The terms E-A-T and YMYL are terms that have become increasingly popular over the past year.
In case you missed out on these discussions, we’ll give you a summary.
E-A-T and YMYL are concepts that come from Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines. These guidelines are given to Google employees who have the responsibility of rating websites according to Google’s standards. So yes, it’s true, even though Google has become increasingly smart over the past decade, some aspects of ranking a website have been left to humans (so much for machines taking over the world!).
So, let’s start with YMYL. This stands for “your money your life”. This is how Google refers to web pages and content that can negatively impact a person’s life. If a site contains information that can influence a user’s finances, health or safety in any way, the website is classified as “YMYL” and rated according to the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines.
These guidelines are used so that Google can deliver the best and most accurate results to search queries, eliminating the spread of fake news and manipulation of content publishers seen in recent years. As a result of these updated guidelines, YMYL pages would have been hit hard in recent core algorithm updates, which is an indication of the serious steps the search giant has taken to deliver quality and accurate results to win their user’s trust. (Read more about E-A-T here)
So, enter E-A-T (no, it’s not lunchtime, yet!)
E-A-T are the 3 main concepts these YMYL pages are rated on – expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
The E-A-T of content on a website is a big factor Google considers when your site is being rated. Any content that can influence a person’s life needs to have a high standard of E-A-T.
So as a content manager or website owner, what does this mean for you?
E-A-T, E-A-T, E-AT!
This phrase should always be top of your mind when creating content.
Here are some of our insider’s tips to making sure that your content shows the right amount of E-A-T to meet Google’s standards.
SEO Tips For YMYL websites
- About us and author Pages are important
These pages are often overlooked as not having SEO value, but more than ever these pages are important when it comes to E-A-T. You should create author bios for your website’s content creators, whether they are freelancers or guest bloggers.
These pages should include details that demonstrate why these authors are experts in the field. Include awards, years of experience and relevant education to establish authority.
The same principle applies to your About Us team page. Mention all the relevant expertise and expertise that you have within your team. This is an instance where we really encourage you to blow your own horn.
- Improve or remove low-quality content
We understand that creating content is time-consuming and expensive if you have hired someone to do it. But if the content is not performing, why keep it around?
Removing content should always be the last resort because you do not want to waste resources, so doing a content audit should be your first step.
How to improve E-AT for low-quality pages?
- Make simple edits to improve the grammar, spelling, structure and readability of your content.
- If you have a lot of long-form content pieces, make sure that it is broken up into digestible chunks, by using lists, paragraphs and subheadings. A user should be able to get the gist of your article by scanning over it.
- Add more information to make it comprehensive.
- Have you said all that you could about the topic? Your content needs to be valuable and answer users questions. To make sure your articles are valuable, do research about the types of questions people ask surrounding your topic and answer these in your article.
- Add visuals. Users love images, video content, graphics and charts. Make sure these visuals are optimised for SEO. This will also increase the time that users spend on your site.
- Add citations, research and quotes from authoritative figures.
- When writing content, especially for a YMYL website, it is important to provide citations for any factual information and quote sources for any claims or statements made. Just as having high authoritative websites link to your website works in your favour, so does linking to high authoritative sites. It’s a trust signal showing Google that your content can be verified.
- Research is important
When writing content for your blog, make sure that adequate research is conducted. A good place to start is by using SEO tools to do keyword research. This will give you an indication of what people are searching for on the internet. Compile a list of questions related to the topic and answer it in your blog article. Research facts and statistics to endorse any claims you make in the content because readers will know when you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Start by covering content about basic concepts related to your industry and then work your way up to cover more in-depth well-researched topics.
- Link out to get links
Many website owners shy away from linking to other websites because they don’t want to give away a “free link” to another website. But when you have a YMYL website, it is important to link to authoritative sources.
When writing your content, you most likely made use of other sources to compile your research and then to write your article. Linking to or citing relevant and trusted sources in your article won’t do any harm to your website. Instead, it will act as an additional trust signal for Google, associating you with a high authoritative website.
It’s also a great way to provide users with additional information that you might not be able to cover in your article, making your overall resource more valuable for users.
And we know what valuable resources on the internet do, don’t we? It attracts links!
If you’re able to produce high quality, valuable resources that answer users queries and has sufficient research to back up any claims made, you’re more likely to get external websites using your content as a reference by creating a link to your site.
- Don’t be a copycat
When creating content for your website, be careful of simply copying what has already been published in the market. Make sure that your content piece is contributing something unique.
So, this is where things can become tricky. To rank pages in the YMYL space, your content needs to be accurate and needs to have references to external sources to validate your facts. Be careful of simply copying content from high authoritative content.
Research what experts in the industry are saying about the topic and then add in any gaps in information that you think might be valuable to users. Sometimes this can come in the form of adding a FAQs section to the end of your page or adding in survey statistics from research your company has done. Creating a well organized and valuable content piece could bring you closer to ranking your website.
- Don’t hide your contact details
Some business owners don’t want to make their contact details visible on a website because of spam calls or emails. However, your contact details are important for Google Rater guidelines. If your website is YMYL or you sell products, your contact details need to be easily available so that people are able to contact you. Add your email and phone number to the header and footer of your website and if you haven’t already done so, add a contact us page.
E-A-T and YMYL factors have become increasingly important over the past few years and they’re not going anywhere. With Google’s dedication to ensure that information is accurate and not misleading, you don’t want your website being rated as not meeting the Google Search Rater’s guidelines.
Our tips above are only the tip of the iceberg of ways that you can ensure your site doesn’t lose rankings because of E-A-T. If you need further guidance on where to start, reach out to our digital marketing consultants so that we can help you E-A-T your way to the top!