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What is E-A-T? Understanding Google's August 1st Algorithm Update

Posted by John Morabito on Sep 5, 2018 2:00:00 PM
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Google makes updates to their algorithms as many as 600 times per year; while many of those updates slip by almost unnoticed, others have a dramatic effect on site traffic and sales. One such update was the August 1st update, which is now being called the Medic Update.

According to a survey conducted by Search Engine Round Table, 41.5% of 300 impacted sites were medical or health-related, while 16% were e-Commerce.

google-medic-update-pie-chart2-1533758913Via Search Engine Round Table

For some of these sites this is what the update looks like hitting their traffic...

keto-dash-drop-1Image via Marie Haynes

Yikes!

Why Were Sites Hit?

While Google has not said anything specific about why some sites saw a drop in traffic, they did in some ways confirm that paying attention to what is called the Google Quality Raters Guidelines can help recover sites hit. Here at Women’s Marketing, we have an SEO audit designed specifically around this guide.

In Google’s most recent update to the Google Quality Raters Guidelines, a great deal of emphasis was placed on YMYL sites (Your Money, Your Life) and the concept of E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Our analysis of sites that have been hit shows that sites with lower levels of E-A-T were affected the most.

 
Google's Definition of YMYL Pages 
 
YMYL

E-commerce and shopping websites are at the top of Google’s list for YMYL sites indicating that they have placed a high level of priority around ensuring trustworthy results for pages that lead to consumers spending money or sharing personal information.

 
More About E-A-T...
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. For Google, this means transparent information about things like who is responsible for the website, who authored the content, and how much of an expert they really are. Google also looks for unique factors of E-A-T when it comes to evaluating different industries. For example, when it comes to medical information, they want to see that the content is written “by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation.” As another example, information about home remodeling requires a level of expertise, since remodeling can be a significant investment. When it comes to e-Commerce sites, things like your contact info and shipping / returns policy are now factors to consider. All of this amounts to Google wanting their search results to be a safer place for consumers.
 
What to Do If You Were Affected
If you were affected by this most recent algorithm update, we’d recommend  reviewing the Google Quality Rater Guidelines as if you were a search quality evaluator at Google. If you are not comfortable evaluating your site on your own, reach out to us below.
 
For e-Commerce sites, our biggest recommendation is to think about critical customer information like your contact info, your shipping and returns, and your About page. Additionally, positive reviews about your business can help. Negative reviews such as a bad rating on BBB can be devastating to rankings.

Worried you may have been impacted? Contact Women's Marketing today for a free algorithm impact analysis on your website.

Contact us today!

Source: Google; Marie Haynes; Search Engine Round Table

Filed Under: Media, Digital