Google Updates Search Guidelines With New Content Standards
In November 2015, Google released the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These guidelines were designed to make the jobs of Google’s site evaluators easier. However, one important takeaway is that businesses should be aware of is that the guidelines call for expert writers and authors when it comes to content.
Although the guidelines do not actually tell marketers exactly what Google is looking for when it comes to ranking sites, it does provide a lot of information. If you have a content marketing strategy for your business, this is something that you should pay attention to.
Google’s E-A-T Guidelines
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness and is the standard for what Google looks for in high-quality pages. Section 4.3 of Part 1 of the guidelines states that, “High-quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic.”
This means that in order for the content to be considered as high quality it must be written by an expert from a trusted content marketing service. This means that:
Professional advice topics, such as financial advice, legal advice or tax advice should be written by experts in these fields and the content should be updated on a regular basis.
Medical advice should only be given by people that have the appropriate credentials. It should also be edited and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that the content is always up to date and authoritative.
Hobby articles, such as articles about photography, sports, or gardening should be written by experts.
Pages that don’t demonstrate that they are written by an expert because they don’t cover a topic area in-depth will be considered as low-quality. This is also true for sites that lack trust or are simply considered by search evaluators to be unhelpful sites.
Who Is Considered to Be an Expert?
Any person that is capable of writing in a manner that is thorough and authoritative can be considered as an expert. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every piece of content written by an expert has to be written by a person with the highest credentials on the topic. In fact, a person that is a layperson can write on a topic as long as he or she has firsthand knowledge.
Google’s Y-M-Y-L Guidelines
Y-M-Y-L stands for Your Money or Your Life and these guidelines cover pages that require extra scrutiny. These pages include e-commerce pages, pages that discuss financial matters including investing, tax preparation and real estate, pages that discuss medical concerns and legal information pages.
These pages will be especially scrutinized by Google because these pages can have a significant impact on a user’s finances, health, and happiness. This is why these pages must be written by qualified experts.
If you plan to invest in content creation and you want to make sure that your pages rank highly in the search engines, you should consider hiring experts to write your content. Also, you should review the complete guidelines to get a better idea of what Google is looking for.