When Google officially announces its global update every year, it causes excitement among webmasters and SEO managers. Also in 2018, it was no different, as confirmed on 1 August Google via Twitter, that a core update is rolled out. The core content of the update continued to be of great importance to EAT, and the changes hit most healthcare and financial pages. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy. Three factors Google uses to gauge whether or not they trust a website. While EAT was very important even before the update, it has gained relevance since the update.
Influence of the Quality Rater
Presumably, Google will incorporate the feedback from its Quality Rater and Google users through the update. The Quality Raters are over 10,000 Google employees spread around the world, ranking the quality of websites and awarding Quality Score through the Quality Rater Guide.
In Chapter 3.1, Google outlines the rules for measuring the quality of a website. EAT is here very far ahead. An indicator of how vital Google EAT is. So here it is time to act.
The search evaluators judge whether the content fits the quality claim of Google. The reviews are collected, evaluated, and then find a way into the algorithms of Google. Ben Gomes, vice president of Google Search, said in an interview with CNBC that while the Rater’s Guide does not say how the algorithm generates the rankings, it does indicate what the algorithm should do. This gives the guide a valuable insight into how Google rates pages.
Why EAT is so important
If the pizza does not taste, the store is dirty, and the service is unfriendly, we are looking for another pizzeria. Google’s users do the same. If you can not find the answer to your query on one page, you will leave the page and look elsewhere. So Google will not recommend this page, but another one. Bye Ranking, Bye Traffic, and Bye Conversions.
For some areas, Google sets a higher quality standard for content and user experience. Google uses the acronym YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). The update of August 2018 has had a substantial impact on these websites in particular
Which websites are YMYL?
Google defines YMYL pages as follows:
- Shopping sites
- Generally, pages on which you can order something directly with money
- Websites for finance
- Website for health
- Websites for legal topics
- Sites for education
Google puts higher quality standards on YMYL sites, as false or misleading information can have negative effects. If a website falls under one of the categories mentioned above, then, in any case, higher-quality content must have been produced and at best written by experts.
Google wants to protect you, so they set a higher standard on YMYL pages than the others. Thus, external signals are more weighted, which confirm the authority and reputation of a domain or author: backlinks, co-competitions, search volume of the fire to be consulted.
Nevertheless, all sides should acquire a high-quality standard. When everyone produces high-quality content wins, not just a company/brand/shop, but the whole Internet.
Author EAT, and websites EAT
Who would you instead read an article about taxes? By a copywriter who has researched for a week, or a long-time accountant?
Of course, we prefer to read the text of someone who has many years of expertise in a topic. So the author has the knowledge, some experience, and works in the industry, so he or she gets our trust.
Google’s guidelines are many examples of high and low-quality websites.
The website in the picture above is classified as “low quality.” It is not possible to see if the author has medical knowledge. Better would be here a small Infobox with references (if she has these). A Google search has revealed that the copywriter writes many articles on a variety of topics. Google and you would probably now assume that the expertise is slightly less. Therefore, Google will better rank other texts by knowledgeable authors.
It is worth considering whether it makes sense to create an author page with a detailed biography and references. It should also always embed the authoring scheme to provide as much information to Google as possible.
SEO measures for EAT
So how can SEO do it to meet Google’s quality criteria? Here are many optimization possibilities in the OnPage and Offpage area.
Google is now very good at rating links. Getting a link, or being mentioned by sites like sz.de or nytimes.com is a positive signal. At least since the penguin update in September 2016, backlinks coming from untrusted sites are no longer taken into account. That’s why high-quality backlinks are also essential here.
How do I improve my EAT?
- Create “value-added” high-quality content. Google should be made clear that much work and effort has gone into the content. Create content that answers users’ questions. How detailed the contents of the MC must depend on the purpose and topic.
- Build backlinks from essential sites. Here it can be more important to have a valuable backlink than much smaller because of less important ones.
- Get good reviews (Yelp, Google, etc.). If there are a lot of bad reviews, respond to them, and ask why negative reviews come up.
- Social Shares and who shares the content. It makes a difference whether experts with authority share something or accounts with few followers.
- Like to link the authors with their social media accounts. This increases the confidence of the website.
- Optimize user behavior on my site. Do you jump off? Are you coming again?
- Actively be in the communities that deal with the product or service.
- User-friendly additional content
- Functional web design
- Transparent information about the website operator. Address data, telephone numbers, etc.
- Schema markup
- Page speed
- Certificates, prices
- Meaningful “About us page.”
Google’s update in August made it clear that the EAT is even more critical. Unprofessional sites were punished and suffered heavy losses. As you can see from the list above, there are many things you can do to work on your own EAT value so that your website will not be lost on the next update.
In the white paper on how Google deals with misinformation, Google has confirmed that EAT is a key ranking factor. Google acknowledges in this document that it can be challenging for the technology to determine if something is real. It is sometimes easy to determine what is wrong, but often challenging.
The document further states, “Our rating system does not identify the intent or actual accuracy of particular content.” How does Google then complete this task?
The answer: “Our ranking system does not identify the intent or accuracy of particular content. However, it is specifically designed to identify websites that have a high level of competence, authority, and trustworthiness (i.e., EAT). “