Google’s recent major Quality Core update rolled out on 4th May, causing more stir in the search results compared to its last two updates.
As a result, some sites were rewarded for their overall quality, while some faced losses for plagiarized content, pages with too much downtime, and overall lack of E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) Signals.
Most SEOs were rather surprised, as they weren’t expecting an update amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, sites that were actually invested in improving their overall E.A.T. Signals were thrilled to be rewarded with higher rankings and more traffic.
Not surprisingly, we didn’t notice any major fluctuations with our clients’ website rankings. In fact, there were quite a few websites with an improvement in rankings and traffic after this update rolled out.
If you’d like to learn more about the winners and losers, refer to this Google doc. Again, it all comes down to quality. On that note, here are a few tips and tricks to boost your sites’ quality, keeping in mind that Google’s next core update should roll out in about 3 months, if Google follows its regular timeline.
Boost E.A.T. Signals for Your Site Visitors & Google’s Algorithm
Things that will help boost your E.A.T. Signals:
Update your ‘About Us’ page – Rewrite your ‘About Us’ page, keeping in mind what your customers want. Highlight your business, your experience, and what makes you stand apart from the competitors. Mention if you are a family-owned business, or if you hold any awards or recognitions. Add high-quality, fresh images.
Improve your website’s downtime – Work on your website’s page load speed, specifically your mobile page load speed. See to it that all videos and images on your website load quickly.
Run your site through Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. The pages on your site with major content should ideally open within 3-5 seconds. Speed Index should be less than 9 seconds with ads, and 7 seconds without ads. Consider limiting the number of ads, or eliminating them altogether, if they are dragging down your page load time.
Include sources of reference for all medical/scientific claims – If your website contains any medical, statistical, or factual claims, make sure to link to any relevant data sources. If your users and Google can see proof of the claims you make on your website, it increases their trust.
Build up your footer – Typical business information, such as contact details, are often found on the bottom of your site. Be sure this information is there with a current copyright date. Google recommends putting your business’s address in the footer, and this, again, is a sign of trust. To show your expertise, you can also list your awards and accolades here.
If you have been featured on any popular media platforms, always list that, as well! You can also add it to your ‘About Us’ page.
Leverage article markup – Using article structured data markup that includes the “date Modified” attribute is highly recommended. This way, Google knows that your content has been recently updated through article schema. Add a small note with the date that the content was updated. This will cover both site users and Google’s A.I.
Make sure to link to your author’s page within your article markup to enable Google to tie the content to the expert who wrote it.
Fix site errors – If your site has any technical issues that are holding it back, make sure to remove them as soon as possible. These issues may include broken links, duplicate meta descriptions, chain redirects, broken images, etc.
Have a visible call to action – Your call to action is the first thing you want your site visitor to do. It should be visible as they land on each of your pages, and should be short and precise. If you want them to give you a call, say it! – Call Now!
Be easy to navigate – Viewing your site from the user’s perspective on both mobile and desktop is vital. Perform a ‘user experience’ (UX) audit, which can pay huge dividends, considering how heavily focused Google is on their version of ‘user experience’.
Remove and rewrite thin content – Combine a handful of thin pages to create a solid resource on a particular topic. After that, you should redirect all those URLs to that single page. You can see this in the recent Google hangout video.
Verify duplicate content – Check to be sure the content on your website hasn’t been used elsewhere. With third party tools like CopyScape, you can quickly find and resolve duplicate content issues.
Refer to Google’s Quality Questionnaire – Google’s August 2019 blog post outlines a big list of questions you can ask yourself to find the areas of weakness on your site.
Get high-quality user-generated content – Creating user-generated content is important to encourage reviews for the products you are selling. Have a Q&A feedback section for big resource articles, or prompt positive user comments on your top pages. Not all sites can pull this off, but if you can, there is nothing like it for your page’s authority.
Read Google’s quality guidelines – Take the time to go through Google’s Quality Guidelines. This all-in-one document is sure to refine your results.
After you are done with all of the above tricks, make sure to review what Google’s John Mueller said in his recent Google Webmaster Hangout on ways to recover from the most recent update.
Again, if you were affected by the latest update, we can help. Just give us a call, and our search experts will assist you right away.