Search Quality Rating Guidelines officially released by Google is just a curtailed version of the old one that was leaked by an insider. The most recent version of the document had 161 pages, while the public document released by Google consists only 43 pages.
Human search quality raters with Google use the document when grading the search results. Google, as part of their efforts to be transparent, has released the document.
Parts 3 and 4 – ‘Page Quality Rating Guidelines’ and ‘Rating Examples’ – have been completely removed. The sections included detailed guidelines on rating pages, judging reputation of websites and most important, specific examples of web pages that were to be rated as per the guidelines. Now, we see none of these.
A look on the old and new 2.4.2 (‘Information Queries – Know) shows Google has edited the charts removing example URLs.
Perhaps Google was only willing to offer the tip of the cliff and not the whole thing. Or they concluded that URLs do change and maintaining public list of such URLs won’t be possible.
Plenty of material related to location-based queries and local search is also missing. However, some section such as ‘thin affiliates’ have been expanded as well.
Interestingly, the old document was version 3.27, while the new document is 1.0. Google has added a preface as well to the document.