Posted in SEO on 11 September, 2018
According to Google, in 2018, you are what you E-A-T!
The year has been a significant one for digital marketers. Google has been ruthless and websites had to bear the brunt.
Let’s Go A Little Back In Time.
In February this year, the search engine giant rolled out an unnamed (and unconfirmed) update which affected rankings for a while and then faded away. No sooner had we recovered from this than a core update was confirmed, which went on mercilessly for two full weeks. Within the same month, Google suddenly shook us with two more updates.
The first one was a zero-result SERP update, which removed organic results from queries with definitive answers. Thankfully, it was stopped a week later. The second, the ‘mobile-first index,’ was officially announced a while later.
This was followed by the epic ‘Snippet Length Drop’ in May. SEO guys panicked everywhere. All those keywords meticulously placed (read stuffed) in the descriptions became a waste overnight. Thereafter, in 2018, video carousels entered, page speed was made a ranking factor for mobile results, and Chrome 68 marked all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.”
Dayum! What Mayhem!
And just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, Google dropped yet another bombshell in August this year. It’s been named the ‘Medic Update’ and reported to cause a massive impact on YMYL sites – the ones that concern health and wellness.
Of course other verticals, including B2B and B2C businesses, too felt the jolt. What was common between them was the niche. Websites lost traffic. Algorithm trackers awed. Webmasters sweated. Site owners wailed. As per reports, the search engine giant is now looking for E-A-T signals (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust).
The update caused chaos all over the globe – regardless of countries, languages, website types – whether blog or e-commerce, or whatever, and the content within.
Why Google chose to zone in on this particular category is still a mystery. But, it seems to have affected organic search results as well as local listings for sure. The good news is, this update has worked in favor of small, locally based businesses.
The Question Is How To Get Out Of This Mess?
A site negatively affected by the Medic Update just needs ‘great content’ to recover. That’s what American technologist Danny Sullivan had to say. Pretty clichéd, isn’t it? Still and all, this is what we can do right now.
If you aren’t aware of search quality evaluator guidelines yet, check this link.
Or, You Can Also Follow These Tips By Industry Influencer Dr. Marie Haynes:
If you have an about page, fill it up with reasons why you are the best in your vertical. Do some bragging, if need be. Show off your awards and recognitions; talk about how seasoned you are or why your customers trust you so much. Let your audience understand that you are trustful and an expert in your field of work.
Yeah, you need to push your authors into the limelight. If you’ve hired someone who doesn’t belong to your line or work and made the person write for you, your website might be in trouble. Google is seemingly noticing whether or not your authors are knowledgeable and reliable. Make sure the author has a strong bio that talks about his or her credibility and expertise.
Press coverage is your ultimate respite. This is because Google is one cunning guy; it knows who’s a real journalist and who’s a pseudo. Make arrangements for as many as you can. Ask your authors to publish write-ups in authoritative websites. Also, urge people to review your business across the web. More, the better.
If you are selling something that could draw suspicion, it’s time to abort your SEO mission. Google might not count a bad review from a competitor. But, it will surely take into account real users and their experience. If you got a bad review from a real user, you need to address it asap.
If you sell a product, you shouldn’t restrict it to a single paragraph of text content. Talk about it extensively; give it wide web coverage; send out queries and surveys; ask people to review it; generate discussions to spread awareness about your product. When you have people talking positively about your product, you fare a notch better on the E-A-T scale.
Reliability is a super important part of any business; it instills optimism in your customer and builds consumer confidence. And when you put it on display for everyone to see, Google falls in love with you – or so we think.
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