“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.for
Although this statement from Wendy Piersall may seem very simple, it is an undeniable truth SEO.
Indeed, Google improving constantly
This is done with the sole objective of providing its users with the most useful and relevant information according to their request. That is why one of the principles that the search engine requires webmasters to follow is this:
« Concevez vos pages en pensant d’abord aux internautes et non aux moteurs de recherche… Si les moteurs de recherche n’existaient pas, est-ce que je le ferais ? ».
To make its goal a reality, Google uses over 200 ranking factors. In recent years Google has given particular importance to a concept it has introduced:EAT(Expertise Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).
This guide will help you understand this concept and use it to your advantage. For this, I will address questions such as:
- Where does the EAT come from and how does Google use it?
- What is the EAT?
- Is the EAT a ranking factor?
- What is the relationship between EAT and Google’s algorithms?
- How to optimize a website to have an excellent EAT.
Come on, let’s get started!
Chapter 1: Where does EAT come from and how does Google use it?
The EAT is an acronym created by Google and which means in English: Expertise Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Translated into French we have : Expertise Autorité et confiance / fiabilité.
The concept of EAT appeared in the document bearing the name of Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines that Google has made available to its Quality Raters.
I think I just brought out two terms that you might not be very familiar with: Quality Raters and Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
To better understand the EAT, it is very important to understand these two elements through the way Google evaluates the quality of the results it offers to its users.
We know that Google uses several algorithms to find the best results to offer its users.
But a legitimate question arises: How does Google know if the results it offers satisfy its users? ?
So far, my research has led me to understand that Google basically evaluates its results in two different ways:
- User experience;
- Human assessors.
1.1. Google’s use of the user experience to improve search results
You and I allow Google to improve its results, in particular according to our reactions to the results it offers us.
I discussed Google’s use of user signals to improve its results in this section of my RankBrain article.
In one of its patents, Google neatly sums up its relationship with its users:
“For example, user reactions to particular search results or lists of search results can be measured, so that the results on which users click often will be ranked higher. »
Be aware that Google is able to:
- Measure the movement of Internet users’ cursors;
- Have user data by browsers;
- Measure the time spent on an article;
- To evaluate the click rate in the SERPs;
In short, Google can use the behavior / reactions of its users in order to improve its system and the results it offers.
It should nevertheless be noted that the use of UX is done indirectly.
Indeed, Google performs tests on a small fraction of its users given the data collected at the level of UX signals.
The firm then verifies whether these tests or changes improve or harm the quality of search results or the search experience:
Therefore UX signals have an indirect impact on the ranking of results in engines of research.
So, can user signals allow Google to assess the quality of the results offered? This is obvious!
Which brings us to the second way Google evaluates its results:
1.2. Human Raters at Google: Quality Raters
Have you ever heard of Quality Raters? If not, this is an opportunity to discover them and understand their relationship with Google.
I did a lot of research on them and I also had the opportunity to have the words of Quality Raters.
Let’s discover them!
Google has recruited real people around the world whom it has trained to rate its search engine results:
So who are these raters commonly referred to as: Google Quality Raters?
In 2007, Google’s Marissa Mayer told the Seattle Conference on Scalability that the firm has about 10,000 human evaluators.
Here is his statement from Dare Obassanjo :
“Q: How do they know if they have bad results? A: They have a set of monitoring services that check the uptime of different servers to make sure a bad server isn’t causing problems. In addition, they have 10,000 human raters who are always manually checking the relevance of the various results.”
We are currently in 2020, that is to say about 13 years after this declaration. We can assume, with reason, that this number could well have evolved.
Indeed, the volume of requests in 2007 on Google was more than 372 billion according to Internetlivestats.com:
The same source indicates that the number is now 1.2 trillion searches:
That is more than three times the number of 2007, the firm grew. But not having other figures, let us simply estimate that Google has tens of thousands of people who evaluate its results and which allow it to improve its results.
Note that when we talk about search results, we are not just talking about organic results. This also concerns other types of results such as:
- Local search:
- Voice search;
- Google Ads advertisements;
- Videos ;
- Images ;
As one Google evaluator told Searchengineland :
“Q: Do you only look at organic results, or do you also evaluate PPC ads and landing pages? A: We look at any type of page on the web. Most are organic results, but some of the tasks are geared towards more advertising-related topics..
This summary table accompanies the answer and shows the different types of results that Quality Raters process as well as the rate per hour and per minute
Let’s not stop there and try to discover these people better than Google jobs.
1.2.1. How does Google recruit its Quality Raters?
As usual, Google does not disclose information about its system, particularly that of Quality Raters. I was able to find valuable information thanks to Potpiegirl who was able to browse the Google Rater section of the wham.com :
We will therefore use the posts or comments of these Quality Raters to better understand how they work.
Regarding the system itself of Quality Raters, it should be noted that it dates back approximately 16 years according to the words of a former member in the forum mentioned above:
“Just to reiterate what I said earlier in the thread, I was in the initial group of evaluators when the project started in late 2003/early 2004... “
The system is already several years old and there is no doubt that it is really useful to the American giant.
In terms of recruitment, one of the Quality Raters indicates according to Potpiegirl:
“There are a few names for this position. Companies hiring for this position are Lionbridge, Leapforce and Butler Hill. I don’t know if Workforce Logic is still recruiting for this position or not. Lionbridge designates this position as Internet Rater and Leapforce designates him as Search Engine Rater. You are not applying to Google. These companies contract with Google and hire independent contractors.
I work for Lionbridge. I appreciate the salary, but the availability of tasks is not always constant and the work can get boring at times. This is basically to assess the usefulness of search engine results. To get started, you need to apply and if there are positions available in your area and you meet the requirements, they will invite you to take a test. This test is long and you should study it carefully. The salary is high (I can’t disclose it due to confidentiality agreement), but it’s hourly. It’s a great way to earn a part-time income.
We have LionBridge supplying raters to Google:
There’s also Leapforce and Butler Hill which became Appen and supplying raters to Google:
Workforce LogiQ also still seems to be supplying raters to Google:
These are the four companies mentioned in the comment and these companies may still continue to offer Quality Raters to Google.
In addition, work is done from home and Quality Raters are like freelancers working from home without necessarily going to a physical Google office.
If a Freelancer’s file is accepted, he will have to pass an exam split into two different sections to become a Quality Rater:
“The exam consists of two sections: Section 1 has 24 theoretical questions and Section 2 consists of 270 practical exams.know
if things are always like this, since in the absence of new information, I use what is at my disposal.
So, if you want to become a Google Quality Rater, try to prepare yourself well.
1.2.2. What are the qualifications to become a Google Quality Rater?
According to my research, GQRs are not necessarily marketers or specialists in a particular field. They are Google users like you and me who are recruited from all over the world.
But as you can imagine, it’s not accessible to everyone. Evaluators must hold a university degree or have equivalent professional experience in order to apply.
Why? The position requires university-level communication skills, as well as good analytical skills.
The good news is that they are not looking for a specific degree, just that you have a college degree or similar experience.
1.2.3. What performance should Quality Raters provide?
When you become a GQR, you are paid by the hour and there is a certain level of performance that you must maintain.
Google has a performance system in place that rates how many tasks you are able to review per hour.
On this subject, a person asked the question in the Quality Raters forum (reported by Potpiegirl):
“Hello, I would like to ask you how many URLs per hour do you usually do? Over 60 or under 60? I have no idea of the average, because no one ever told me how many I should do. Thank you.”
To this question, several people answered a minimum of 30 evaluations per hour:
I believe that 30 is the minimum expected for the rating, in the few weeks following your hiring”
30 evaluations per hour amounts to devoting 2 minutes for each task.
It is obviously a task that requires a lot of concentration and personally, I wonder how to rate a page or anything in just 2 minutes?
Note that there is also another type of task called “before and after” or “side by side tasks – SxS” which require an average productivity of 20 evaluations per hour.
Here, it must be understood that the task is to compare two results of the SERPs. Spending three minutes evaluating a SERP and reporting is very little in my opinion.
Rightly, PotPiegirl says,
“What REALLY worries me about this is one big thing: how the hell can you really rate a web page in 2 or 3 minutes? So, as I mentioned above, first impressions REALLY matter.system
They use (Raterhub) crashes and is relatively slow, as evidenced by the Quality Raters (QRs) at ARS Technica :
“Suppose you have a five-minute task but it takes you two minutes to load it. You now have three billable minutes left.”
Ars Technica advises that some evaluators find that sometimes the task takes longer to load than it takes to complete the task:
A typical task takes between 30 seconds and 15 minutes, and the time the evaluator can charging for this task is determined in advance by Google, according to the Raters.
It must therefore be understood that the assessments are often not complete as one SQR put it:
“It is not possible to perform 20 SxS tasks per hour if you click on each result. It’s quite easy in cases where the sides are almost identical and you just have to decide if you’d rather have A or B somewhere. When I was doing 20, I was doing a lot of them based on just snippets… I was doing 2 or 3 an hour without them complaining, mind you. And then I thought to myself that if they wanted me to go faster, maybe they didn’t want me to be so careful in judging each result. Now, I’m not sure what they care about! Maybe it helps them to have lots of different perspectives and scoring styles. Maybe no one checks our work at all!So
the ratings are sometimes not complete, at least according to this information. But having no way to check how things are going now, one can assume that some websites may not be fully reviewed.
One thing is certain: The first impression your website gives matters a lot. In this case, you must ensure that your titles, your meta descriptions and everything that appears in the SERPs are irreproachable.
Quality Raters have well-defined time quotas and it seems that Google rarely compromises when it comes to productivity.
The QR interviewer by Searchengineland states:
“They also tend to be very strict about their productivity goals. There are a number of tasks that I have to complete every minute, depending on the type of task. If I don’t achieve these goals, I’m tested and I can’t work. If my quality is not up to par, they send me back. It’s a very controlled work environment.
You’re aspiring to be a Google reviewer, you know where to go ?
1.2.4. How much are Search Quality Raters paid?
As I mentioned, Quality Raters work by the hour and are paid between $14 and $19 according to Glassdoor :
For assignments, Quality Raters use a “Raterhub” website to receive assignments according to my readings .
It is normally said that it is the QRs who can set schedules that fit their own schedule.
But the reality is quite different according to Arstechnica who collected the words of 10 SQR:
Indeed, he may have many tasks to perform during a day, while tasks are not available on other days.
It must therefore be understood that the SQRs adapt according to the availability of the tasks:
Which meant that they could do up to 40 hours a week, as Arstechnica :
But in April 2017, their hour quota was been halved. Indeed, US Leapforce evaluators received on April 3, 2017 the following email from The Leapforce Team:
” As of June 1, 2017, [evaluators in the United States] can work up to 26 hours per calendar week (from Sunday to Saturday). We understand and appreciate that this will have a significant impact on a certain percentage of our reviewer community. That’s why we try to give you as much time as possible to inform you of the upcoming changes..
This would be due to changes in Google’s recruitment policies:
You can consult the full article from ArsTechnica which describes this problem, which has been called a “Nightmare” by some Raters
Finally, also note that QRs work for a year and then wait for a certain period of 3 months. Before submitting a new application to be recruited or not.
1.2.5. How does Google penalize Quality Raters?
According to my readers, the working conditions are not necessarily ideal and it seems rather easy to be disqualified.
A QR tells ArsTechnica:
“Google likes to advertise that it takes care of its people. But we don’t have any of that. No real security. [If you get kicked], you can be stuck at work based on absolutely nothing. We would be better treated as employees of Google. We would be directly recognized..
Note that Google has set up a robot that occasionally checks the work of QRsIf it finds any problem, it automatically blocks the QR out of the tasking system. It is this process that QRs refer to as “botted”.
Despite all these difficulties, the QR particularly love their work.
“I know when we talk about it it’s negative, but we love our job. We are not disgruntled employees. We don’t like to see our jobs disappear when they reduce our working hours.‘s
It is mportant to remember that although they’ve worked with Google for years, none of these reviewers have had the opportunity to speak with Googlers or direct Google employees:
“Q: Do you have direct contact with someone from Google, or do you only communicate with Lionbridge? A: I have no contact with Google; it’s just Lionbridge.‘s
Answer one of the most important questions:
1.2.6. What do Google’s Search Quality Raters actually do?
For that, I will once again go back to Potpiegirl which allows me to have this statement from a reviewer:
” Yes, they have their algorithms designed to bring the best sites to the top, but when they get there, they have to be examined with the naked eye to ensure the quality of the site. That’s why the review board exists, and that’s why some of you jump from page 1 to page 10 without warning.“.
It should be understood by this that it is mainly the best results that are scrutinized by the QRs.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about reviews when your website isn’t on the top pages of Google.
Especially since the decisions that are made after these reviews are incorporated into the algorithms and all websites undergo the changes. I will return to this point in the next sections.
The main thing is to keep or improve your preciously earned position in the SERPs.
A Google Quality Rater evaluates several elements taking into account the context of all websites as well as the queries for which the pages appear.
For example, they can perform tasks like:
- Evaluate a keyword and a URL:
At this level, the QRs are given a keyword and a url. They are then asked to assess the relevance / usefulness of the url in relation to the search intent of the keyword:
Indeed, the evaluator first takes the keyword and determines its relevance to what the user wants:
- To make a purchase;
- Go to a specific place;
- Have information on a theme;
- Go to a platform;
- Have a certain type of results (video, images, news…)
Then they examine the url to see if it is relevant for the query in question. They have the possibility to give notes and even to mark this url as spam:
At this level, I draw your attention to the fact that the QRs have only 2 or 3 minutes to do everything this work.
It is very important to take care of your website and its contents in order to facilitate the task of QRs and to give them the best possible first impression.
It also means having a website that loads quickly with emphasis on the most important elements of the page.
- Choosing the Best SERP:
As I’ve had to say, sometimes QRs have to choose between two different search results pages for the same query.
Google offers them the current SERP and another that has undergone a change. With this type of assignment, reviewers roughly rate which set of results is “best” in their opinion:
Obviously, there are plenty of other tasks that Google reviewers do, as the QR indicated interviewed by Searchengineland.
Most interestingly, it is possible to find out if a QR has rated your website. Barry Schwartz of Seroundtable indicated that we can recognize the traces of an evaluator with as referral traffic: cart.corp.google.com.
He got this information from a discussion in the WebmasterWorld. Indeed, a person commented on the article indicating that he found referral traffic from corp.google.com. If I ever come across this type of traffic, I would be happy to share it with you.
At this stage, it is quite normal to wonder if Google relies only on the analysis of a single person?
To avoid bias, Google assigns tasks to several people at once.
According to the Searchengineland, it appears that about six different QRs deal with the same task:
“Although we were talking about guidelines, one thing that really impressed me is the fact that there is more than one evaluator who examines a site. I believe (not sure, based on comments left by other reviewers) that there are about six reviewers reviewing each task.So
What if these RQs come to different conclusions for an assessment? It is curious to know that these evaluators lead a debate in order to find an agreement:
“If I note something as being useful but another evaluator says that it is irrelevant, we must reach an agreement (through comments and discussions) before the note is submitted.“
Sometimes and in rare cases, moderators from the company that recruits them intervene so that a decision can be made:
“However, after a sufficient number of exchanges, they bring in a moderator who chooses the note which corresponds to him the better. This moderator reviews our comments and makes a decision based on them.»
1.2.7. What do Quality Raters use to rate a website?
The different elements that the QRs are brought to evaluate are perfectly summarized by this infographic from Single Grain :
How do they manage to find each other? Indeed, the QRs work with a document called “Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines”.
As its name suggests, it is a guide that contains all the instructions that evaluators must follow to carry out their task. And it is precisely this document which contains the instructions concerning the EAT.
Let’s see what it’s all about.
1.3. What are the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines?
The Search Quality Evaluator Guidlines is a PDF document provided by Google that explains to evaluators how to evaluate the quality of web pages and the relevance of search results.
It is accessible to the general public and seems of great importance to Google.
1.3.1 The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines has not always been public
It is curious to know that Google tried to keep this document secret at the start of its Quality Raters program in 2003-2004.
Thus, only the Quality Raters had access to it, but the problem is the following: The document always ended up becoming public without the agreement of Google.
In 2008 for example, Brian Ussery discovered a revised copy of the document:
It will be in October 2012 that the googler Matt Cutts will indicate in the following video that Google could officially publish the document
A 2:20 minutes, he says,
“We might be able to make these human quality guidelines available to the world – which we make available to people on Google. I think that would be a good thing, because then people could read them. Indeed
Google took the initiative to share its Search Quality Raters Guidelines in March 2013 for the first time.
But a problem will arise: The public document is 43 pages while the non-public version intended for Quality Raters is 161 pages as indicated by Searchengineland :
After this publication in 2013, Google refrains from publicly publishing the following versions which will still leaked:
One might wonder why Google is making so much effort not to make this document public?
In my opinion, this is certainly the information contained in this document. They are valuable enough that the firm goes to great lengths to try to keep it private.
This is reason enough to seek to read and understand this document.
In addition, it will be necessary to wait until 2015 before Google officially publishes the first complete version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines:
It will be a 160-page document with many examples of search results and pages containing detailed explanations of the reasons for which each specific example is either:
- Of excellent quality;
- Of moderate quality;
- Bad quality.
Since this year, the firm continues to improve its document.
1.3.2. How often are updates to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
There is no set frequency or date when you should expect an update to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG).
If we have to base ourselves on the history of its updates, we can estimate that the frequency is 2 to 3 changes per year.
For the year 2019, Google modified its document 3 times:
- May 2019;
- September 2019;
- December 2019.
The document currently has 168 pages and is exclusively in English:
It is legitimate to ask what is the point of reading a document and trying to apply it when it will be modified anyway?
It should be noted that most of the changes that Google makes to its document are usually small and sometimes very subtle.
For example, Google may decide:
- To rephrase certain paragraphs;
- To include or delete certain examples in order to clarify concepts that seem ambiguous;
- To add instructions in order to avoid biases in understanding.
On the other hand, the substance or the main message of the document is generally left intact or very little modified.
Admittedly, SEO professionals are not indifferent to the slightest change in this document. For the simple reason that a modification is a signal that Google intends to adjust its algorithms in some way.
Being able to decode the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines is a plus for anticipating the evolution of Google’s algorithms.
You can regularly consult this page of SearchEngineLand on which articles are published each time Google updates its guide.
Better, the articles also cover the ins and outs of the changes, which makes them very good investment of time.
1.3.3. Why should you read the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines?
We understood that Google’s SQEG is a necessary manual for its team to assess the quality of sites that appear in search engine results.
In this sense, it is a set of instructions that allows its evaluators to know how Google defines a site of excellent quality or low quality.
Mais pourquoi s’intéresser à un document qui ne s’adresse pas aux marketeurs comme le guide SEO de Google ?
Il faudrait le consulter parce que Google même l’a suggéré à plusieurs reprises.
En effet, le googler Danny Sullivan a explicitement recommandé de prendre connaissance de ce document de près de 200 pages :
Traduit en français :
« Vous voulez faire mieux avec un changement général ? Ayez un grand contenu. Oui, la même réponse ennuyeuse. Mais si vous voulez avoir une meilleure idée de ce que nous considérons comme un excellent contenu, lisez les directives de nos évaluateurs. Cela représente près de 200 pages de choses à considérer : »
Having a deep knowledge of this guide, therefore, allows you to know exactly what Google considers excellent content.
Speaking of content, it’s not just about blog posts. Consider all types of content on web pages such as:
- Product pages;
- Landing pages;
- About pages;
- Download pages;
Aside from Danny Sullivan, Ben Gomes who is Google’s VP of Search said, according to CNBC ,
“You can look at the reviewer guidelines to find out where we want the search algorithm to go. They don’t tell you how the algorithm ranks the results, but they basically show what the algorithm should do.you
want to understand what Google’s algorithm needs to do to rank search results, this guide is highly relevant.
The benefit of such knowledge obviously allows you to better position your website in the SERPs.
As Google tried to say earlier this year in one of its posts taken over by Barry Schwartz :
“We understand that those who fare less well after a core update change may still feel that they have to do something. We suggest that you make sure that you offer the best possible content. This is what our algorithms seek to reward. (…) If you understand how reviewers learn to review good content, it could help you improve your own content. In return, you might be able to do better in research. “
Let’s recap, the Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines document is a gold mine for SEOs and content marketers because:
- It comes directly from Google;
- It provides details on how high-quality pages look;
- It explains how to assess the relevance of search results;
- It shows what Google considers quality content;
- It shows where Google wants the search algorithm to go.
These reasons are sufficient to seek to apprehend the precious document of Google. However, common sense should be used in its use.
1.3.4. Why You Should Use the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines Wisely
The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines may be the bible of Quality Raters, but this document shouldn’t also become yours. Or at least not literally!
Indeed, we must not lose sight of the fundamental nature of this document: Guidelines or guidelines.
This implies that it allows you to have a general point of view and that in certain situations, the document would be vague and ambiguous.
Also, let’s not forget that Search Quality Raters go through intense training after being recruited, as the QR interviewed by Searchengineland put it:
” Q: Once you’ve been hired, is there some kind of training? A: After I was hired, there was a weekly two-hour webinar as well as training modules to follow. It was very intense training. For the first four weeks, I had to comment on every rating I gave. These comments were then reviewed and commented on, which gave me feedback on my grades.
Given Google’s determination to keep its document secret, it would not be wrong to think that valuable information that does not necessarily appear in the SQEG is revealed.
But let’s stick to the SQEG for now, which is itself a rather dense document to grasp.
More than 160 pages completely in English, you have to admit that there is enough work to do?
I only recommend that you try to understand the substance and then apply it to your own website. This, according to your objectives and the conditions in which your website is located.
Looking at every detail can be tedious and time consuming. Especially since some sections will certainly undergo changes.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the changes Google made to its document last time.
1.3.5. Search Quality Evaluator Guide Update December 5, 2019: What are the major changes?
The latest update of the guidelines was the third in the year 2019. It was a lighter update compared to the previous two in the same year.
The most notable change was the addition of an entire subsection titled “0.0 The Search Experience” under the “Introduction to Search Quality Rating” section:
This section explains why people search and how which they do.
The 4th paragraph in particular refers to the complex nature of certain requests. At its beginning, we can read the mention: “Different types of research require very different research results.“
Google gives practical examples that can better help in understanding this part:
Medical research results should be high quality, authoritative and trustworthy. Search results for “cute baby animal photos” should be adorable. Search results for a specific website or webpage should have that desired result in mind. Searches that have many possible meanings or involve many points of view need a diverse set of results that reflect the natural diversity of meanings and points of view.section
On search experience seems to be in line with the idea that search engines are, more than ever, engines of discovery.
It’s also worth noting how often the terms ‘diverse’ or ‘diversity’ appear in this section. This denotes Google’s effort to emphasize the importance of these attributes, both to search results and to the people who use search.
The second change concerns section 0.2: Google urges its raters to base their judgment on its guidelines and not subjectively:
“Unless otherwise specified, your ratings should be based on the instructions and examples given in these guidelines. Ratings should not be based on your personal opinions, preferences, religious beliefs or political opinions. Always use your best judgment and represent the cultural norms and standards of your place of assessment.» :
The third modification concerns the addition of two other terms to the list of important definitions of the Guidelines.
These are “Search engine” and “User”.
Curious to know how Google defines these two terms? They are:
“Search engine : Is a tool intended to help people find or interact with content available on the Internet
User : In these guidelines, the word “user” means a person who tries to find information or accomplish a task on the Internet. Keep in mind that users are people from different backgrounds, whose experiences and needs may differ from yours: people of all ages, genders, races, religions, political affiliations, etc. »
You can find other definitions in the Guides in order to try to have the same point of view as Google on certain terms.
There were other much lighter modifications that I let you discover with:
However, I show you how the Google document is structured:
1.3.6. How is Google’s Search Quality Guideline structured?
It should be noted that the Google document, Search Quality Evaluator Guideline, is structured in four main parts.
Part 1: Page Quality Scoring Guidelines
At this level, Google specifies the criteria associated with page quality scoring.
Thus, evaluators are invited to observe several factors that are important as indicators of quality, paying particular attention to the EAT which we will detail in the next chapter.
Examples are provided to illustrate each rating:
Part 2: Understanding the needs of mobile users
Source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines dated 12/2019
To determine the relevance of a search result , the first step is to understand the needs of the user.
It is at this point that Google provides guidelines on what is important to consider to understand user needs, especially mobile users.
There is also plenty of examples:
Source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines dated 12/2019
Part 3: User Needs Satisfaction Rating
Guideline Source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines dated 12/2019
After understanding the needs of the user, it is possible to assess the extent to which a result has met the user’s needs.
Here, Google provides additional guidance on what is important for relevance assessment.
At this level, there are plenty of examples:
Part 4: Appendix on the use of the evaluation platform
Source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines of 12/2019
As the title suggests, this is a part that lets raters know how to use the rating platform: Raterhub.com.
The firm gives several examples and indications:
It’s time to answer one of the most important questions in this article:
1.4. What is the impact of Quality Raters on Google rankings?
To get a clear idea of this impact, it is crucial to understand how Google makes changes to its algorithm.
1.4.1. How does Google make changes to its algorithm?
Google shows us in the following video how it is making changes to its algorithm.
As you might have understood, Google makes it known that any change it makes to its algorithm usually starts with an idea from its engineers.
If I have to use the exact expressions of the googlers in the video (obviously translated into French), we have:
“A typical algorithmic change starts with an idea from one of our engineers.Googlers
Integrate this potential algorithm change in a trial version called “Sandbox”:
“We then implement this idea on a test version of Google and generate results pages before and after.
At this level, it is a question of having a version of the results with the current algorithm and another version resulting from the modified algorithm.
Then comes the Quality Raters :
“We submit two sets of search results to them: one with the usual results, the other with modified results. We then ask them to tell us which one they prefer and explain why.”
Quality Raters go much further than simple search results as we have seen:
“The rater analyzes the relevance of a website returned by the search in relation to the query, as well as the quality of the results depending on the level of expertise, reliability and official character of the content..
If Google’s manual raters prefer the new results from the modified algorithm, the algo change is tested againThis time, it will be a live test on a small sample of real Google users:
“In addition to search quality testing, we test real-world traffic to see how users interact with a feature before rolling it out toof all Internet users. We start by activating the feature in question for a small percentage of Internet users, generally 0.1% of them..
This may also explain why the results are sometimes totally different from what you saw a few minutes ago
Also, the 0.1% may seem small, but you will change your mind with the following calculation:
Google processes 63,000 requests per second:
Thus, Google counts in one day more than 5 billion 472 million requests.
The 0.1% make 5 million 472 thousand requests for a day and 38 million 304 miles in a week.
The firm did not specify the duration over which it performs its tests, but more than 5 million requests should be sufficient to determine whether a change is relevant or not.
Even if the test proves conclusive, it is not automatically launched. The firm entrusts the modification projects to its most experienced engineers who carry out an in-depth analysis.
The project can be rejected at this level for the simple fact that it is not relevant for users, as Google points out:
“Indeed, a modification must really improve the quality of the results offered to Internet users. Otherwise, we abandon the project.
To sum up, Google follows the following process: (infographic would be cool)
With this process, one wonders how many changes Google makes to its algorithm each year?
Changes to Google’s algorithm start with an idea, and it must be said that ideas are obviously not lacking in Google.
In 2018 alone, Google estimates it conducted over 654,680 tests. At the real-life testing stage, this number increased to 15,096 tests.
In the end, Google launched 3,234 changes to its algorithm.
You may have known the statistic that Google’s algorithm changes more than 500 times a year in 2010.
The firm referenced this in the previous video and testimony document from Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, gives more details on this figure:
- 13,311 Tests of the quality of search results;
- 8,157 Comparative tests;
- 2,800 Real-world traffic tests;
- 516 launches.
Now consider that Google’s algorithm was changed 3,234 times in a single year. So we see an increase of more than 6.27 times since 2010, it’s huge!
Back to our question:
1.4.2. Does Search Quality have an influence on Google’s algorithm?
The answer to this question is: Yes, but not directly.
The question of whether Raters have a direct impact on the algorithm has been controversial in the world of SEO.
Indeed, some SEOs thought the fact that when multiple Search Quality Raters identify a site as spammy or low quality, its individual ranking may automatically take a hit.
If a group of Google Raters all report something about sites that are consistently low rated as low quality content or even spam, Google does not automatically downgrade the website.
This would have meant that Quality Raters’ ratings have a direct impact on the ranking of results or Google’s algorithm, which is not the case.
It makes sense to me that Google would use the data from the QRs to create a signal in their algorithm that could affect ALL sites with that particular signal whether they are low quality or not.
Danny Sullivan answered this question with this tweet:
Translated into French:
« Pour être vraiment clair, cela ne fonctionne pas comme ça. Les évaluateurs n’ont aucune entrée directe dans l’algorithme. Il n’y a pas de » score d’évaluation » ou autre chose du genre sur l’échantillon de pages qu’ils examinent. »
Danny goes further and indicates that the Raters only check the quality of the results:
The data helps us understand how the updates seem to work. It’s like someone reviewing the food in your restaurant. But they don’t go into the kitchen and prepare the food. Ranking data is not a component of the algorithm.relationship
Google has with its Raters. Rater data is not directly integrated into the algorithm.
Matt Cutts also tried to come back to this point several times. Here is a video where he explains the relationship between Raters and Google.
Raters do not directly affect the results, but their data is taken into account. Which may or may not result in a change in the algorithm. Matt Cutts confirms it once again in this video.
Conclusion: Search Quality Raters sometimes have an indirect influence on the changes made to the Google algorithm.
As an SEO professional, it is therefore important to pay attention to the QRs especially the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. And this document allows us to understand a very important concept in Google the E-A-T
Chapter 2: What is EAT and how to optimize your site?
In the Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines of last December 5, the term EAT appeared 135 times:
There is no doubt that this is a very important concept for Google and one that needs to be discussed.
The Mountain view firm believes that the EAT is very important for websites. This means that if you have a very good on-page and off-page EAT, you will be able to improve your website’s performance in search results.
This typically amounts to considering E-AT as a ranking factor. This subject is also controversial in the sphere of SEO.
In this chapter, I try to go into detail to show what EAT is and how to optimize your website to get more traffic or improve your positioning in the SERPs.
2.1. How does the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines define the EAT?
In its first lines, Google makes it clear that the EAT is very important for sites:
Note that theEAT is closely related to what Google calls “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages.
2.1.1. What is a YMYL website?
YMYL pages are those that deal with topics that could have a positive or negative effect on a user’s happiness, health, and wealth.
The following infographic from SeoPressor shows the categories of Your Money Your Life pages according to Google:
So we have:
- All shopping and financial transaction websites: These are the pages that allow users to make purchases, money transfers, money, etc.
- All websites dealing with financial information: If you give advice on investments, purchases or insurance, etc.
- Web pages providing medical information: Whether advice on well-being and health, drugs and narcotics, nutrition, etc.
- Pages dealing with legal information: If you address subjects relating to regulations on divorce, nationality, children’s rights, etc. you are considered a YMYL page;
- Other official or unofficial web pages that directly or indirectly address the themes mentioned above.
By having a YMYL website, should we pay attention to Google’s guidelines, in particular to the EAT?
Absolutely, and there is plenty of evidence.
2.1.2. How do the latest Google updates affect YMYL websites?
On August 1, 2018, Google made a very significant update that disrupted the performance of many as Barry Schwartz :
“Yes, seen in the last 3-4 hours, 20-30% drop in traffic…Yes , my main site lost nearly all of its page 1 ranking, game over.
Danny Sullivan doesn’t seem to ignore this update:
You might be wondering how such an update relates to our topic. The following lines provide the answer to this question:
As sometimes, Google did not wish to communicate more about its update:
Barry Schwartz then conducted a survey which allowed him to qualify the update as “Google Medic Update”:
He found that the most affected websites are those in the field:
- Health ;
- Healthy lifestyle.
And this at a high of 41.5%:
You might think that these changes don’t affect websites much, but some have lost up to 95% of their traffic.
Digging through the comments to Barry’s article, I came across two testimonials that show the extent of the damage that continues even into 2019.
“We lost over half of our traffic and, at the same time, half of our daily income. I really don’t know what to do to try to recover from this situation. Our site is a B-to-C niche e-commerce site specializing in dental products for patients (all OTC products, we are not a manufacturer). So yes, a health related site. We are a very small company, but we have done well. I have worked hard for the past 16 years to ensure that our site has everything Google expects: rich and original content, original photos and videos, https pages, mobile-friendly, good ratings (4.7 out of 5 for Google Trusted, among others), product reviews, helpful articles with author tags, fast page load times, schema code, “About” page and “About” video, clean, user-friendly design, blog, no ads…all white hat stuff…”
“… The reality is that Google is destroying its search results with this shit and MILLIONS of quality sites are being destroyed by she. It’s almost like they need to be doing something all the time to screw it up even more. I’ve been running a health consumer community site for 22 years. I was ranked page 1 place 1 for 18 of those years. Since they started this nonsense on the health sites, I’ve gone from millions of users to 100,000 per month. A loss of 95%. Since October 2018, I have lost 90% of what I had left. And why ? Because Google wants me to mention that a doctor advised me on the content of my site? It’s madness and I’m furious with their bullshit! 22 years old and my business is destroyed because of it.
You understand why you should pay close attention to EAT, which Google considers very important for websites.
Google knows that good websites can sometimes be affected by its updates. Its executive chairman Eric Schmidt once said,
“First, we built search for users, not websites, and no matter what we do, there will always be websites unhappy with their rankings. Research is subjective, and there is no “correct” set of search results. Our science-based process is designed to provide the answers consumers will find most helpful.”
It’s a way of saying: If users don’t like the results they get, that’s a BIG problem. But if webmasters are losing rank, that’s understandable.
You should know that SQEG tells us that a site that lacks EAT should be considered a low quality site:
I think many sites are considered YMYL. Almost all thematic areas have topics that impact either financially, happiness and health of users.
Even if your niche isn’t an obvious YMYL topic, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to the EAT.
2.1.3. What are the characteristics that define a high quality page and a low quality page according to the SQEG?
Thanks to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, we can get an idea of what Google considers as an excellent or low quality page.
Guess what, the most important point to determine the quality of a web page is none other than the EAT.
While a strong EAT is the first characteristic of a quality website:
A low quality page has insufficient EAT as its first characteristic:
Before we go any further, what does the EAT actually mean?
2.2. What is Google’s EAT?
The acronym EAT stands for:
- Authoritativeness: Authority;
- Trustworthiness: Trust / reliability.
Let’s see each of the terminologies in detail:
2.2.1. What is expertise according to Google?
According to Google’s search quality guidelines, there are two types of expertise:
- Formal : Particularly for the medical, financial and legal sectors, a certified professional is the most trusted source of information. If incorrect information is published in these areas, users are more likely to be put at risk. Thus, a certified doctor will have a higher degree of expertise than a person who has a deep knowledge in the medical field, but who has no certification:
- Day-to-day expertise : The guide indicates that for certain subjects, the level of expertise required may be relatively low. There are ordinary people who share their life experiences in personal blogs, forums, journals, discussions, etc. If these people create extremely detailed, useful content and seem to have substantial experience, their expertise is acceptable:
You must be an expert in your field and your visitors must clearly see your expertise.
On your site, you must absolutely display everything that proves your knowledge such as:
- Evidence of your training;
- The diplomas ;
- The logos of your customers;
- Any rewards;
Keep in mind that Google’s raters are trained to pay attention to this and you need to be prepared.
All the more so if your website deals with subjects that can affect a person’s well-being, happiness, finances or health.
There is nevertheless a nuance: All the pages of your website will not be evaluated in the same way.
There is no sense in wanting to necessarily look for an element of expertise on a contact page for example. Reviewers will use a less stringent set of requirements if the page content does not need to be written by an expert.
At this level, your goal should be to determine which YMYL pages should meet higher standards.
2.2.2. What is authority according to Google?
You can have all kinds of knowledge in your field and still not be an authority.
For example, an SEO specialist may be an expert, but his opinion will have little authority:
- If he does not share his knowledge through a blog;
- If he does not attend conferences;
- If he does not have practical and tangible experience,
If you are already recognized as an expert, it is essential to acquire some authority in your field of expertise.
It is certainly a substantial investment, especially in time, but your EAT will improve.
In case you have expert content creators, they should build their online authority in their area of expertise.
2.2.3. What is reliability / trust according to Google?
It is essential to build a reputation for reliability, both for you and for your website.
Google has devoted a whole section to allow its evaluators to check the reliability of an online site.
Google advises to check the reliability of a website through external sources:
” When looking for information on reputation, try to find sources that were not written or created by the website, the company it -self or the individual… Search for articles, reviews, forum posts, discussions, etc. written by people on the website. For businesses, there are many sources of reputation information and reviews… For content creators, look for biographical data and other sources that are not written by the individual.means
Meansthat if you have negative customer reviews on the web, your EAT may suffer and your website will be considered low quality.
In addition to damaging your online reputation, you also need to make sure you provide reliable content.
It’s time to answer one of the most important questions:
2.3. Is EAT a Google ranking factor?
This is also a controversial topic, and I will use some reliable sources to give you a clear idea.
My research led me to the article by Marie Haynes which shows her evidence that the EAT is a ranking factor confirmed by Google:
Why did I consider an article from an SEO expert and not a googling? The reason is quite simple: His article on theEAT was considered a reliable resource to consult by Google itself.
Indeed, Google published in August 2019 an article entitled “What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates“:
Google generally recommends focusing on excellent quality content. As a resource, Google recommended his article and other articles discussing the concept of EAT:
Despite the following note from Google, there has been some uproar in the SEO sphere:
“Note: Links to articles below above do not constitute an endorsement of any particular SEO companies or services. We just found the articles themselves to be helpful content on this topic.
And it’s not Danny Sullivan’s comment that will change the feeling of some people:
In short, it’s to show you that this expert obviously masters her subject according to Google and that its content can be considered reliable.
So, is EAT a ranking factor? Yes and here are the two different ways to prove it.
2.3.1. By definition the EAT is a Google ranking factor
A search for the definition in French of “ranking factor” is apparently not quickly accessible:
On the image you will see that the definition is that of “ranking” and not that of “ranking factor”. Struggling to find a direct and succinct definition in French, I will dig on the English side:
Translated into French, it gives this:
« Le terme « facteurs de classement » décrit les critères appliqués par les moteurs de recherche lors de l’évaluation des pages web afin de compiler le classement de leurs résultats de recherche. … La compréhension des facteurs de classement est une condition préalable à une optimisation efficace des moteurs de recherche. »
Can we consider the EAT as a criterion applied by search engines to evaluate a web page?
Google was clear on this subject with its white sheet dating from February 2019 on how the firm fights against disinformation:
On the 13th page, we can read:
Translated into French, we have:
« Pour ces pages « YMYL », nous partons du principe que les utilisateurs attendent de nous que nous appliquons nos normes les plus strictes en matière de fiabilité et de sécurité. Ainsi, lorsque nos algorithmes détectent que la requête d’un utilisateur porte sur un sujet « YMYL », nous accordons plus de poids dans nos systèmes de classement à des facteurs tels que notre compréhension de l’autorité, l’expertise ou la fiabilité des pages que nous présentons en réponse. »
Through this statement, Google makes it clear that the EAT is a ranking factor embedded in its algorithm. In particular for requests relating to YMYL pages.
This is the first proof that the EAT is a ranking factor. Here is the second:
2.3.2. EAT is a ranking factor according to Google updates
According to Marie Haynes, the integration of EAT as a ranking factor began in February 2017 when Google made an update to their system.
Following this, the expert received requests from several websites that were affected by the update and whose traffic looked like this:
A thorough analysis allowed the expert to find that these websites who have lost traffic, have given way to sites that clearly have greater authority or content written by experts who have a very high EAT.
update Google’s March 9, 2018 : This update concerned the relevance of websites to different queries.
John Muller will confirm it in this video:
He indicates that this update was above all a matter of relevance.
Marie Haynes adds,
“What we noticed was that sites would lose their rankings for terms if they didn’t have enough EATs to be relevant to her.»
The August 1, 2018 update: This is the “Medic Update” that we talked about a little earlier.
Medical industry websites took a big hit and Google’s only recommendation was to check out their quality rating document.
The finding remains the same: The most affected websites are those that do not have a high EAT.
- Their expertise is not clearly indicated or they are simply not;
- They don’t have much authority in their niche;
- They do not inspire complete confidence and sometimes have negative opinions.
The update of September 27, 2018: At this level Google seems to put more emphasis on the “trust” or the confidence that websites inspire.
Sites in the medical field that have experienced traffic declines have had even more losses. According to Marie Haynes:
“Several companies have come to us after seeing drops on September 27th and in most cases we have seen very obvious trust issues with the site..
Google updates have continued and it seems that YMYL sites are still affected
‘s Core Update, January 2020, affected several websites:
While others are doing well:
Others are negatively affected:
All these elements show that Google is trying to get its system to directly consider factors such as expertise, authority and reliability or EAT.
2.4. How does Google measure EAT with its algorithm?
Expertise, Authority and Reliability are different but related concepts forming the EAT. By analogy, Google seems to take into account several elements to evaluate the EAT with its algorithms.
2.4.1. Google measures any type of mention on the web
During the Pubcon Austin in 2018, the googler Gary Illyes made it clear to Marie Haynes that Google is able to determine which links or mentions to take into account or not.
Gary continues and feels that the EAT relies much more on links and endorsements on authority sites:
This way Google is able to determine whether endorsements or the links you receive:
- Are natural and deliberately made by other bloggers;
- Are paid or contrived;
- Were created by you;
In short, Google is able to tell the difference between quality mentions or links from those intended to cheat its system.
Suppose you have published a guest article on Semrush, it will not have the same value if it is the editorial team of Semrush who decides to publish an article and mention you.
One might wonder how Google manages to make such a distinction?
In its fight against spammy links Google has had to improve its system several times.
algorithm update 2016 Penguin that allows Google to ignore artificial links:
John Muller confirms this in this tweet:
And Google clearly states that without indication, its system is able to know if a link is credible or not:
Note that Google is really good at determining which links or which mentions should count in terms of PageRank.
Also in the white paper, google states:
“Our algorithms can detect the majority of spam and demote or delete it automatically. The rest of the spam is handled manually by our spam removal team, which reviews pages (often based on user feedback) and flags them if they violate webmaster guidelines. In 2017, we took action on 90,000 user reports of search spam and algorithmically detected a much higher number of spam.Slawski
wrote an article on a Google patent that explains how Google manages to find the pages that it can consider reliable.
The patent is called “Producing a ranking for pages using distances in a web-link graph”:
Google recognizes that there are websites that use various practices to have artificial links and gives the solution to the problem:
” Some web pages (so-called “spam pages”) may be designed to use various techniques to achieve artificially inflated PageRanks, for example by forming “link farms” or creating “loops”.“
To combat this, the firm says,
A possible variant of PageRank that would reduce the effect of these techniques is to select a few ‘trusted’ pages (also called ‘seed pages’) and discover other pages that are likely to be good by following links from trusted pages.Seobythesea
that are known to be good and trustworthy. Then build a network of trusted sites by following the links that leave those pages.
Suppose Wikipedia is considered a “seed” site. The search engine will seek to know all the sites to which Wikipedia makes a link and will consider them to be reliable. Of course, there are also other signals that the search engine will consider.
The firm gives this example:
“For example, the Google directory and the New York Times are both good seeds that have such properties. It is generally assumed that these seeds are also “closer” to other high quality pages on the web. In addition, seeds that have a large number of useful outbound links make it easier to identify other useful and quality pages, thus acting as “hubs” on the web..
Obviously, Google recognizes certain websites as authoritative and links from them can improve your trustworthiness status with Google
If you’re not known as an authority and don’t have endorsements on authoritative sites, it’s likely going to be quite difficult for you to rank well. Especially if your competitors are listed on these authority sites.
2.4.2. Google uses many signals that contribute to the EAT
Gary Illyes clarified some things that SEOs were confused about.
During Pubcon Vegas 2019, Gary Illyes answered questions from Jennifer Slegg, which Marie Haynes thankfully reported in her blog post.
Asked if there is an EAT score, Gary says,
“There is no internal EAT score or YMYL score. The Quality Assessor Guidelines are guidelines for assessors. EAT and YMYL are concepts that allow human deafening algorithms. There is no algo that looks for YMYL. He said Google has “a collection of millions of little algorithms that work in unison to give a ranking score. Many of these miniature algorithms look for signals in pages or content. When you put them together in a certain way, they can be conceptualized as YMYL. But it’s not like we have a YMYL score.” He also said that “many algorithms conceptualize EAT.”
Danny Sullivan provides further clarification:
To the question of whether EAT is a ranking factor, the answer is: Yes and this step, I think you have no doubt about it
2.5 How to optimize your website for the EAT
you have been penalized for having a low EAT, you can still improve the performance of your website. Try the following tips that may help:
2.5.1 Include author names and biographies for all your editorial content to maximize your expertise
Guidelines for reviewers state that:
“Cunderstand who is responsible for is an essential part of the EAT assessment”
The document advises Quality Raters to assess this factor based on the type of website.
This point becomes crucial when it comes to a YMYL page that must be created by trusted experts with great authority on the subject matter.
The SQEG also tells us that if the Main Content creator or author lacks subject matter expertise, the page should be classified as low quality:
For pages such as home pages and product pages, this usually means customer service and business contact information should be easy to find.
But for blog posts, this means that author information must be available in order to assess whether they are an appropriate expert on the subject in question.
Additionally, the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines states,
“The reputation and EAT of the creators of the MC [main content] is extremely important when a website has different authors or content creators on different pages..
If author information is unavailable or hard to find, you may have a low EAT score
Let’s take a very simple example: Who would you choose between the content of a very competent web editor and an SEO expert on a subject like building backlinks?
Personally, I will choose the SEO expert and I bet you will do the same.
Similarly, you will trust a doctor with many years of experience rather than a blogger on issues related to certain diseases.
Although the information that “everyday experts” can often be useful, you will automatically choose people who:
- Are experts in their field;
- Have authority in their niche;
- that inspire confidence.
Simply put, a person with a high EAT and that’s exactly what Google is trying to do.
Google has given examples of pages with a low EAT:
Source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines 50th page
The evaluation and observations are as follows:
Translated into French:
“There is no information on the author of this site, no contact information and no authorship information. Medical pages require a high degree of trust from users. Since there is no information about the owners of this site and the creators of its content, we consider it to be an unreliable website.“
There is also this article:
And the reasons for its very low quality:
The comment reads:
alot of words to say very little. There is no information about who is responsible for the content and no contact information for this medical topic YMYL.A
quality page for Google is like this:
With this notation:
“This is an article on a newspaper’s website that has won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the GLAAD Media Awards. The article features a comprehensive amount of very high-quality MCs that are unique and original, including in-depth investigative reporting by two authors with extensive knowledge and experience of investigative journalism. ”
Indeed, when you type their name in google, you have several elements of answer:
To check the authority or the expertise of an author, you can search in Google with his name to see how good he is authority on the web.
2.5.2. Invest in Branding for Authority
When it comes to small businesses or organizations, the guidelines take care to warn reviewers that breaches of reputational information are not always bad.
But as you can see, the same doesn’t apply to large sites or companies:
“You should expect to find reputation information for large companies and large organization websites, as well as content creators. known.“
Reviewers are encouraged to review reputation information created by third parties, rather than relying exclusively on content created by the brand or author themselves:
TranslationBut for the quality rating of pages, you should also seek outside and independent information about the reputation of the site. When the website says something about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what it says, trust the external sources.means
that having a positive reputation is absolutely vital if you want to optimize your search engine rankings.
If your content creators have a reputation for spreading misinformation, it will seriously limit your ability to rank well. Also, having no reputation won’t hurt you in the strict sense of the word, but it does mean that authors with a positive reputation will outperform you.
For the branding of your company and yourself:
- Interact with your audience and influencers on social networks;
- Develop thought leadership by placing yourself on trusted platforms;
- Tell your story to connect with your audience;
All of this will contribute to your image as a reliable and trustworthy expert on the topics you cover.
Don’t forget that a doctor who is not known on the web who publishes an article, will not have the same performance as with a well-known blogger who has a very high EAT.
Even if you’re really good at your niche with a lot of knowledge, you’re going to miss out on EATs for that topic because no one else mentions you online.
The content you are going to publish will probably not rank well until you have gained some authority online.
Not currently recognized as a reference in your niche? It’s time to enrich your biography and add it to your editorial content. This will help you rank better in Google searches.
2.5.3. Produce high-quality content to build trust
As tempting as it is to write your content just to show up in a search, you need to put your user first.
Google likes well-detailed content that is very useful to users:
Avoid keyword stuffing, by stuffing your content with keywords in the hope of better positioning yourself.
Google’s guidelines for quality search state that “keyword stuffing” involves low-quality content:
Your content should either help or teach your users something about a topic related to your business.
Google has compiled a list of common useful pages, including the following:
- Share information about a topic;
- Sharing personal or social information;
- Share photos, videos or other forms of media;
- Express an opinion or point of view;
- To entertain ;
- To sell products or services;
- To allow users to post questions for other users to answer;
- To allow users to share files or download software.
Let visitors have their say on your content, and don’t be afraid to use the real names of people or businesses you’ve helped so people can verify your claims.
Be a reliable source of information and that your pages really bring added value to users:
Also, avoid content that tends to mislead users. Google hates this type of content and you risk being penalized hard if you use it.
Here are some examples of misleading behavior and content:
- Impersonation of other brands or people;
- Theft of personal information such as passwords or credit cards;
- Using inaccurate or incorrect information to manipulate visitors;
- Simulate reviews;
- Make false statements for someone’s benefit;
- Misleading advertising;
Always provide reliable information to build trust with your audience.
2.5.4. Make sure you get endorsements and backlinks from authority sites
Authority is more competitive than expertise and trustworthiness. It is usually measured against other options in your niche.
To consider that you have great authority in your sector, it is necessary that:
- Other websites dealing with the same theme, in particular authority sites, mention your content and make backlinks to you;
- Your brand is mentioned by people on different platforms such as social networks;
- The search volume for your brand is high.
To do this, it is relevant:
- To conduct netlinking campaigns: This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the authority of a website. However, you must focus on backlinks from sites with a very high EAT.
- Always stand out from the competition : To be an authority, you must not do like the competition. You must provide exceptional services and ensure that you have a unique approach compared to the competition.
2.5.5. Enrich the trust your brand inspires
There are several things you can do to show all visitors that they can trust you.
Consider creating an “About” page to provide visitors with information about the owners or managers of your business or website.
Making sure that the contact information for the company is detailed and clear is also a good point to build trust. Things usually look fishy when a brand is missing an address or contact information.
Do you have a team? You can add a team page that allows you to add biographies of each member that visitors can relate to.
Do you have satisfied customers? It might be a good idea to put them on your homepage. This helps show your credibility, but be sure to give full names and reliable information that visitors can verify.
You can also use product review web services like Trustpilot, BazaarVoice, and Power Reviews to highlight your users’ satisfaction levels. Note that Google’s algorithms use these websites to evaluate websites.
Finally, it’s hard to be credible when visitors’ browsers tell them that your website is not secure:
Consider using HTTPS and take security measures against hackers and spammers.
2.5.6. Focusing on EAT does not replace other SEO goals
EAT did not come to replace the other 200 Google ranking factors. This is why you must always resort to traditional SEO strategies, which include:
- Page optimization for mobile;
- Improved page loading speed;
- Keyword research;
- Remove broken links;
In fact, all of these strategies must be executed for EAT efforts to be successful.
Remember that it is a combination of algorithm that conceptualizes the EAT. You can review your SEO strategies to see how integrated the EAT in your optimization goals.
Chapter 3: Some case studies of a well optimized E-A-T
To finish our article, let’s look at some case studies that Marie Haynes has published on her website. These are concrete proof that E-A-T is really a ranking factor.
If you want to see the details of each example, check out the “Early E-A-T success story – Saas brand” section of his article on E-A-T.
After being negatively impacted by the updates, these websites have experienced an improvement in their traffic after an optimization of their E-A-T :
Source : Mariehaynes
On the other hand, the following websites were not affected by the updates. They still experienced a significant improvement of their traffic:
Source : Mariehaynes
Conclusion: E-A-T – An important ranking factor to consider
Year after year, Google is getting closer to its ideal of offering its users the most useful information for their various queries. To do this, the firm does not hesitate to make thousands of changes to its system every year.
This is not without consequences for websites. While some lose hard-won places in the SERPs, others emerge.
From 2017, Google’s E-A-T will cause a profound upheaval in the SERPs. Especially for YMYL sites that have a direct or indirect impact on the health, happiness and financial aspect of Internet users.
In this guide, I had the opportunity to introduce you to the origins of this concept and how Google uses it to evaluate the quality of content. You also know all the actions to take to optimize your E-A-T in order to emerge in the search results.
But before you embark on improving your E-A-T, I strongly recommend that you do a complete audit of your site. This will allow you to identify:
- Your weaknesses in order to strengthen them;
- Your strengths to optimize them;
- The opportunities that your competitors have not yet seized;
- The traps to avoid in order not to waste your resources.
This way, you will be able to implement relevant and effective strategies to optimize your E-A-T.
See you soon!