The SEO industry is in a buzz around a story named The secret lives of Google raters from arstechnica.com but not because of their “secret lives” – because most of us know how they work – we’ve covered them like crazy here.
The big news is that their hours are now being slashed, cut in half. Many worked 40 hour work weeks and got paid well for their time. But “earlier this month, thousands of them received an e-mail that said their hours would be cut in half, partly due to changes in Google’s staffing policies,” the story said. Pay can be up to $17.40 an hour for “preferred agents” with excellent scores, while regular raters get $13.50 – all above the minimum wage.
On Monday, April 3,2017 thousands of US Leapforce raters (Google doesn’t employ them directly, they are outsourced) received an e-mail from “The Leapforce Team.”. The letter said:
Effective June 1, 2017, [Raters in the US] can work up to 26 hours in a calendar week (Sunday to Saturday). We understand and appreciate that this will have a significant impact on a percentage of our Rater community. That is why we are trying to provide you with as much time as possible about the upcoming change [sic].
Ars said that “roughly 20 percent of US raters who work full-time had just received a massive pay cut.”
Paul Haahr, Google’s senior rank lead, recently explained how these quality raters had a new job, to target fake news. He has been a huge fan of the quality raters and said they provide extreme value to the engineers in making the quality of the results better.
While quality raters cannot influence the search results directly – they do send invaluable information to the Google team to make the results better. Will Leapforce hire more people to make up for the time? Will the results suffer in the short term? All these questions are hard to answer at this point.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.