Google testing different colors in star rating for local search

We all webmasters are familiar with the orange color star ratings, which come up with the Google search results. In general visitor form an opinion based on the ratings, with full five bright orange stars reflect the superlative degree. It seems Google has started believing in ‘change being the only constant’ idea. In the recent times we have seen several changes brought about by Google, latest being the star colors.  Such as


Here are nice screen shots from Rubén Gómez:

Google testing differant colors rating stars

Blue stars ratings

Google testing differant colors rating stars

Red stars

It appears search results are still orange for most users. However, the Google experiments news blog All Google Testing says users can enable these tests by inserting updated code into their browsers.

Its not official announcement but experts firmly believe that  orange color rating will be only used for Google ads and green for organic search results .

google business ratings

Google business ratings

Google released its official robots.txt checker tool

Google has released an updated robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster Tools. The tool can be found in the Crawl section.


new robots.txt checker tool

new robots.txt checker tool

As Google’s Asaph Amon, described about the tool. “To guide your way through complicated directives, it will highlight the specific one that led to the final decision. You can make changes in the file and test those too, you’ll just need to upload the new version of the file to your server afterwards to make the changes take effect. Our developers site has more about robots.txt directives and how the files are processed.”


test for robot blocks

“Additionally, you’ll be able to review older versions of your robots.txt file, and see when access issues block us from crawling,” Amon explains. “For example, if Googlebot sees a 500 server error for the robots.txt file, we’ll generally pause further crawling of the website.”

Google’s new quality guidelines v.5 detailed analysis


Google prepared with latest version of website quality guidelines for rating officials ,their team of quality raters uses to rate websites for Google. This one is a brand new version v.5 , prepared from the ground up, so it isn’t just a refresh of the old one (and most doesn’t even resemble any of the old Guidelines that SEOs scrutinized in detail whenever one got leaked)


1. Website Lacking in E-A-T would be ranked low


E-A-T stands for  expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness  if any website lacks of these three qualities they should be awarded the Low rating when a page or site is being assigned a rating by one of their quality raters.

For webmasters, this is going to be crucial that you must establish your writers as authorities or experts in your field and should be using  .  You want people to trust your site – not to mention Google is clearly emphasizing the role of authority and expertise in websites already, so going the next step further definitely isn’t surprising in the least.

2. Knowledge Graphs

Google started using their knowledge graphs to let searchers find out relevant information . The example below shows that if searcher input only Rio Google clearly state that what specific thing co-relate with the term . This could be good news for searcher but surely not for webmasters .




3. Using too many ads on web page would be awarded low quality.

The new guidelines states that over used advertising sections in web page are not  allowed . Google specifically mentions layouts that are all advertising at the top, and requires scrolling to see the content – to the point where people could initially believe that there is no content on the page at all. The same for advertising designed to look like navigation links or secondary content.


4. Poor Page Design

Google mentions the many typical things that advertisers trying to squeeze every last penny out of a webpage do, such as popups, large quantity of ads with only minor content and text ads in navigation. It is essential to have good website design for online success


6. Rating forums and Q&A

Google wants raters to determine not only the expertise of the site itself, but also who are participating in the particular thread that is being rated. Also considered are whether new threads being added, if many people participating and whether the conversations are in-depth?

While many of us think of Q&A sites as low quality with crappy content, there are some gems out there, so Google does warn not to assume all Q&A sites are low quality.

7. Q&A Without the Answer

Q&A page only to discover there is no answer posted yet, even for questions asked years ago, or the answer is hidden behind a popup of any kind of paid subscription. Google would considers such without the answer pages given are Low quality.Have you notice that Yahoo answers assign specific time limit for particular question to be answered. After that grace period the question removed automatically .

They did mention this previously in the older version of the guidelines, but they removed the part stating that unhelpful answers should be given a Low quality rating – hopefully they removed it because it is common sense that an unhelpful answer is bad.

8 . Reputation Research

Website reputation has been given a boost in the new version of the guide, and it is clear that Google is putting a greater emphasis on reputation than they did before. More importantly, Google says that good reputation of a certain website  enough of a reason for a rater to give any page a high quality rating.

Of course, webmasters have to consider that reputation is going to be given a boost in the search algorithm too, since Google is clearly wanting their rater’s to take this into a fairly significant account for rating any website.

9. Spam has been overlooked in new guideline

All reference to spam has been removed from the new guide. Previously there were sections describing spam and how to check for it, but in the new guide, the only reference to spam is in regards to sites with a large amount of spam comments or forums that have been spammed.

 Quick tip to SEOs

A new mention in the latest guide is a mention that webmasters read these guidelines and include information specifically to influence quality raters. It was mentioned specifically in the section regarding a website’s reputation.