Medical SEO and Google’s New Requirements : What You Should Know
Before 2020, Google kept its search ranking algorithm somewhat a secret, even though its search quality guidelines were leaked a few years prior. Then, Google decided to release the guidelines to the public in 2020 using the acronym, E-A-T. They released this acronym as a way for websites to improve their search rankings on Google's criteria. Now we're in 2022, and there are a few differences that you should know about medical SEO.
First, E-A-T is the primary consideration for ranking pages. That means it's critical to internalize these factors and apply them to your website. But what does E-A-T even mean, and why should you care about it?
What Is E-A-T?
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It's a set of criteria that Google uses to evaluate websites, particularly in the medical field. They came up with this system to ensure that people find high-quality, accurate information when searching on their platform.
How Does E-A-T Work?
These days, anyone can create a website. Then, anyone can input whatever information they want on that website, regardless of whether it's accurate or not. That's why Google has implemented E-A-T--to ensure that the information its users are consuming is coming from a credible source.
There are three main parts to E-A-T:
Expertise: You need to be a knowledgeable source in your industry. When writing about medical and health content, you have to prove you know what you're discussing. Otherwise, Google could be liable for promoting your site if there are problems with the information you share on your website. For instance, your content should be written by medical professionals in the medical industry. That way, Google knows you're an expert in your field and your information isn't harmful.
Authoritativeness: You need to be an authoritative voice in your industry. That is, people should see you as an expert on the topic. This comes with time, but you can do a few things to increase your authority. For one, get involved with professional organizations in your field. You can also write guest posts on other websites or give talks and interviews about your area of expertise. Additionally, credentials are an excellent way to do this. Another way to increase your authoritativeness is sharing positive, personal reviews.
Trustworthiness: Your website should be a source of reliable information. That means you can't make false claims or promises on your website. People will lose trust in you if you do, and Google could remove your website from its search engine. Trustworthiness is especially crucial when selling digital or physical products. Using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is one way to show that your website is trustworthy and that any information people input on your site (such as credit card numbers) will be secure. Overall, you want to create a safe space for people to visit and interact.
To sum it up, E-A-T is a way for Google to ensure your site is eligible to appear at the top of SERPs.
Why Is E-A-T Important?
E-A-T is important for two reasons:
- It helps Google determine which websites are high quality and which ones aren't.
- It protects Google from liability. If a website isn't following E-A-T guidelines and someone gets hurt because of the information on that site, Google could be held responsible.
By having these guidelines in place, Google can avoid any legal issues and continue being the go-to search engine for people around the world. Additionally, this is Google's way of calculating your domain authority score. Although they're slightly different, they both contribute to how well your site ranks.
Are There Other Guidelines in 2022 That You Should Know?
In addition to E-A-T, Google has a few other guidelines you should be aware of, particularly if you're in the medical field.
YMYL pages: Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages are those that could potentially impact someone's happiness, health, or financial stability. Examples of YMYL pages include e-commerce, medical, and legal advice websites. Google holds these types of sites to a higher standard because they have the potential to do serious harm if they're not accurate. That's why it's so vital to follow E-A-T guidelines when creating content for a YMYL page.
Focus on mobile users: Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage, so it's important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. That means your site should be responsive (able to adjust to any screen size), have large font sizes, and have easy-to-click buttons. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you could lose out on traffic and potential customers.
HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol that allows people to browse the internet. HTTPS adds an extra layer of security by encrypting data transferred between a website and a user's browser. This is important because it protects people's sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and passwords. In addition, Google requires all websites to be secure if your goal is to rank.
How Does E-A-T Affect Your Rankings, Visitors, and General SEO?
Google has stated that they want to see more E-A-T on websites. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This can be difficult to achieve if you are not an expert on the topic at hand or not considered an authority in your industry. However, there are ways to show Google that you are trustworthy, such as having a well-designed website, providing high-quality content, and being active on social media.
E-A-T is important for SEO because it is one of the many factors that Google considers when ranking websites. If your website does not have enough E-A-T, it simply won't rank high. In addition, Google doesn't want to push your site if it isn't confident you're credible, trustworthy, and authoritative.
E-A-T is a set of guidelines that Google has put in place to ensure the quality of information on websites. These guidelines are essential for those in the medical field, as accuracy is crucial when providing health-related advice. By following E-A-T guidelines, you can create a website that's both high quality and trustworthy, which will help you rank higher in SERPs. Additionally, these guidelines would protect you from liability if something were to go wrong.
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