Google’s algorithm changes very often. We know that it consists of at least 200 different ranking factors with 50 variations. That’s 10,000 in total!
That means the search engine algorithm is looking at over 10,000 different data points to determine where you fit into the SERPs.
Staying up to date on algorithm changes allows you to stay ahead of competitors and maximize search performance. Otherwise, you may get left in the dust.
Nonetheless, what Google looks for and weighs changes all of the time. This can result in increases or dips in traffic depending on how your website is judged.
One of the most recent changes that impacted many websites across the internet was the EAT algorithm.
Some search marketers still don’t understand what it is and how to adjust accordingly.
That’s what I’ll be teaching you today if you continue reading.
What is the EAT algorithm?
The EAT Google update was a major change to the search engine algorithm officially made in August of 2018. It’s not new by any means. However, it’s made a huge impact on how future websites will be crawled forever.
EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In sum, Google is putting websites under a microscope to ensure they are an expert about any given subject.
How many times have you come across a website (or made one) and it’s purely for affiliate marketing or making money? The content isn’t very unique, but rather plays on Google’s algorithm and ranks because of it. It doesn’t help the end-user very much and the author isn’t very well accredited. It happens all of the time
This algorithm changed all of that and had the greatest impact on YMYL niches. YMYL is an acronym for your money or your life. A.K.A any market that is related to finance, income, investing, health, dieting, etc.
These topics can have a serious impact on someone’s health, finances, and overall safety. Thus, you better be qualified to talk about it.
But, what can you do to take advantage of the EAT algorithm to boost rankings and traffic? Let’s talk about that next.
How to take advantage of the EAT algorithm
These are some of the many practices that will help your website appear more authoritative and trustworthy to both users and search engines.
The about page of a website is a small but underlooked asset. It has the potential to improve branding, provide a unique selling proposition, and communicate to readers why they should trust your company.
It’s also crucial for EAT. This is because the about page is a great place to explain who you are and why you’re an expert at the topic you speak about.
One of the first things to do is elaborate on your experience in the market. What skills and education have you earned? Similarly, cover any academic titles or awards you have achieved. Do the same for your team if possible. Display profiles for all of the employees in your company and elaborate on their expertise.
Here’s a great example from HubSpot:
The co-founders have clear profiles on their about page, detailing their experience at MIT and with startups.
EAT doesn’t just look at your website, it looks off of it, as well. This is why reputation management is so important. There are many different assets a business has outside of its website that Google analyzes to guage their authority and trustworthiness in the community.
One of which is press coverage. This includes press releases, news updates, and other coverage on larger publications. If a bigger website links out to you, then clearly you’re a trusted source of information. You can take advantage of this by reaching out to journalists and getting featured stories.
Reviews are another. These can be found on Google, Yelp, TrustPilot, G2, and many other websites. Ensure that you are receiving positive reviews for products and services while responding to each one. This implies that you are well received and engage with customers.
Testimonials are a third factor in reputation management. These can be placed on your website or other assets like social media to show users and Google that others enjoy working with you. These can be in the form of written text or video, as well.
Lastly, don’t underestimate comments. While they take some effort to cut out spam, they enable great conversation and engagement with readers.
Links and resources
The resources and links you provide in content is another factor in EAT. This is because any claims you make must be backed up by good sources. Sorry, but Wikipedia doesn’t cut it.
Google is interested in seeing scholarly articles, journals, studies, and real data. These are much more powerful and useful than a random link to Forbes, for instance.
I highly recommend taking advantage of Google Scholar if possible. Simply enter a keyword to begin.
This will display all of the relevant studies and papers that you can analyze and reference within content.
Similarly, you can search for “keyword + statistics” to find roundup articles on interesting data and stats in any industry.
Backlinks are still relevant
What has remained one of the most important ways to rank a website? Backlinks. And, they’re still important in 2020.
Think of links as a voting system. If you have more of them, clearly you’re a trusted source of information and other websites like you. Thus, Google will move you up ranking positions.
This plays into the EAT algorithm because backlinks increase authority, trust, and imply expertise. There are many ways you can begin building links, as well. One of the best strategies is through guest posting as it achieves many things at once.
Firstly, it earns you a high-quality link from a relevant publication. Second, the content itself is an opportunity to showcase knowledge and depth about a particular industry. Thirdly, it gets your name and face on the internet which plays back into reputation management.
You can perform searches such as “keyword + submit a guest post” to find opportunities quickly.
Click any of the results to be forwarded to a website’s guest post guidelines page. Follow the submission guidelines to maximize the chance of your article being accepted.
Quality of content
Another factor that plays into a brand’s authority and trustworthiness is its content. It’s not enough to have a quantity of content, it must quality, too. But, what separates low and high-quality content?
Firstly, word count. More words imply increased information, resources, and data for readers to benefit from. Furthermore, it’s been found that the first result of Google tends to be 1,890 words long. Create an outline of every piece of content you write and map out how many words it would need in each section to achieve this.
Formatting also plays a role. Separate all of the different major points and sub-points with header tags like H2 and H3. Lists and bullet points can be used to summarize information, as well.
Lastly, focus on user intent. What are readers trying to get out of the content? Answer every question they have and try using a free tool like AnswerThePublic.
Enter a search term and it will display questions to target.
If you want to get to the front page of Google and maximize organic traffic, you have to keep up with their constant flow of updates. One of these most important changes in recent years is EAT.
You can improve your search performance with EAT by creating a detailed page of you and your team. Touch on any achievements and academic titles to display as much authority as possible. Ensure that you manage your brand’s reputation on social media and external assets, too.
Publish high-quality content that answers user’s questions and provides them with trustworthy resources like academic studies. From there, focus on building links to your website through techniques like guest posting.
Combining all of the strategies we outlined today will greatly improve the authority and trustworthiness of your website, so don’t wait to apply them.