June 3, 2020.
Written by Sharoon Emmanuel
Google’s updates have always sent businesses and marketing professionals into panic. The recently published 160-page internal document titled, “Search Quality Rating Guidelines” emphasizes on the importance of websites adhering to E.A.T. acronym for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The document is used by 10,000 contracted Google staffers across the globe to determine the quality of Google search results.
While these guidelines should be taken seriously by every business, they are critical for medical and healthcare websites, as these are deemed as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages. The health niche is scrutinized more intensely because these websites can directly affect the wealth, health and happiness of users.
E.A.T. Quality Guidelines for Health-Related Websites
Let’s deep dive into E.A.T. and why medical and health websites need to get on board quickly.
To show expertise, businesses should consider drafting, reviewing and citing content relevant to their niche. For medical and health websites, a certified professional should be drafting or at least reviewing the content’s production. Only certified practitioners should weigh in on health topics as it involves the risk of erroneous information causing serious damage to valuable lives. Every claim made should be scientifically backed with proper references provided.
Authority always takes the lead when it comes to adhering to E.A.T. guidelines. The authority of the author should be clearly spelled out, their name, bio and social handles must be cited. Also, pay keen attention to research and citation, it proves that the author is taking time to share information that is factually correct. Last but not least, manage your online reputation. Google takes popularity, user engagement, and genuine reviews as measures of your reputation. Cater negative responses and reviews in a professional yet ethical manner to further secure your chances to get highlighted.
Any information that addresses medical treatment and recommendations should come from a doctor, however emotional forums relating to a particular don’t fall under YMYL category so no need to worry about it.
“YMYL topics such as medical advice, legal advice, financial advice, etc. should come from authoritative sources in those fields.” – Google
If it is not worth trusting it is not worth it at all, everything about your website should make the user feel secure and trustworthy. To begin with, your website should have an SSL certificate, assuring the visitors that this is a legitimate portal that encrypts any transmitted data. Nearly 70% of first-page Google results have an SSL certificate so not having it is a big “NO NO”. Security should be your top priority as it will boost your E.A.T. score in this category. Having verifiable badges and certifications can also get you there.
Another very important thing when consider E.A.T is your site’s user experience. Develop pages that serve the purpose in an intuitive way, one should look for the right balance of functionality and aesthetics.
With so much pressure on YMYL sites including websites from healthcare, legal information, high-quality hobbies, financial advice, shopping, financial transactions, and any other topics that could affect one’s wealth, health or happiness, considering E.A.T is highly important.
Adhering to E.A.T Guidelines Will Definitely Rank You High
Having over 70% of the search market share, Google is making sure that businesses comply with their guidelines to reap maximum benefits. Regardless of how painstaking as it may sound, Google wants its end-users to receive the most useful and truthful information out there.
If it seems nearly impossible for you to manage this on your own, refer to a reliable digital media agency to maintain a website that’s safe, efficient and reputable.
Originally Published March 11, 2020 11:24 AM, Updated March 11, 2020.