The internet might be the most crowded & most visited place in the virtual world! But how do you make sense of the content published each second and how does Google keep up in filtering authoritative content amongst spammy ones?
With its recent update in December 2022, it is apparent that Google proactively brings solutions to display relevant content to their users.
In this article, we look at what those changes are, what they mean for SEO, and what you can do to perfect your chances in aligning with the future of content ranking.
In one word: “Author”…
Google’s EEAT & SEO
> What is EEAT
EEAT is a ranking guideline created by Google to optimise the results in their search engine. It stands for Experience – Expertise – Authority – Trustworthy.
In the past, there was only 1x “E” for Expertise. Since December 2022, Google decided to update their ranking factors to better filter the content results on the search but also to combat the rise of ChatGPT AI-Generated content, spam, or duplicated content.
The lived experience that you, as a human, can share to the world.
That already makes your content stands out from a full ChatGPT generated content.
It could be an opinion, a past story of your own, a credential or anything else that is true to the author and will be helpful to the user to read.
There are two key factors to consider when it comes to expertise: the authority of the website and its relevance to the article.
For example, if a website’s content focus is about home improvements, you wouldn’t expect a sport-related content to be trustworthy within that category.
In terms of the author, if the content is relevant and links well with the focus of the website it’s published on, it could be that the author is unnamed and still rank in the search engine.
It is advised however that the author is linked and properly described when publishing any content on your website.
A piece of content on the internet is better appreciated and referred to by other websites when the author/source is a known figure.
This is mostly achieved with a strong author profile, backlinks from external websites, participating in interviews, and being referenced by other sources.
Authority, expertise and experience go hand in hand. You can’t be an authority on a topic without experience and expertise.
If your content ticks all of the above, trust will come naturally.
But trust also boils down to being transparent with your data & facts. Nobody likes a thrown away remark or facts and stats without any sources to back it up.
Your last effort to build trust is to be transparent with your referenced information, so that users can follow your content knowing that you share the full spec of information.
Creating SEO content takes time, practice, errors, and successes to better understand what works and to better demonstrate your positioning as an author within your industry.
👉 Better understand EEAT with this article: https://searchengineland.com/google-e-e-a-t-guide-seo-394191
👉 More about ChatGPT V Google: https://searchengineland.com/google-search-on-using-ai-to-write-content-391728
> What it means for SEO
SEO, aka Search Engine Optimisation, is an overall effort to highlight your content organically and keep these users on your website.
Having a performant website, a user-friendly (responsive) interface and a well-linked site structure are signs to a healthy website, and aspects Google considers when ranking any content on their search engine.
In terms of SEO, there are places where Google highlights information in the form of cards, accordions and the like that are called SERPs. With a well-optimised & linked author profile, you could feature in those organic spaces when someone types in your name in the search engine.
Credit: SEMrush blog.
> What it means for the future of the internet
As Google implements new ranking guidelines to understand content and fight against spammy AI-generated content, the “human” author profile could become a vital part of the published content. The main and only mission of Google is ” to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
The useful word in this sentence could well be served with a proper & trustworthy author profile against the content they publish online. But time will tell, this is only speculative at this stage.
What is an Author Profile
> The importance of the author as the source of content
Years ago, Google prioritised content that would satisfy a search query as best it could. Hence, the emergence of EAT ranking factor for Google’s search engine.
As the internet became increasingly crowded, duplicate information and spammy or paid-for content started to proliferate, often overshadowing quality content. Additionally, with the rise of AI-generated content, finding relevant and reliable information for users became a challenge for Google. In response, Google had to develop solutions to ensure that users can still find content that is truly relevant to their needs.
Since the introduction of EEAT improved ranking factors, we foresee an importance of the authorship for any articles.
What it means is that the author profile may play a more important role for the article’s ranking for a given search query. So, keeping a tidy & consistent author profile will become vital when you want to publish content within your industry.
Credit: Search Engine Land – Article: https://searchengineland.com/google-identify-evaluate-authors-e-e-a-t-395639
> How to build/perfect yours
Let’s address a misconception: No, you do not need a Wikipedia page about yourself!
With the number of social media profiles, blog posts and other sources to build an author page, Google now recognises an author information when it’s relevant.
In fact, Google can display your profile picture, date of birth, most recent tweets, and other available information about you in their Knowledge Panel Cards using the “Entity Home” concept.
Here are the few tips to follow to keep your author profile consistent & relevant:
- Maintain a consistent profile description on all different pages you have a profile on,
- Always use the same social links wherever possible,
- Ideally, have a fixed updated “about us” page as the core of your author information (can be your own website’s page or a reputable one),
- A LinkedIn Profile is a must in 2023 – make sure to have one of your own & updated!
- If using LinkedIn, make sure to link all your content on there, along with collaboration content.
> Does it help with website ranking?
As mentioned above, the role of author in SEO is to support the EEAT ranking factor for Google but doesn’t directly impact a website’s ranking.
Yes, it would be great if your online articles were written by someone well-known with an established popularity to raise awareness & traffic to your content.
But what is most important is to have an author that “qualifies” in writing that information they intend to publish. Don’t ask for a claimed tennis player writing about pottery tips – although it could be a passion of that player, it’s not what they qualify as on the internet; hence decrease that trustworthiness Google is seeking for.
Ready? Get set to polish your author profile!
As Google’s algorithm is built on understanding content more in-depth, it is an opportunity for us to focus on the “human” aspect we bring to our online content.
Gone are the days of an anonymous author who could publish everything and anything, Google wants trustworthy figures to show content their users can trust.
In short, it is a good thing to start polishing your author profile for the future of the internet but do not expect an explosive website ranking improvement with these amends.