The era is gone: the days when it was possible to order texts from cheap copywriters are gone. Expertise, quality and usefulness come to the fore. You can’t get to the top without such content. Or get out?
Let’s take a look at Google’s EAT algorithm and YMYL sites whose ranking depends on it.
What is Google’s EAT Algorithm and YMYL Websites?
EAT is a Google search ranking algorithm that determines the quality and accuracy of content.
Literally, the abbreviation EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, which translates as “Expertise, authority, reliability”…
What does this mean for copywriters and editors?
The author must know the topic as deeply as possible, present only verified facts and have authority in this area. For example, articles on a blog on a medical site should be written by a person with a narrow medical education, and the article should contain links to high-quality original research.
EAT applies to YMYL sites, i.e. web resources with information that affects the health, well-being, safety and financial stability of users. Literally: “Your Money – Your Life” (“Your money is your life”).
This wording is not new, it was first mentioned in 2015 in the site quality assessment guide:
What sites belong to YMYL:
- online stores and any other projects where users have to transfer funds;
- financial sites (exchanges and binary options, real estate agencies, insurance companies, investment portals, sponsorship projects);
- medical websites (pharmacies, online stores of medical products, websites of medical companies and clinics, health portals);
- sites that publish information about psychology and psychotherapy (specialist services and useful articles);
- legal resources (websites of private specialists and offices, as well as portals);
- science articles;
- sites with legislative information (political, events in the state, social programs);
- others, information on which can have a significant impact on the fate of people.
The content of these sites is carefully checked. If the information provided does not match the EAT search algorithm, the site loses its position, as happened in 2018 with many medical projects.
It turns out that by ordering articles from authors without experience and understanding of the subject, the owners of YMYL sites are at great risk.
3 basic principles of the EAT algorithm
Google’s EAT factors work to improve the usefulness of content. For those who already know how to create quality content, the basic principles of EAT are unlikely to be a revelation.
Let’s take a look at the 3 basic rules of the algorithm.
Expertise. The author of the materials on the site should be in the subject, like a fish in water. To do this, it is not enough to read a couple of articles of competitors: ideally, in the sphere you need to “cook” and absorb from it all its subtleties, all cause-and-effect relationships. Therefore, highly specialized authors are especially in demand.
Checklist for checking content expertise:
- The site contains materials that reveal narrow aspects of the topic.
- Heading H1 and subheadings H2-H6 correspond to the stated area of expertise.
- There are no spammed uninformative texts.
- There is a clear structure of articles: bulleted lists, graphs, tables, diagrams, videos, titles and subheadings.
- Feedback forms, filters, bread crumbs work on the selling pages; all the information you need is in a prominent place.
Authority. First of all, this concerns information portals, which provide vital background information about the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, legal and financial issues, conditions for granting benefits, and the like. Advice from a layman can not only negatively affect the life of the reader – it can cause irreparable harm.
Yes, such content does not cost 40 rubles per thousand characters, and in-demand specialists do not always have time or want to write articles. But, as an option, you can invite them to act as consultants or commentators. You can also ask them to submit materials for articles in any convenient form, in order to then transfer them to an editor or copywriter.
Content Authority Checklist:
- For educational material or part thereof, the author’s name, surname and profession are indicated. This is a signal to the search engine that there is a person who is responsible for this article.
- The online store has contact pages with a map of directions and phone numbers, terms of payment, delivery and warranty.
- Page “About us” (if this is a company website) or “About me” (if this is a blog of one specialist). You need at least a few words to understand that real people are behind the site and information on it. It’s great when such a page contains a detailed story about people.
- Links to social networks: both to publics or groups of the organization, and to employee accounts (with their permission, of course).
Credibility. Trust is an important factor not only for Google, but also for the end user. The consequences of deception are remembered for a long time. One disgruntled reader or customer can seriously damage a company’s reputation.
Therefore, only offer fresh data. Changes are taking place in any industry, which is important to track in time. Subject to the first two rules – authority and expertise – there should be no problems with this.
If we talk about an online store, here you need to update contact information in case of moving or changing phones, prices, company description.
Content validation checklist:
- Up-to-date information on important pages of the online store (payment, delivery, guarantees, about the company, contacts, characteristics of goods).
- Certificates, diplomas, awards, a list of partners – everything that speaks of a reliable reputation.
- Interaction with users in the comments.
- Letters of thanks and reviews from real buyers – with names, photos, videos or screenshots of reviews with seals of organizations.
- The secure HTTPS protocol also has a positive impact on reputation, although this does not directly apply to content. Through it, data transmission is carried out in encrypted form. This is of great importance for the resources on which online payment is made: online stores, banks, exchanges.
How to Meet EAT Requirements: Content Creation Rules
Let’s see how the Google algorithm will be liked.
If we talk about portals, blogs and other information sites – for a good author who has something to tell the audience, the possibilities here are simply endless.
To make the article useful and informative, make a simple checklist – TOR or outline of the article.
Example outline for a white paper:
- The title of the article, understandable to a simple reader, fully reflects the content.
- Target audience (category of readers). For example, let’s say you’re writing a medical article for doctors. This means that professional terms can be used in it without explaining the meaning of each of them. For readers without medical education, such materials are not suitable – you need to provide information on the topic in simple words and with detailed explanations.
- What problem does the article solve: what does the user want to know by typing in the main query in the search engine? Difficulties, problems, fears of the reader.
- The answer to the question: how do you propose to solve the problem? Methods, instructions, actions.
- Stages of solving the problem: introduction, main part, conclusion. What sections will the article consist of and what will you write about in each of them? It would be appropriate to plan an article with subheadings here. Make sure that each subheading is consistent with the content of the article.
- Article design: lists, illustrations, videos, diagrams and tables. Sometimes it’s easier to show than to write down an action for several paragraphs.
- What should the reader know / do after reading? Does the article fully meet the user’s basic request (intent disclosure)?
In texts for categories, cards of goods or services the following would be appropriate:
- Purpose of the product: what problem the purchase solves, for whom it is intended (who can use it).
- The effect of using.
- Competitive advantages, characteristics, instructions for use, contraindications.
- Product cost.
- Delivery terms, payment, guarantees.
- Bonuses, promotions, customer reviews.
- Photo in good quality, where you can see all the details. If necessary – video instructions for use.
These are the basic requirements for preparing high-quality content that meets the EAT principles. Remember that even if the search engine missed the weak text, no one has yet canceled the assessor rating, and ultimately real users will evaluate your work.
Why EAT content doesn’t require more attention than any other SEO task
EAT has highlighted some new points, but in general its implementation leads us to a simple and well-known postulate: content is a ranking factor, and it should have been of high quality. In any guide to internal website optimization, you’ll read about the importance of useful, informative, and meaningful copy.
Plus, content is only one facet of SEO. Code state, indexing, external environment, usability are still necessary to reach the first positions in the search results.
Vladimir Sumatohin, technologist SEO expert at SEO.RU:
“Following the EAT principles when creating content is not a panacea, but one of the growth points of the project (and even then not always). When the site is not optimized and inconvenient for visitors, and is also poorly indexed by the Google search engine, it makes no sense to make unreadable and uninformative text expert. It is important to set the promotion priorities correctly.
First, you need to conduct a technical and seo audit, then – an analysis of competitors, check whether the expertise and pages of the authors are implemented on their sites. If the problems in these areas are not resolved, then optimization for EAT is unlikely to help. ”