ranking for this keyword for top 10 and flag the affiliate sites.
 
can you share how much Google paid you for this task? and also how you got this job?
 
I just want to know how much bribe money you were offered by site owners while you worked there.

Not how much you took, just the offers.
 
I have a question.

What are the chances of a site owner getting a manual site review?
 
Do you think the top 10 results for any query were ALL manually placed so no chance for someone to break into the top 10?
 
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Hey Vladamir thanks a lot for doing this! Looking forward for the content structure post. I guess you will test us what google prefer? Also, dont you have a secret ranking sauce :p? lol, thanks man.

No ling building Secret sauce actually i'm probably not even close to the level of most these blackhatters commenting. Im just sharing what they taught me while I was working and what you should avoid doing. This probably has no relation to actual link building but more to internal seo as a whole. Also my work applied to the 1-10 results we never went deeper, most of that is whatever google does in the back end, i think we were just another filter.


question

Were you working in the Germany google team ?
Canada team (similar results to us) they wouldent let me do us results which was one of the reasons I quit there werent enough hours for Canada I could only clock in about 14 a week before I was out of work
How many peoples sites have you killed from here i wonder tutt-tutt head shake, i forgive you man at least your on the right side now.

Thanks for the thread we love this type of insider info.

Honestly I have no idea what they used what I did for, if they actually did something to a site or took it to another higher level review, but they wouldent pay and train someone to do this for nothing.

Nice insight. Think much of it would have changed in the last few years.
It hasent been that long, I dont think much maybe they added some more tactics to find bad sites but definitely dont think anything removed

what sites go through a manual review?

Or is it keywords that go through a manual review. Like see whats ranking for this keyword for top 10 and flag the affiliate sites.

Yes exactly I would look at a list of top 10 for the keyword and I would go through a large form for relevance authority to the topic of the keyword and whether it was an affiliate site or spam site ill share a bit more later on this. But in no point did I actually write a penalty or note, im not sure where my review or info went after I was done with it

can you share how much Google paid you for this task? and also how you got this job?

15 canadian an hour anywhere between 8-15 hours a week dependent on a interface they had to log me in I would have to use every day to check if there was work, no email alerts one of the most tedious things ever. A friend told me about it and I applied on a third party site. It was a third party employer working for them then I had to pass like 3 days of testing on manuals they gave me that were over 200 pages long and some of the most subjective stuff ever. 3 tests then your in, overall not worth it now that I think about it. They have a forum too for help and looking at the daily posts I think there are about 1000 other people worldwide doing this.

I just want to know how much bribe money you were offered by site owners while you worked there.

Not how much you took, just the offers.

Haha sites would come up in my interface at random 1-10 first page results. The chances of me stumbling on one of my sites or a friends site were 1 in how many top ten results are there for millions of keywords hhaha
 
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