In the ever-evolving realm of SEO and content marketing, staying on top of Google’s guidelines and core updates is crucial for brands to maintain visibility and credibility. Two key elements that significantly impact a brand’s SEO and content marketing performance are Google’s EAT and YMYL guidelines, as well as the ability to understand and adapt to Google’s periodic (and often painful) core updates. Let’s delve into these a bit further and explore how brands can navigate this dynamic and constantly shifting landscape to ensure their online success.
Google’s EAT guidelines revolve around three core principles: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These factors essentially determine how Google evaluates the quality of all content online, how well it aligns with users’ needs based on their search terms and, therefore, where it ranks from an SEO perspective.
Google places a high value on content created by individuals or organisations with expertise in their field. This expertise is assessed based on the content creators’ knowledge, experience and qualifications. Brands are encouraged to showcase the expertise of their content creators to build trust and authority.
The authority of a brand or individual is a key determinant of content quality. Google assesses authoritativeness by considering the credibility and reputation of the source. Building a solid online reputation through high-quality content, positive reviews and backlinks from authoritative sources is essential for enhancing authoritativeness.
Trust is foundational to Google’s assessment of content. Brands must prioritise transparency and honesty, providing accurate information and citing reliable sources. Building trust is a gradual process that involves consistent delivery of reliable content and fostering positive relationships with the audience.
YMYL content refers to Your Money or Your Life, which is defined as information that can have a significant impact on users’ lives, particularly in terms of their well-being, finances, safety and overall happiness. Because of its potential to have a direct effect on users’ lives, Google naturally applies heightened scrutiny to YMYL content in order to ensure the information provided is accurate and reliable.
Examples of YMYL content include medical advice, financial guidance, legal information and content related to news and current events. Brands operating in these niches need to adhere to higher standards of accuracy, transparency and credibility to meet Google’s guidelines and provide users with trustworthy information.
For brands, adhering to Google’s EAT and YMYL guidelines is not just a matter of compliance – it’s a strategic imperative. Trust is the foundation of any successful online presence and Google’s guidelines provide a roadmap for building and maintaining that trust through SEO and content marketing.
When users perceive a brand as knowledgeable, authoritative and trustworthy, they are more likely to engage with its content, products and services. This positive perception not only boosts the brand’s credibility in the eyes of its audience but also signals to Google that the content is of high quality. Achieving both of these is the ultimate goal.
Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritise content that aligns with EAT and YMYL guidelines. Brands that invest in creating content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are more likely to rank higher in search engine results. This, in turn, translates into increased visibility, organic traffic, and potential conversions or sales.
Moreover, YMYL content is subject to stricter scrutiny and brands operating in these spheres must pay extra attention to accuracy and reliability. The assurance that the information provided is trustworthy is paramount for users making decisions that impact their health, finances or overall well-being.
In addition to the ongoing guidelines above, Google regularly releases core updates to its search algorithm. These updates can have a significant impact on the ranking and visibility of websites, making it essential for brands to stay informed and adapt their content marketing strategies accordingly to maintain their SEO performance.
As of the most recent update in October, Google has continued its commitment to refining search results and providing users with the most relevant and high-quality content. Brands should closely monitor their website analytics, paying attention to any fluctuations in rankings, traffic and user engagement following the update and making adjustments to content according to best practices.
In order to stay on top of SEO and content marketing performance, it’s important for brands to adhere to best practices that help to optimise content for search engines, enhance user experience and build trust. The following best practices will help any brand to maintain relevance and visibility online.
Monitor performance regularly
Establish a routine for monitoring your website’s performance, especially after core updates. Tools like Google Analytics, Search Console and third-party SEO software can provide valuable data on key metrics.
Evaluate content quality
Assess the quality of your content in light of Google’s EAT and YMYL guidelines. Ensure your content is accurate, well-researched and aligns with the expertise of your brand.
Analyse your backlink profile
Evaluate your backlink profile to identify and remove any low-quality or spammy backlinks. Google places a high value on the quality and relevance of the websites linking to your content.
Increase mobile friendliness
With the increasing prevalence of mobile users, Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites. Ensure your website is responsive and provides a seamless experience across different devices.
Improve page loading speed
Google considers page loading speed as a ranking factor. Optimise your website’s performance by compressing images, leveraging browser caching and minimising unnecessary code.
Enhance user experience (UX)
User experience (UX) is a critical factor in search rankings. Improve site navigation, enhance readability and ensure users can easily find the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
Adapt your content strategy
If your content has been negatively affected by a core update, consider adapting your content strategy. Focus on creating comprehensive, valuable and evergreen content that aligns with user intent based on what they’re searching for.
Engage with your audience
Actively engage with your audience through social media, forums and comment sections. Building a community around your brand positively impacts your online reputation and, therefore, your quality ranking according to Google’s EAT guidelines.
Brands that prioritise expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness in their content marketing, and remain vigilant in monitoring and adapting to Google’s core updates, are better positioned to thrive in the competitive online environment. But the most important takeaway from this blog is that by understanding and embracing the principles we’ve discussed, brands will not only establish themselves as reliable and authoritative sources in the eyes of search engines but also in their target audience.
Need help with your SEO and content marketing strategy? Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help make your brand shine online.