Google’s E-A-T: 5 myths to ditch right now

by Shannon Ash
Thu, 30/01/2020 - 16:41

We get it; it’s exhausting trying to keep up with Google. But that’s why we’re here.

Out of all their algorithm updates, a reoccurring – and not to be missed – one is E-A-T. Since its launch in 2014, their ‘Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness’ guidelines have become a hot topic of conversation; finally marrying SEO and content in a very appealing way. 

Gone are the days where you pushed out hundreds of informative but pointless articles. (And the reason why I say pointless is not to take a jab at your writing but to tell you that you’re probably being penalised as we speak.) Why? Well, if you’re not following Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, your content is being undervalued, and it’s losing its visibility. 

Every day, reviewers are monitoring the quality of content available online. And based on their findings, they’re continually submitting this information to Google, which, in turn, is used to help improve their algorithms. Fortunately, E-A-T is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to content evaluation. It’s got to do with organic traffic, page rankings and performance, which are, essentially, key objectives for every business. It’s an effective way to analyse the quality of the content produced, and it provides performance marketing companies in Cape Town with the steps needed to help brands deliver clearer trust signals online. 

So, what does this mean? 

As with every digital topic, there’s a level of confusion. With E-A-T, specifically, there has been a series of misconceptions around this topic. So, without further due, I’ve unpacked them below. Here are the most common myths and why you need to ditch them to see an improvement. 

Myth 1: E-A-T is its own algorithm 

Wrong! E-A-T cannot stand as an algorithm on its own; it picks up signals on websites to better refine Google’s algorithms for the user’s benefit. Google will look for information that can help it understand what the content is about and why it matters. And fortunately, E-A-T is used to conceptualise the content and rank each page according to whether it complies or not. 

Myth 2: E-A-T doesn’t play a role in page rankings

Many organisations believe that E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor to consider when updating their search strategies. While it is subjective, it certainly does play a role in the outcome of your website’s performance. Organisations should rather look at this as a conversation about semantics than to assume Google’s 200 ranking factors do not prioritise content quality. 

Myth 3: E-A-T should not be a key focus for niche industries

With volumes of content to compete with online, it’s no wonder Google has created a set of rules to adhere. Customers are sieving through pages and pages of information from multiple sources claiming to be experts in their fields. E-A-T allows niche businesses to create accredited content that is authorised and trustworthy for the people reading it. The level of E-A-T will change according to the topic, and some topics might sit lower on the quality scale. But, Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content cannot disregard these guidelines in any way. 

Now, if you’re wondering what YMYL information is; it’s any information that falls under the following topics: happiness, health, money or safety. These topics can change your life, and businesses need to ensure they’re delivering YMYL content that is real. (Ecommerce websites will fall under YMYL, as it requires users to put in their personal banking details to complete a transaction.) This type of value-adding content will be taken seriously by many, and even used as advice to help readers improve the quality of their life. 

Myth 4: E-A-T replaces technical SEO 

If you know anything about SEO, you will know that it does not deliver immediate results. A well-thought-out strategy that highlights content factors such as optimisation, backlinks and technical implementations must be created to reap the rewards of E-A-T. This concept is an addition to what you already have in place, and it will always need to be revisited, the more Google updates its algorithms. Small, simple changes in the content will benefit your customer experience, site quality and, make it easier to implement technical requirements on a website. While these areas of improvement will always be a work in progress; it’s just making it easier for Google to index your site. 

Myth 5: E-A-T has caused performance declines 

There are always going to be updates that influence your website. And, if you’re not a search marketing company, the chances are you’ll miss them. Regardless of which industry your business is in, it’s important to consider digital marketing agency services to prevent performance declines. By implementing disruptive adverts, poor-quality content and more, your site is going to face rising issues, and it’s your responsibility to keep up if you want to succeed. 

Use E-A-T for better user experience 

It will take the same amount of time to build trust with your audiences as it would for Google to apply the changes you’re implementing. If not longer. So, it’s best to start this experience now so that you can start seeing the improvements gradually, and when Google’s core updates change again, you will be able to see an impressive difference in your rankings. This will, in turn, build a better, more engaging customer experience and help you to differentiate your brand. Speak to a digital performance marketing agency such as Rogerwilco to help you ditch these myths. As an IBM partner, our teams have the tools you need to meet E-A-T standards today! 

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