When Google releases a new search engine algorithm update, it’s no surprise that the online community cringes at the prospect that their website’s search engine ranking may suddenly plummet.
But how does Google decide what to change about its algorithms in the first place? In order to fine tune its searches, Google draws on the help of thousands of Quality Raters who are contracted to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results for user queries. For example, a quality rater will determine whether the results for a search on “Panda updates” not only match the query but also provide high quality information on the subject.
So, how do quality raters evaluate Google’s search results? In the latest release of the Quality Rating Guidelines version 5.0, the raters take a look at search results for thousands of user queries and rated the level of “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness” found on the resulting websites. (The new criteria are certainly a mouthful but fortunately shorten down to the acronym E-A-T.)
Of course, E-A-T is in no way a new concept for SEOs, web content writers, and web designers. If you want your website to do well, no matter what update Google releases, it’s important to always focus on providing reliable information and building a strong reputation for professionalism, creativity, and skill.
How Can a Website Show Expertise?
In order to establish your website as a source of high-quality, expert information, whether you are a personal injury attorney or run a small business for a particular hobby, you should valuable insight and advice on specific topics. You do not have to be a credentialed expert by any means. The following types of information can help you establish professional or everyday expertise.
- Detailed Q&A Pages
- Helpful Product Reviews
- Blog Posts about Personal Experience
- Step-by-Step Guides
- Expert Advice
- Well-Researched Web Pages
How Can You Establish Authority
Achieving “authoritativeness” in the eyes of Google’s quality raters may seem daunting, but it is important to remember that your audience can tell when you know what you are talking about. So, take the time to build a strong online reputation by not only publishing unique, relevant content, but also by setting up a Google Author profile. Google recognizes and rewards Google Authors for creating high quality information and rewards their sites with higher rankings. It’s a great investment in the long run and helps establish authority.
Additionally, it is important that every web page, blog post, tweet or Instagram photo maintains your brand’s standard of professionalism. If you are claiming to be an authority on any subject matter, do not forget to reflect that digital influence across every online platform.
What Does Trustworthiness Look Like?
When it comes to gaining trust online, one of the biggest red flags for your audience and Google is seeing a lot of ads, spammy links, or keyword stuffing on your website. Using black hat or even grey hat tactics to improve your website’s ranking only lowers the quality of your overall site and greatly diminishes your chance of earning trust.
Using the E-A-T criteria, keep the advertising to a minimum, following white hat tactics, and let your clients, customers, or visitors speak for you. Positive feedback and reviews help create reliable evidence of your positive reputation and help others understand who you are and what you do.
At SLS Consulting, our team of SEO professionals is proud to have achieved successful results for hundreds of clients over the last decade. We always stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in online marketing and are dedicated to providing each and every client with innovative marketing strategies and customized web designs to help their business grow. To learn more about us and how we can help your business, call (323) 254-1510.