Appen was a source of search engine raters, individuals who assess content creators' expertise using Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
Google has not announced how this change will affect the Search Quality Rater program.
Unfortunately, Google has not been immune to layoffs in the past year, with more to come in 2024, according to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. CNBC reports that Pichai stated,
“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year.”
The search engine giant is preparing for significant investments in AI, which will be shared in the 2024 objectives and key results paper.
Google has also had a rocky start to the year, frustrating SEOs with ranking volatility. Many are left wondering what is happening internally at the search engine and if there is an algorithm update waiting to happen.
Could the termination of Appen’s contract mean that humans will no longer be involved with quality ratings? I, for one, hope not. We’ve seen the effects of AI and know that a human hand helps create truly unique and engaging content. While AI capabilities are expanding, there must be a giant technological leap to replace human intelligence with AI.
We won’t know more until Google announces the reasons behind the changes. I will report back once that happens.