So, you are trying to decipher Google’s algorithm, well…aren’t we all?
Each update that Google makes forces us users to make an adjustment to our SEO strategy. Marketers work hard to keep up with Google’s changes, so they prevent their page rankings from sinking. Since August 2018, the concept “E-A-T” has become more noticed in the SEO lexicon. What does this concept mean? Well, basically, it means that to rank well in Google you need to reflect Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT).
To optimize your brand’s content strategy, you should consider these three concepts. Take a look!
A medic update
Originally, this concept was focused on the optimization of medical websites and sites related to health. It was thought as a strategy to make online content more valuable and to avoid inconveniences that could be caused by the circulation of false health information. As we all know, health information is very sensitive, since something false or improperly stated can cause health risks and even death. For this reason, it was so important that Google could somehow ensure that this sort of information came from reliable sources.
However, this update also affected other websites that can be categorized as “YMYL sites,” which can be translated as “Your Money or Your Life.” As we mentioned before, some pages can have direct consequences on the well-being of individuals. In this way, Google will promote and rank better pages that can assure that their content comes from a proper authority, for example, a blog article about health that is signed by a doctor will rank better than a medical article written by a journalist or a writer.
In 2015, Google released a guideline called “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” (SQEG), in order to make approachable what Google understood as valuable versus low content. Three key concepts were introduced in this guideline:
- Beneficial Purpose.
- E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) or Page Quality.
- YMYL (Your Money or Your Life).
In July 2018, Google made an update to the guidelines by adding a new ingredient that greatly modified the rules of the game: the quality evaluators would now be asked to review the website’s E-A-T as well as the content creators E-A-T too.
In this way, a good author’s profile is done when it gives a complete background of the person who has written the article, as well as credentials (especially when it comes to fields related to health, medical issues, finances and safety).
The Beneficial Purpose of Google’s EAT
According to Google’s update, the purpose of a website should be the reason or reasons why the/page was created. Some pages are created to help users, other to make money (some of them giving value to users and some of them not), and others are created to even harm users. The first step to understand a page is figuring its purpose.
Basically, what Google wants is that pages and websites are created to help users and to provide them valuable information. In this way, encyclopedias won’t have necessarily a better ranking than humor pages, the importance is that the content of the website promote wellness and useful resources.
Beneficial page purposes include or are focused on:
- Sharing information about a topic.
- Sharing personal or social information.
- Multimedia content and pictures.
- Personal opinions and points of view.
- Sell products or services focused on the user’s needs.
- Allow users to post questions.
- Allow users to share files or to download content.
Pages that attempt to make money without helping or providing and extra benefit to help users are considered the lowest quality.
Experience refers to the creator of the main content on the page. Google will rank a website better if it is created by someone who proves to be an expert on the subject, especially if they have the right credentials to demonstrate their professional knowledge.
According to Google’s guideline, the standard of experience depends on the topic of the page. The content creator does not necessarily have to have professional experience, because some knowledge comes from “day to day experience.” For example, a person who writes about travel does not necessarily have to be a travel guide, because this person has a daily experience that comes from their own experience.
To create expert content, it is key to analyze what your audience is searching for in order to meet and fulfil their needs. It is fundamental to take into account the keywords research. In this way, it is recommended to try to figure out the searcher’s intent behind the keywords research.
Someone who is authoritive is supported by documentary evidence and accepted by most authorities in the field. This means that people recognize that person’s authoritativeness based on their knowledge, formal training or education, experience on that field, etc.
Being an expert is the first stage, but being an authority is when other experts cite you as a reliable source of the subject. Websites that have content created by relevant authorities will rank better. On the other hand, mentions are key: you would want your website to be recommended by other website who have gained authority in the space already, more than just a link.
When content becomes shared more consistently across social media, it is also a sign of growing authority.
What does reliability mean? Being an expert and a trusted source means that people can trust you to provide honest and true information that is also accurate. Your content should be focused on avoiding any kind of bad reviews, because this can be considered by Google as a sign of low quality content.
How can you get positive reviews? Well, depending on your industry, you can think of Google My Business, Facebook, Tripadvisor, or Better Business Bureau (for Mexico, Canada, or the United States).
To promote trustworthiness on our website, you should consider: making sure your domain is secure, providing users with a trade term or T&C page, promoting privacy policies, citing external sources and including author biography, and having systems clear purchase.