Ever wondered how Google ranks its search results? Well, the common answer is through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. But there is more to it! Google also hires human evaluators to audit the quality of its search results. Under a Google Search Quality Evaluation Guideline, EAT and YMYL matter most. YMYL means “Your Money or Your Life.” It covers content that directly impacts one’s happiness based on health, finances, and safety. So, what about Google EAT? Let’s talk about it further here!
WHAT IS GOOGLE EAT?
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is the framework that Google human raters use to evaluate content creators, webpages, and websites. Google EAT is not a ranking factor on search results. However, it indirectly helps you rank in organic searches. This is because Google wants to ensure that sites with high-quality content rank better and sites with low-quality content get less visibility.
Always remember that Google’s standard of expertise depends on the topic of a page. There is a higher standard on more specialized topics. The EXPERTISE of a content author is very important to Google. Google’s main goal is to provide pages on a search result that contains useful information. If the content is written by someone who’s not competent enough, it is possible that the information may be harmful or misleading. The expertise rating of content commonly applies to YMYL pages. For example, Google prefers medical content to be written by a recognized medical professional. Or, it may have at least been reviewed by an MD listed in the article credentials. If the author of the page is not an expert but is sharing a personal experience, the content will be evaluated based on how applicable it is to the searched keyword and its relevant perspective. For example, a patient who is suffering from an illness can be an expert on how the illness makes you feel. Moreover, if the content is accurate and detailed enough, even if not written by an expert, Google will still reward the site with a better ranking. This is where the human factor of a human rater applies. To make sure that your site displays expertise very well, a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong suggests the following:
- Choosing a content creator with authority on a certain field or niche
- Including expert data or quotes from official or trustworthy sources
- Peppering content with high-quality charts, infographics, photos, or videos
If a searcher is Googling information for research purposes, expertise matters. For example, someone will most likely consult a mechanic to fix a vehicle being a car expert. But if a searcher is looking for products and services, authoritativeness matters. Yelp reviews are very powerful when people want to know the reputation of a local restaurant. They are written by average people. Yet, they are credible enough in sharing their fine dining experiences. A social media agency Hong Kong credits authority as the power to influence people. It is like credibility which has the power to convince. The AUTHORITATIVENESS of a page in Google is judged based on two factors:
- The credibility of the main content
- The reputation of the author and its website
Just like expertise, authoritativeness relates to how much of a leading figure one is perceived in a certain industry. If you are a leading figure in fitness and health, then you will most likely write credible content about them. Other websites will quote your words and link your web pages to their websites. These backlinks are very important to SEO. Online reputation also matters. If the website is a trusted source of information, it will receive high praises from other experts and positive reviews from users. Thus, the authoritativeness of a page greatly depends on third-party users. This is because without social proof from website visitors, the page has technically no use. To build authority, web pages should aim to collect the following:
- Endorsement from experts of the industry or niche
- Industry or niche credits
- Ratings and reviews from users and communities
- Recommendation from industry influencers
- Relevant acknowledgment and certifications
The best way to prove the TRUSTWORTHINESS of a site is a valid security certificate showing on web pages. It is also important to add links to the most visible location of the webpage. Assuring your website visitors that their information is safe results in them trusting the website as a reliable source of information. Google ranks the trustworthiness of a page based on the creator’s backlinks, credentials, reviews, and shares. Google knows that people appreciate and trust websites that deliver accurate and trustworthy data. So, they will move them up on search results. To improve the trustworthiness of a website, Google recommends the following:
- Regulate the ad contents on your website. Banners and pop-ups can generate revenue but drive away annoyed visitors.
- Make yourself available to engage through chats, contact pages, and search functions. Turn your website into a place where consumers can turn for information instead of just receiving a sales pitch.
- Show off your trustworthiness. Display guarantees, trust seals, and warranties within your web pages. Moreover, highlight Google reviews, positive ratings, and testimonials.
Today, a video marketing agency Hing Kong noted that the best way to publish positive ratings and testimonials is to published user-generated content. A happy customer’s video showing how a brand helps him or her solve a pain point can evoke emotions and drive conversions.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
In general, Google AI and machine learning rank the quality of pages by performing Google’s algorithms. But the accuracy and performance of Google AI and machine learning are reviewed by real people. This is to make sure that the rating of pages conducted by robots considers the human aspect of every query. AI and quality raters follow the same criteria. Thus, for a web page to rank high, the key is simple. Following Google EAT guidelines is the least every website can do to rank on Google.