How To Make Quality Content By Using Google's E-E-A-T Guideline (with Ovira' s Case Study)
Table of Contents (Click to show/hide)
Active User Rate
Return on Investment
Google E-E-A-T Updates About Experience and Content
Update as of 2nd Dec 2023
In 2023, Danny Sullivan, Google's Search Liaison, highlighted pivotal SEO insights at a key industry conference. His focus was on a user-first approach to content creation, underscoring the enduring principles that have guided Google's search algorithm for over two decades.
- Emphasis on User Satisfaction: Sullivan stressed the importance of creating content primarily for user engagement and satisfaction, rather than solely to achieve higher search rankings.
- Consistent Guidance from Google: He reiterated Google's consistent message: "Make pages for users, not for search engines," aligning with common sense and user experience.
Essential Content Evaluation Questions
- How easily can the page be accessed?
- How directly does the page answer the user's query?
- How comprehensively does the page address the query?
- How intuitively is the page structured?
Key Philosophy (Your Winning Bread)
- "Think like Google and put the user front and center of everything you do." This approach ensures content creation aligns with both user needs and Google's search principles.
Google Experts Also Shed Some Light on Site Quality Evaluation
In a recent podcast (Nov 21, 2023), Google's experts, including Gary Illyes, provided valuable insights into site quality. The key takeaway, as Illyes points out, is to reframe how we think about site quality: "Does the page deliver what it says it’s going to deliver, like helping users achieve X, Y, Z?" This perspective challenges creators to focus on the user's objectives and the page's ability to meet those needs effectively.
- Reframing the Perspective: Illyes emphasises reframing the problem from simply creating content to ensuring the page delivers what it promises, focusing on user needs and objectives.
- Adding Value to SERPs: Quality is about adding value, not just being relevant. Mueller notes the importance of creating content that adds something unique to the internet, differentiating from existing content.
- Competing in Tough SERPs: Illyes advises focusing on less competitive niches or topics that are underrepresented, providing unique perspectives or addressing untapped user needs.
- Barriers to Entry and Originality: Standing out in SEO involves offering something different from established sites, focusing on areas where big sites may lack, such as resonating with specific audiences.
- Simplifying Quality Analysis: Quality analysis is about understanding the topic well and being helpful. Originality stems from doing things differently, not imitating what's already in the SERPs.
- Danny Sullivan's Insightful Twitter Threads
- Google: Site Quality Is Simpler Than People Think
- Google Clarifies How Helpful Content System Works
- More from Danny Sullivan on Twitter
- How To Rank On Google (According To Danny Sullivan At Google)
Update as of 2022/12/19 - Introducing Experience
Google just updated its E-A-T guidelines about content quality to include another "E" for "Experience." This is the most important change to date, so I'm going to show you how to harness its power to create high-level E-E-A-T content.
Google's E-E-A-T guidelines now stand for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The latter doesn't exist unless the former three are present.
With the addition of experience, Google Search ranking is placing more importance than ever before on demonstrating first-hand experience. Content created by somebody with the necessary life or first-hand experience for the topic is more trustworthy, ranking higher when assessed.
But why add another E?
Google believes that by applying the extra E, they're adding another dimension to the quality assessment of the search results. Since the update, assessors are looking for content demonstrating that it was produced by someone with a degree of experience on the topic, such as:
- The creator has actually used the product.
- The creator has actually visited the place.
- The creator is utilizing their professional, personal, or educational prowess.
In a nutshell, E-E-A (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness) works together to create T (Trust).
The Creator's Identity and Reputation
The identity and reputation of the content's creator are crucial in the new guidelines.
Reputation research is conducted based on the page's topic. For instance, creators who've produced medical information should have a reputation for making trustworthy content in this area. A website — and the creators themselves — can be a go-to source for one content type but untrustworthy for others.
How Do Raters Discover Your Reputation?
Raters discover all kinds of information when searching for a site's or creator's reputation. It's how scams, fraud, and other harmful issues are detected.
The latest E-E-A-T guidelines dictate how Google wants raters to distinguish between the website owner and the content contributors.
Raters find out your website's reputation by:
- Identifying your homepage.
- Using your homepage's address as a search query to uncover third-party reviews.
- Looking for articles, expert recommendations, references, and extra credible information written by others about your website.
- Ensuring the information they uncover is appropriate for judging your website's reputation. For instance, reputation information for YMYL topics should come from other expert YMYL sources.
For individual content creators, online discussions and biographical information are usually used. If you make content in traditional professional capacities (i.e., journalism, science, academia, etc.), raters aim to find formal reputation information like degrees, peer validation, citations, and expert co-authors.
In my case, I provide various sources for raters, readers, and customers alike to learn about my reputation, including Google Local Business Review, my LinkedIn profile, portfolio, and the rest of my article library.
The Ultimate Reputation Checklist
To score highly in the reputation part and increase your chances of a high E-E-A-T rating, make sure you:
- Have a coherent internet presence
- Display relevant educational degrees
- Have accessible biographical information (e.g., on LinkedIn and other social platforms)
- Work with credible co-authors when necessary
- Have positive user engagement, reviews, and a decent popularity level (for non-YMYL websites)
The Quality of the Main Content
Your main content (MC) quality is determined by the amount of effort, originality, and talent or skill that went into its creation — the more it has, the higher it scores.
However, originality, effort, and talent or skill can mean different things for different types of content. Use my table below to find out how to get a "very high" MC mark depending on your content type:
Checklist for Achieving the Highest Quality Page Ranking
Your goal is to create the highest-quality page, right? To do that, you need to adhere to Google's updated E-E-A-T guidelines.
Use this checklist to ensure your content meets the highest quality page ranking criteria:
Read more about creating quality ads and content right here.
----------- Original article starts here------------------
In the last two months, Google has rolled out two core updates which gave many sites a ranking roller coaster. While Google is constantly optimising the algorithm to ensure the accuracy of search results, site owners are always worried about the ranking impact on their web properties.
You can see tons of Twitter questions asking John Muller about the best practice at the post-update. In my opinion, there is nothing you can do to fix your site if you see a decline in search rankings after a core update. The rule of thumb is to adopt & adapt and make the best quality of content. In 2019, Google released its advice on core updates, strictly following the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guideline. This advice is the best guideline for your BAU content creation and the best advice for any post-update. In this article, I will centralise the directions and share more tips on content quality.
What is the page quality
According to Google, there are several critical factors to determine a page's quality:
- The Purpose of the Page (Your Money Your Life sites will be monitored intensively)
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (Important)
- Main Content Quality and Amount
- Website Information/information about who is responsible for the MC(main content): Find information about the website as well as the creator of the MC.
- Website Reputation/reputation about who is responsible for the MC: Links to help with reputation research will be provided.
Based on these marking criteria above, we can combine SEO best practices to understand why the "best practice" work. Let's dig in.
Step #1 - Evaluating your content quality with the following questions:
- Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
- Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
- Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
- Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
- Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
Asking questions is not enough. We need to have an action plan to tackle each question. While no website is alike, there are some general tips you can follow.
- Reference trusted sources of your information. You can use anchor text or offer a list of references at the end (Just like this article).
- Use an analytical mindset to write text-based content. That includes addressing the questions of what, why, how and examples.
- Make the best use of HTML bootstrap, table, infographic, directive screenshot to create visually straightforward & descriptive content.
- Use descriptive titles. Structure your heading tags like a book. In my option, I suggest only use one H1 tag on each page for a better structure. (Even tho John has said you can use as many H1 tags as you want)
- Finally, build your own creator/author portfolio, including a profile image, a bio and social profiles. You can go even further to create a portfolio page for that author. I want to stress about the social profiles - Google uses social media profiles on an author page to identify the person. Share your profiles while building your expertise. Also, don't forget to take advantage of something like <meta name="author" content="Dean (Hongxin) Long">.
Google updated the article structured data help document to add new author properties to the list of recommended properties you can use in Google Search. Google said the company added a new recommended author.url property to the article structured data documentation. The author.url property is a new recommended property you can add to your article structured markup that is essentially a link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the article. This link can be to the author’s social media page, an about me page, or a biography page or some other page that helps identify this author. Note: You can use the sameAs property as an alternative. Google can understand both sameAs and url when disambiguating authors
Step #2 - Evaluating your content expertise with the following questions:
- Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site's About page?
- If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognised as an authority on its topic?
- Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
- Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
- Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
- Always attach a list of references to every article. If they are original content with no reference, make sure there's no claim on financial and health advice. (like my blog posts)
- Ask for citations from reputable websites or experts. This is where backlinks, social shares, website mentions step in.
- Provide customer/user feedback. Get testimonials in text, image and video format and present them with a verified review provider. Here are some examples: Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2.
Step #3 - Evaluating your content presentation with the following questions:
- Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
- Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?
- Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
- Make ad-free pages (well I am guilty here as you can see some banner ads in this page)
- Proofread your content and use CSS to style a good presentation
- Aim for about 140%-180% for optimal readability and accessibility. Limit line length to 70–80 characters. Font size should be a minimum of 16pt. Small fonts need more spacing.
- Make your pages mobile-friendly.
- Use semantic keyword research to covering closely related topics around your main topics.
Step #4: What are the added value of your content
- Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Ask your friends or family to read your content and give genuine feedback.
- Search your target keyword term in Google, and check how the term matches the content of the first six results (Google will bold the matched phrases).
- Identify your content type - an educational article tends to attract more clicks, but the dairy type only fits influencers. No one wants to read your story if you are not representative.
Final checklist - Stanford’s guidelines for web credibility
Finally, don't forget to use evidence-based and scientific methods to improve your web credibility. Stanford’s Guidelines for Web Credibility here provides 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a web site based on three years of research that included over 4,500 people :
Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site
Remember to provide third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present. Even if people don't follow these links, you've shown confidence in your material.
Show that there’s a real organisation behind your site
Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organisation will boost the site's credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.
Highlight the expertise in your organisation and in the content and services you provide
Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organisation? Make that clear. Conversely, don't link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.
Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site
The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organisation. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee bios that tell about family or hobbies. Like my Life & Live section where I can present myself fully and share my personal experience apart from my professional life.
Make it easy to contact you
A simple way to boost your site's credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.
Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose)
They find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like IBM.com. The visual design should match the site's purpose.
- Make your site easy to use – and useful.
- Update your site’s content often (at least show it’s been reviewed recently).
- Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers).
- Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.
Ovira - Improve Reviews Page Ranking (Case Study)
Ovira is a women's health focus e-commerce website that sells clinically backed period pain relief device that uses pulse therapy to provide the best endometriosis, PCOS and period pain relief. With more than 1000+ 5-star reviews, Ovira wants to make sure that whoever is interested in period pain relief can trust the brand and believe it will work.
The ranking challenge
Ovira wants to rank the phrase "Does Ovira Work Well" to be the first page for their review page. Unfortunately, the page was nowhere to be found. What's more, this page was missing the Main Content (MC) and only filled with the customer review widget from Okendo (See image below). While the user-generated content (UGC) contain relevant information and authentic customer feedback, the page itself gave little context and were not optimised for any "review" related keywords. With that in mind, I am trying to make this page rank to the first page for "Does Ovira work well".
360 SEO Approach
- Use SEMrush to see what keywords are ranking for this page. I see this page only have "Ovira review" ranks #9 in Australia. Traffic 1300 search volume/month
- Create a keyword theme for "review" related keywords.
- "Does Ovira work well", "best period pain relief", "is Ovira good for period pain", "ovira review", "tens machine for period pain", "best period pain relief machine" are the keywords I can think of
- Put these keywords in the position tracking tool even tho they don't have any traffic. Tag them well and make sure we have tracked them
Now is the action plan:
- Title tag: include the term "Does Ovira Work Well". Like "Does Ovira Work Well | Liked By 1000+ Females | Best Period Pain Relief - Ovira Australia" - 89 characters. Or "Does Ovira Work Well | 1000+ 5-Star Review | Period Pain Relief - Ovira Australia" - 84char
- Meta Description: There's no meta at that time. I make sure the following content is included in the description. "Ovira is safe to use and works perfectly well" "Ovira is the best endometriosis and other menstrual-related pain management in Australia" "Don't take our words for it, check our 5-star Aussie reviews."
- Page Content: at least 250 words for the content.
- introduce what's ovira
- What are endometriosis and other menstrual-related pain
- what is the technology behind
- why is it better than other products (free delivery, 100 days return, tested)
- What's are the customer highlight (highlight "best" "work well" "period pain management")
Use marketing, PR network to gain natural backlinks from the following page:
- Change URL slug: from /our-customer-review 301 redirect to /ovira-customer-review
- Put the page link to the navigation bar (header) and footer.
- On the review page, add internal links to the primary product page, Ovira's story page and Google Review page.
- All the product pages, about page and career page, should attach a link to this review page
- Structured data: WebPage, brand, Review Snippet and FAQ
Advertising to increase traffic:
Use this page as a site link extension to increase visibility and traffic.
What's the result
- "Does Ovira work well" ranks for #3
- "Does Ovira work" ranks for #5
- "Ovira review" ranks for #4
- "Ovira product review" ranks for #4
In the United States
- "Does Ovira work well" ranks for #1
- "Does Ovira work" ranks for #1
- "Ovira review" ranks for #1
- "Ovira product review" ranks for #1