Google search is often easier to optimize than what most people think. However, now Google is putting much more focus on having authoritative and valuable content. They have publicly announced that there are about 200 smart ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. It’s not that simple as it was ten years ago.
Also, Google is continually rolling out new algorithm updates, which make us SEO’s try to figure out how to best optimize our websites so that they don’t fall in rankings. One of the newest and most impactful updates that came in late 2019 was the Google E-A-T update, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. That means that Google will be favoring websites and content that can demonstrate knowledge on topics through accuracy and quality content. With that said, now lets dive into some of the top factors that can improve your website’s E-A-T in 2020.
Now Google is trying to put great attention into understanding users’ search intent more accurately. It’s all about trying to expect users to use language queries to match the type of content. In each topic, instead of using keywords to rely on the interpretation of your search results, you want to focus your entire piece of material around that key search term. That will help your keyword rankings by showing content relevancy rather than repeating the same words over and over. A fundamental trick is to include topically related words throughout your entire page related to that specific search term.
Sending outbound links is just as crucial as interlinking. That is a great strategy to use to increase the authority of the content of your pages. Google can craw these websites that you external link to and will recognize the relevancy and authority back to your piece of content. You want to find topics relevant to your from sites like Forbes, Wikipedia, WebMD, Medium that have high domain rating to help the overall expertise of your page. So if my company code authority were to write a blog about custom software development, then we would link out to a website like IBM to get that relevancy back to our page.
The number of external pages for your website has been one of Google’s primary ranking factors to this day. However, you want to collect links from a diverse selection of sites within your niche, which would help to maintain a network of partners to collaborate and work on projects that could attract links such as guest posting, content exchange, or even podcasts. To start, you could spy on your competitor’s backlink profile to give you a good idea of where you can begin. The majority are likely to be business directories, bloggers, and industry publications, which are open to everyone. These are easier to target; therefore, I would get on as many of these as possible.
Now Google understands that not all backlinks should have the same level of power, which is why now each website has a domain ranking score. That means that the score of each site depends on how many links they have pointed to them. However, it is not only the number of links; it is how authoritative each of them is. You want to gain backlinks from high domain ranking websites in your industry to increase your authority and topic relevancy in the eyes of Google. One tool, such as Ahrefs, can generate a full profile domain, complete with link authority, weighted anchor texts, referring domains, and more.
Internal links are another way to increase expertise and power within your site. To maximize the impact of this strategy, maintain your site structure from broken links, use keywords in the anchor text, and interlink your website for additional opportunities to increase the authority of your page. Linking from your blog to a service page or from one blog to another, when it makes sense is an excellent example of this. It helps pass that link equity throughout your entire websites and Google and craw each of these links, which will help with ranking in the long term.
Having an established brand is a massive part of the trustworthiness that Google is looking for. Gone are the days where you can market your product or service without having a brand to back it up. Google likes to see that real people are engaging with your brand, which, in this case, would be your website. You can do things like show reviews from real customers and testimonials that Google can see and boost those trust signals to help you rank higher.
Branding and social media are critical to Google as it shows that your an actual company and have some customers or following. That is also an excellent way to increase E-A-T by sending social signals back to your website. Link back to your sites from all your social media accounts and include your URL in posts when it makes sense.
Showing the source of information can have a significant impact on the expertise part of the E-A-T algorithm. That is why having been an “about us” page or an “author” page can be a great tactic for your website. That will mainly apply to medical and financial websites that must have some credentials to produce content that people are relying on to be legit. So ad biographies of each author, include their full name, a photo of their face and credentials if applicable. Linking to their social media accounts could also help with sending expertise back to the website or blog.
In conclusion, you want to show that you’re an expert in your field and that your providing value to the end-user. So by using these tactics, you will be able to show off to Google expertise, authority, and trustworthiness that will be more important in 2020 and moving forward.