Whatever business you are in, most of your potential clients will be searching for it on Google. What they find on Google will determine whether you gain a customer or whether your closest competitor will.
What are Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines?
Google is a constantly evolving mechanism that aspires to make the user experience better than ever before, and more specifically, the user search experience. One of the ways that Google endeavours to improve Search is through quality raters.
This is a third-party group of more than 10,000 people spread all over the world that work from a standard set of search quality rater guidelines that are publicly available. Raters evaluate the quality of search results, and just like Google itself, they are also improving over time. Although the responses from raters don’t directly impact ranking results, Google does rely on them to make significant changes in the algorithm.
What is Google’s E-A-T guideline?
In 2014 Google’s “E-A-T” (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) guidelines were developed to help their Search Quality Rating staff to evaluate and rate Google’s search engine results. This, in turn, drives improvements in their algorithms and improves the quality of content delivered to users. Content that adheres to the E-A-T guideline is high-quality information that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a topic.
For example, a health care site by doctors or a medical institution would have a high-level of what many would consider expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
From E-A-T to E-E-A-T
In late 2022, Google announced the addition of E to E-A-T in its 2022 Helpful Content Update. The updated acronym now stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (or double E-A-T). The same health site that proves to have expertise from its doctors now also needs to show that those doctors have some real-world experience in their designated profession. These first-hand experiences can include previous treatments or approaches that have worked or testimonials from patients who have received care from these physicians more recently. All of this adds up to one thing: experience.
What is Google looking for with experience?
With this new update, Google asks the following question: “When you publish a piece of content, does that content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced?”
Google explained that there are “some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.” Although Google is increasingly becoming smarter, it can’t replace human knowledge and, therefore, can’t simulate the human experience. Some searches might not require the user to rely on much firsthand experience, but others, like going to see a new doctor, definitely do.
Why is E-E-A-T important?
Although the added E is a major topic of discussion between SEOs and writers alike, Google is placing a renewed emphasis on trust. According to the rater guidelines, “Trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family because untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem.”
Google also states that the new double E-A-T is not a fundamentally new idea and that they are by no means abandoning the fundamental principle that “Search seeks to surface reliable information, especially on topics where information quality is critically important.”
Luxury marketing, for example, relies heavily content marketing. UHNW people searching for high-value goods and services do enough research to recognise quality, trustworthy information. And if that information comes from a fellow UHNWI or UHNW entity who has experience with either the product or the luxury industry, conversion rates can increase tremendously.
How to improve EEAT
EEAT isn’t merely something to keep in the back of your mind. Google looks for EEAT in every single piece of content or webpage that exists.
To prove to both Google and users that your content is trustworthy, it could be helpful to include clear sources and credits. Also, evaluate the quality of your links. If you link to sites with questionable reputations or provide broken links, the user experience (UX) will go down, and Google bots will notice.
To prove that your content has some degree of expertise you need to leverage the content’s differentiation factor. In short, what sets your content apart from other similar pieces online? The USP of your content should be clear and needs to be in line with your brand and the product you sell.
To show Google that your content has been written from the viewpoint of someone with experience in the industry, you need to update and evaluate existing content. As industries change, facts can become outdated or untrue, best practices fall out of favour, and advice that was once good becomes outdated.
User-generated content can boost SEO tremendously, but it should not be a free-for-all. Moderate and evaluate comments and hashtags on your site or social media platforms associated with your brand, ensuring your audience only receives the best content.
The ultimate goal of this new update is the same as it has ever been; to capture the nuances of how people look for information and the diversity of quality information that exists online.
Relevance is a leading full-service luxury digital marketing agency that curates high-performing content in line with Google’s latest updates for global ultra-luxury brands. To learn more about our content and SEO positioning services, contact our digital marketing team today.