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I had the great pleasure of being able to ask Dr. Marie Haynes a few questions about E-A-T. What it is and how you can improve it.
Dr. Marie Haynes is a well-known SEO expert from Ottawa, Canada. She speaks a lot about Google penalties, algorithm changes such as Panda, Penguin, and also Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines.
Paul Lovell: What is E-A-T?
Dr. Marie Haynes: E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust”. Google mentions E-A-T many times in its Quality Raters’ Guidelines. Google also mentioned E-A-T in a whitepaper recently published, saying, “Where our algorithms detect that a user’s query relates to a “YMYL” topic, we will give more weight in our ranking systems to factors like our understanding of the authoritativeness, expertise, or trustworthiness of the pages we present in the response.
As such, if a site wants to rank well for Your Money or Your Life queries, it is very important that it has all three elements of E-A-T.
PL: How does the Quality Rater Guidelines, help website owners?
DR M H: Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines were created as a guideline to teach human quality raters how to assess high and low-quality issues on websites. In early 2017, we noticed at MHC (Marie Haynes Consulting) that many sites coming to us for site audits after seeing traffic drops were sites that were generally technically sound, but were being outranked by businesses that had all of the components of E-A-T as described in the QRG.
Google has said that the QRG do not exactly reflect Google’s algorithms, but that they fundamentally show us what they want the algorithm to do. We believe that if something is in the QRG as a sign of high or low quality, it is something we should be assessing for our clients.
PL: How can you improve E-A-T?
DR M H: Because E-A-T has many components, there are many things that can be worked on in order to see improvements in this area. Expertise is a tough one to improve upon, but we have seen some cases where we felt it helped by simply adding more “braggy” information on expertise on the homepage and about the page in an effort to show potential readers why this website is an expert on its topics.
We believe authority is heavily tied to links. The QRG talks about how important it is to have other experts recommending you as an expert. In other words, do you have people linking to you because they truly want to recommend your content, your business, or anything else? If you have true recommendations from authoritative places, this contributes to the “A” in E-A-T.
The “T” in E-A-T is the most interesting to me. There are so many elements of trust that we believe Google is measuring. These may include your online reputation, whether or not you have easy to find contact information, whether your refund policy is available online, whether you quote medical sources appropriately, and also, for medical sites, whether you write on topics that contradict general scientific consensus. There are many other elements as well.
What we have found is that the key to recovery for a site that has seen an E-A-T related hit is to determine where the issues are, and then find ways to improve upon them. If people are distrusting your site because perhaps it is too ad-heavy, removing some ads could potentially help. If your nearest competitor has thousands of authoritative mentions, where you have tens of them, this is an area to work on.
PL: What is the best signal for website owners to work on first?
DR M H: I’m going to give an SEO answer here and say that this really depends. First, don’t get too stuck on just E-A-T. If your site has dropped in traffic or rankings, it could be due to technical issues, or perhaps because a competitor is simply outranking you. It doesn’t always mean something is wrong.
With that said, however, one area where we seem to be seeing some significant gains repeatedly is in disavowing large volumes of links that were made for SEO purposes alone. Our thought is that link quality is tied in to “T” in E-A-T.
PL: What does YMYL mean?
DR M H: Most sites we analyze are “Your Money or Your Life” sites. If people make important decisions by reading your site, or if you are spending money on this site, no matter how small the amount, then it is likely YMYL.
PL: How can you track if your E-A-T is rising?
DR M H: There is no “E-A-T metric” or signal to track. But, in our experience, if a site is negatively affected at the time of a core quality update, there is likely an E-A-T issue. What we have seen is that if we can make enough improvements in E-A-T, the real benefit comes with the next core update. That’s usually our barometer for improvement.
Google has updated its algorithm many times over the last few years. Which updates would you say have been more focused on EAT and why?
I personally believe that almost, if not all, of the core updates since early 2017 are focused on some element of E-A-T.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on E-A-T in the comments. If you wish to stay up to date with Marie you can do so on Twitter @Marie_Haynes or head over to mariehaynes.com.
Paul Lovell is an SEO Consultant And Founder at Always Evolving SEO. He can be found on Twitter @_PaulLovell.
The post Interview with Marie Haynes: What you need to know about E-A-T appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Sony today announced a successor to its popular A9 mirrorless interchangeable lens full-frame camera. The A9 II carries over some of the specs and stats of its predecessor, like the 24.2 megapixel stacked imaging sensor, but adds an upgraded BIONZ X image processor, which powers the much more powerful autofocus capabilities in the new camera.
Sony debuted a number of improved AF features on its A6400 APS-C camera earlier this year, and it brought those and more to the A7R IV it launched at the beginning of September, and on this new iteration of the A9. There’s real-time eye autofocus for both people and animals, with right and left eye selection for animals, along with real-time eye AF during movie shooting, and the company’s real-time object tracking, which basically sticks your focus point to whatever you want to point it at remarkably well, based on my experience with it in other modern Sony cameras.
Other new features to the camera include a body with upgraded dust and moisture resistance, which Sony also brought to the A7R IV, as well as a beefier design with a deeper grip that should be a welcome change in terms of ergonomics, especially for photographers with bigger hands. And while it uses the same battery, it also is rated for slightly more shots.
Sony also brought its new digital audio interface to the hotshoe on the camera, again something it first introduced in the A7R IV. That will let you use their new shotgun mic and XLR adapter to pipe audio from external sources into the camera when recording video.
This camera is really intended to meet the needs of photographers who need high-speed capture capabilities, and Sony has bumped things up there, too. You get blackout-free, silent continuous shooting at up to 20fps, with a buffer size capable of capturing 361 JPGs or 239 of Sony’s “compressed” RAW files in one continuous go – it can also calculate AF and auto exposure at up to 60 times per second, so each of these should be in focus and properly exposed even in changing lighting conditions.
The new A9 II goes on sale in November, and will be priced at $ 4,500 for the body only.
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It’s time to think of the future of SEO. What should we focus on? It’s time to find out more about entities and how they affect our SEO strategies.
Brighton SEO is an exciting conference for everyone who wants to find out more about the latest trends and tactics in all things SEO. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always a session to inspire you to try out new ideas.
Greg Gifford, Vice President of Search at Wikimotive, talked about entities and the future of SEO.
Defining entities for SEO
Google is considering an entity a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable. In fact, according to Greg Gifford, entities are the most important concept in SEO.
It was back in 2012 that Google moved to entity search. Real-world entities and their relationships started being ranking signals. A year later, Google started focusing on the semantics to make its ranking algorithm smarter. Then we found out in 2015 that ranking search results started being based on entity metrics.
Thus, it’s time to start focusing more on entities and how they affect our SEO.
It’s useful to remember then that every site consists of numerous entities. The internal links are simply the relationships between entities. Our content is simply made up of entities and their relationships.
The future of search
When thinking of the future of search, we need to keep in mind that Google is becoming smarter.
Here are Gifford’s tips that will future-proof your SEO strategy:
- The ranking will be more about real-world signals. This means that we need to explore the right balance between our current SEO tactics and the brand we are building with old-school marketing.
- Voice search is all about the intent of conversational queries. Conversational content will become very important.
- Mobile search will continue to make local SEO vital for everyone. Consuming content through mobile phones is pushing us to think of our mobile strategies and how we can improve them. In fact, local SEO will be the key to our future success. As Greg Gifford reminds us, links from local businesses will matter even if they are unrelated to your business.
- Google My Business is your direct interface to Google’s entity information about your business. It is further blending into mobile SERPs that will blur the lines even more between online and offline actions. In fact, real-world offline actions related to business entities will help your ranking.
- Start writing content that answers questions in a unique way. It’s helpful to read your content out loud. Conversational content will help you master the new world of entities and their relationships that affect ranking.
- Another excellent tip that can be very helpful is to think like you’re targeting rich snippets. It’s not the goal but it’s the right mindset to help you create more relevant content.
Four things we need to stop doing in SEO
According to Greg Gifford, we need to stop doing these things that will affect the future success of our SEO strategy:
1. Stop concentrating on keyword matching
SEO will be less about writing content with the right keywords and more about having the best answer based on the intent of the search.
2. Stop concentrating on single pages
Build your entity and pay attention to how it’s connected to other entities instead.
3. Stop thinking about optimizing individual page elements
The optimization should not focus on one page but rather on the overall entities and how their relationships can improve your success.
4. Stop concentrating on link building as the most important SEO tactic
Links will probably always matter but will be less important as Google gets better at understanding entity signals.
Focus on the entities and their relationships
There are many interesting takeaways from this session in Brighton SEO that can be useful when planning your strategy for 2020.
- Make sure you’re paying attention to local SEO.
- If you want to improve your online business, focus on the right balance between offline and online relationship building.
- Mobile search will be more important than ever so make sure you create content for mobile users.
- Your content should be conversational. Don’t be afraid to read it out loud before you publish it.
- There’s no need to spend too much time on individual pages and keywords if you forget to look at the bigger picture.
You can also find the session’s slides here for more details.
What future trends can you spot for SEO in 2020? Share them in the comments.
The post Why we need to think of entities and the future of SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
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