May 30, 2024

Google has done it again, sending SEO experts into a panic.

They released another “core algorithms update” in August.

They published their internal 160-page document titled “Search Quality Ranking Guidelines,” and stressed how important it was for your website to adhere to E.A.T.

The document, which Google recently released, is used by 10,000 Google employees around the globe to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results. Google emphasizes the importance of E.A.T., their acronym for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. These three qualities now heavily weigh on the value of your site in Google’s eyes.

Google has now stated that E.A.T. It is one of the three most important factors that determine a site’s page quality.

These aspects should be taken seriously by everyone, but especially those who run medical and health sites, which are considered YMYL Pages. YMYL is an acronym for “Your Money or Your Life,” and this niche receives more scrutiny because it can affect wealth, health, and happiness.

E.A.T. Quality Guidelines

We need to understand the meanings of these elements quickly, as medical and health websites must adopt them.

Expertise

Who are the experts? These experts should be writing or reviewing the content. Or, at the very least, they should be cited in the range.

It means that for medical and health sites, a professional who is certified, such as a physician or a research scientist, must be involved in writing the content or, at least, be a part of its production. Your site should make this explicit.

Only experts should weigh in on medical and health topics, as the risk of erroneous information is too high–even life-threatening–for afflicted or curious users.

On top of that, every claim made on your website should be scientifically based, and references should be provided. Keep your website up to date if facts change as they do with science and new research.

Lastly, ensure that all the content on your website is in line with scientific consensus. You may be penalized if you promote an alternative medicine theory that is not credible.

You will achieve success by following the best practices for content marketing.

Authoritativeness

It is important to state the author’s authority clearly.

Topics such as legal, medical, and financial advice are YMYL. Google

Include a brief bio or a link to the author’s LinkedIn profile.

Research and cite your findings. This shows that your author has taken the time to check facts and links to quality websites.

Manage your reputation. Google measures your reputation by evaluating the popularity of your site, engagement with users, and reviews from users. Respond to negative comments and reviews promptly.

Take each case individually when it comes to authority. If you are writing an informational page, such as advising on thyroid treatment, then it is best to have a doctor write the content.

A testimonial from a thyroid disorder patient can be equally effective if the page is a support page to help those who are living with thyroid problems. This page would not be considered a YMYL. Google has made it clear, too, that people with relevant experience can also be a strong argument if a page does not give direct medical advice or facts. Written testimonials, patient blog posts, or case studies are all examples of how to increase the authority of a web page.

Trustworthiness

When a visitor visits your website, it should be easy to feel comfortable. The site should be perceived as trustworthy, safe, and honest.

Your website should, at the very least, have an SSL Certificate. This digital certificate authenticates your website’s identity, ensuring visitors that it is a legitimate site that encrypts all transmitted data.

70% of the first page Google results are secured.

Your E.A.T. This category will boost your E.A.T. Google values verifiability, so investing in badges and certificates that can be verified is worth it.

Your Money, Your Life

Why is there so much pressure placed on websites devoted to health and medicine? They are so powerful.

Google claims that these sites could “potentially affect the future happiness or health of users.”

Sites like YMYL include not only medical information but also legal advice, financial advice, sites for high-quality hobbies and shopping, financial transactions, or any other topics that may affect a person’s happiness, health, or wealth. Consider car repairs.

It’s worthwhile investing in the best writers to score high on your E.A.T. score.

Patient Reviews

Remember those Search Quality Rating Guidelines that I mentioned at the beginning? Consider it the manual by which Google rates your business.

These experts must comb third-party websites to find reviews about your business to try to gauge its overall reputation. They examine articles, forums, discussions, and reviews.

They’re looking for feedback from other customers about your business. They’ll check out third-party websites like B.B.B. or Yelp, as well as those that are industry-specific, like HealthGrades and RateMDs.

The number of negative comments is also noted. However, the credibility of the negative comments is not. Particularly damaging instances, such as credible fraud claims, for example, jump out.

They’re looking for the big picture. Are your patients positive or negative about your business?

It is important to note that an internet reputation, or lack thereof, can also be damaging.

What is the best way to deal with negative reviews about your business? Respond! Show off your customer service skills by letting your patients know that you are always on top of their concerns.

Your site could suffer from negative effects.

Medical Affiliations

Google will also look at your awards and affiliations in the industry, as well as your recommendations.

Examples include board certifications, mentions in reputable magazines, articles mentioning “Top Doctors,” and patient choice awards.

They don’t look for perfection, whether it is in negative reviews or medical affiliations. It’s a fact that they also know. They want a positive and realistic picture.

A seamless user experience

Google said, “High quality pages are designed for their intended purpose. They are well-organized, utilize space effectively, and are functional in general.”

Google’s guidelines will show you exactly what Google is looking for. Know that, in general, functionality is more important than aesthetics and that material should be obvious: immediately visible, centered, and readily apparent to the user.

As an example, I, as a user, should be able to tell which sections are advertisements and which ones aren’t.

This category is probably the easiest to complete.

It’s unlikely that you will be penalized too severely if you don’t create a website that is designed incoherently or that tries to manipulate users into clicking on links they didn’t want to.

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