If you have tried to understand the Google ranking algorithm, then you are not the first and will certainly not be the last.
Google is very secretive about updates and how they work understandably. This leaves SEOs and marketers in a difficult situation to try and test and decipher what it takes to grow and sustain results.
However, in 2015 Google released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines as there was lots of talk going around online around a leaked version.
What does E-A-T stand for?
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust.
Why was the E-A-T algorithm created?
Google wants search engine users to receive the best experience possible. To aid this they use these three factors to help decide who to trust.
There are certain industries in which Google focuses on called YMYL websites which usually contain more serious topics.
What does YMYL stand for?
YMYL stands for Your Money, Your Loss.
What are the implications with YMYL?
As previously mentioned, Google wants to show the best results to users but with YMYL websites they are sites that have a lot more weight riding on the shoulders of Google to show the right results. For example, if a website is offering medical advice Google would want to show the correct medical advice otherwise they would receive negative press and could potentially harm the user because they displayed the wrong information.
What are some examples of YML websites?
Essentially any website that can affect an individual’s future happiness, health, financial stability or safety.
- Groups of people – information or claims related to groups of people based on race/ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
- News and current events – it is important that there isn’t any fake news within the business, political, science or technological space (sports and entertainment sites are usually exceptions).
- Law and Government – it is important to maintain informing citizens of information about voting, government agencies public institutions, social services and legal issues (e.g divorce, child custody, creating a will etc).
- Finance – financial advice such as investments, taxes, retirement plans, banking or insurance.
- Health and Fitness/Nutrition – information that helps others make important decisions around the health industry.
- Shopping – advice or information about products being sold online especially on pages in which products can be bought.
- Health and safety – information on medical issues, drugs, hospitals, how dangerous activity is
How to Optimise for E-A-T step-by-step
1. Swap generic authors for people
Stop writing blogs and the author name is “admin” or “editor”. Don’t be afraid to put a name and face to your brand.
When writing a bio, be sure to include any awards or qualifications the author has. This is especially important in the Medical sector as this is a strict YMYL website.
2. Create the best content
In contrary to past advice, quantity does not always help with rankings. Don’t worry so much about word count, aim to write content that helps users with their queries. Provide the most value, if there is old content that you feel like can be answered more in-depth then improve that content.
3. Hire experts to write for you
If you do not have that expertise and time to write quality content then hire individuals with the experience and credentials. Pay industry experts to write for you so that you are really getting the best content possible. This is good for Google AND the user’s experience of reading your content. When it comes to link building, people will want to link to credible sources from credible authors.
Get featured in highly authoritative publications, you can do this through guest posting. If you are struggling to get into high authoritative publications then consider sponsoring; Professional/Semi-professional sports teams, Awards, Events, Chamber of Commerce events, or College/Universities.
Make sure that you get a backlink from their website. If you already sponsor any of these above or you have in the past then check the website to see if they have linked back to you.
In summary, SEO is changing a lot. Everybody should be following the basics of SEO such as implementing sitemaps, making sure internal links are all in place etc but now, more than ever it is important to write the content to solve the user’s pain points rather than just ticking boxes.