There was speculation by a few different SEOs that Google might possibly be using results from quality raters for machine learning training. Data sets used for machine learning tend to be pretty large, and while there are a fair number of quality raters, it wouldn’t be close to the numbers that would be needed to effectively train for machine learning purposes. Not only that, Google tests many different algo changes with the raters, and some of those algos could be pretty extreme in their targeting, which again would make the raters results a poor set to use for machine learning.
Barry Schwartz ran a survey and says he has never seen such a deep concentration in a specific niche before like this. It is kind of shocking since Google said this was a global and core update – which normally means it impacts all flavors of sites, in all areas, everywhere. Many sites in other niches were impacted, such as e-commerce, insurance, finance, business to business, entertainment, deal sites, etc. The interesting thing, many of those “e-commerce” sites sell health/medical related product, so the 42% number might be closer to 50%.
Back in December, Google showcased a search feature that had celebrities answer questions in Google search with short and cute video answers. It launched with a limited number of famous personalities, and now Google is expanding the program to more with a new iOS app named Cameos on Google. The app allows people who have rights to put this type of video content in search to quickly record themselves answering a number of questions. It is basically a quick way for Google to get video content answers into the search results.