Google Downsizes: Ends Contract With Appen's Search Quality Raters

According to a press release, Google has decided to terminate its contract with Appen. For those who are not aware, Appen is an Australian-based company that provides a large number of third-party search quality raters to Google and other tech giants.

Search quality raters play an important role in streamlining Google's search results. ⁤⁤The search quality raters are not responsible for directly changing the rankings or the positioning of websites in the SERPs. ⁤⁤However, they do use specific guidelines to assess search performance. ⁤⁤Ultimately, this helps Google understand what content is useful for the audience. ⁤

Reports suggest that the move to lay off search quality raters will cause Appen a significant revenue loss of $82.8 million. This move is expected to come into effect on March 19, 2024.

Currently, Google employs around 16,000 search quality raters, and those from Appen make up a large portion of this group. It's unclear if Google plans to end contracts with other partners or if they will replace these human raters with new hires or potentially with AI.

However, with the revolution of AI, the latter is most likely a possible move by Google. Industry speculation also foresees the same. Prominent contributor Dawn Anderson has been talking about the possibility of Google replacing human roles with AI for some time.

This shift raises the question that is on everyone’s mind, “What impact might the change have on search quality?” And most importantly, "Will more websites be affected by this downsizing, like they just did after Google's HCU?"

When contacted, Google’s spokesperson stated that the work previously done by Appen would be transferred to other suppliers. This decision is part of Google's effort to periodically modify its partners and offerings. Google also assured that the change won’t affect their output quality.

Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

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