Google made over 3,200 changes to their search algorithm last year. That’s nearly 9 a day. It’s a crazy number of changes for the modern web professional to keep on top of (amongst all the other things that they have to do). At the same time, SEO is incredibly valuable for those wanting to drive up traffic and site visits.
If you thought that you might be able to get a clear idea on how best to implement an SEO strategy from the plethora of online marketers out there, it might be tough. The constant tweaks and changes implemented by Google, mean that nearly every online marketer has an opinion on SEO. The problem is, most of these opinions seem to be either vague or clashing.
We didn’t want to be another voice thrown into the mix, and we didn’t want to try and summarise every single one of the 3,200 changes made. Instead, we decided to go straight to the source, Google’s own Quality Rater Guidelines (which came out at the end of last year), and summarise what we think will be the most usable and actionable advice for your SEO strategy.
E-A-T has been an acronym thrown around in SEO circles for years. It stands for Expertise. Authority. Trustworthiness. But it looks to us as if Google is leaning toward EAT even more than ever. Google’s new “How Search Works” report mentions that they want to rank “reliable sources”, by these three attributes. Here are some actionable tips to make sure you hit these criteria.
Producing expert Content
Google wants to feature content that has been written by legitimate experts in their field. An example they give is in relation to the medical industry, where they specifically say: High E-A-T medical advice should be written or produced by people or organisations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation. This means your credibility as a content creator is important – you either need to be a thought leader in your field, or if not, make sure to hire one!
Accredit the content creator
Google also mentioned the importance of flagging information about a website and content creators. In their own words: we expect most websites to have some information about who (e.g., what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) is responsible for the website and who created the main content, as well as some contact information.
With this in mind, we strongly recommend having the following:
- Thorough About page
- Contact page
- References and links to sources
- Bylines on every article
Sharing quality content
Being classified as E-A-T will also be determined by what happens away from your site. Google explains: When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources. To help Google see you as an expert in your field, being shared by other trusted websites goes a long way in the right direction. So mke sure you’re sharing high quality content with other reputable voices online – be a part of the public conversations in your domain.