Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:18):
Yes. Yes, let’s go.
Melissa Rice (00:01:19):
Hi everyone. Welcome to our 34th episode of SEO for Bloggers. Today-
Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:24):
Melissa Rice (00:01:25):
I know it’s… You’re the only one who ever says anything, by the way, everyone else, crickets. We’re really excited though to chat about experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trust. It’s a mouthful, otherwise known as E-E-A-T. We’ll Break down strategies today and delve into the details that’ll help optimize your online presence ya’ll.
Casey Markee (00:01:44):
Melissa Rice (00:01:47):
Today, as always, our experts, Casey Markee of Media Wyse, Andrew Wilder of NerdPress, Arsen Rabinovich of TopHatRank, and a very special guest panelist, Marie Haynes. Hi.
Marie Haynes (00:01:58):
Melissa Rice (00:02:01):
Marie is a well-known SEO expert who’s been helping businesses navigate Google’s ever-changing algorithms since 2008. She is a recognized leader in the industry, and we’re very excited to have her share her extensive knowledge and expertise today, so Marie, thank you for being here.
Marie Haynes (00:02:17):
Thanks for having me. It’s going to be fun.
Melissa Rice (00:02:20):
Absolutely. Just a reminder before we get started, we’re going to be holding the Q&A at the end of this episode, so please be sure to add any questions you’d like to see answered in the Q&A chat below and let us know where you’re tuning in from. We’re going to jump right in. Marie, this question is for you. Being an expert on EEAT, can you give us a quick overview of what EEAT is and how it came to be, and its presence in the search Quality Rater Guidelines, please?
Marie Haynes (00:02:46):
So, E-E-A-T, originally it was just EAT stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s not like it’s a score. It’s not like Google says, “Oh, you have an EEAT score of this much, therefore you get to rank.” Rather what it is Google’s made a list of criteria that they say if a user is trying to determine if a website’s helpful to them, there are certain criteria that make that more likely to be helpful. For example, if you were looking for medical information, something that would make content more likely to be helpful would be if it was written by a medical professional perhaps, but that doesn’t mean all medical content has to be authored exactly by a medical professional. That’s just one of the components.
So EEAT, really, if you had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be legitimacy. It’s Google’s way of establishing are you legitimate enough? Are you trustworthy enough? Are you the type of answer, EEAT really is synonymous with quality. Used to be in the quality raters guidelines, they called it page quality instead of EEAT. It’s much more than just author bios, which I’m sure we’ll talk about here. It’s really just overall encompassing quality and the characteristics that go with it.
Melissa Rice (00:04:07):
Excellent. How important is EEAT now? Should all websites care about it or just health and finance?
Marie Haynes (00:04:15):
Everybody should care about it. Some more than others and some aspects more than others. The Google has said that EEAT is a component of every single query that’s done. Every query is evaluated in some terms of EEAT. Again, it doesn’t mean if you don’t have an expert author in your content that you failed, it’s Google trying to establish more first of all, is this page harmful? And that’s where EEAT is more important for what we call YMYL topics. Topics regarding your money or your life, so something where people have to make decisions on finances, on health, on legal conditions, on things that are really important in your life. Then there are criteria for EEAT that Google’s going to consider much more strongly than say somebody who’s looking for a good poem or other things. Every single site, it’s important for and for some there are aspects of EEAT that are much more important depending on the query than for others, which I’m sure we’ll get into some examples in a minute.
Melissa Rice (00:05:30):
Sure. We’ll dive in. Thank you. Casey, how does Google determine how your site is? You’re muted, by the way.
Casey Markee (00:05:43):
Yeah, that’s a good question. They basically throw darts.
Melissa Rice (00:05:45):
Casey Markee (00:05:46):
No, no, not at all. No. With regards to trustworthiness, Google is really pretty clear about a lot of that stuff. They basically work on determining whether or not as Marie has laid out, whether there are various components that align specifically to the site in question and then they use those determinations through the Quality Rater Guidelines to train the algorithms and determine and ascertain the bottom line trustworthiness of a site. When we’re talking about individual things that whether it’s raters or other people are looking at, we’re looking at breakdowns like reputation and authority. Google is looking for signals that indicate that a website has a positive reputation and is considered authoritative within a specific niche.
Casey Markee (00:06:30):
For example, I work a lot in the food blogging niche, so Google specifically is looking for mentions, citations and backlinks from food related sites that would reinforce the fact that I have some earned authority and expertise in that niche specifically. We’d also be looking at expertise of the main content or MC, which you see a lot as you go through the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. That would be things where authors or contributors would be looking and Google would be looking at your main content to see that it comes through that your expertise, your qualifications, everything’s coming through and that it’s reliable. Is the content well researched? If I supported it with citations, is it written by subject matter experts?
Casey Markee (00:07:17):
You’d also be looking for things like transparency and contact information. If a site is very hard to determine if there’s someone real behind the site that’s going to lower the perceived EEAT in many cases because it’s not trustworthy, I can’t find clear and accessible content information. I can’t find for an example, a demonstrated mention, maybe there’s no About Me page. Then we get into things like consistency and quality of the content you’re writing, user experience and security. I know that Andrew can talk a little bit about that. Even things like user feedback and reviews are all going to go into determine whether or not a site is trustworthy, so all of those together are going to determine how trustworthy you are both to users and to Google in general.
Melissa Rice (00:07:58):
Well, you mentioned something about not having it About Me page, which brings me to my next question. Andrew, is it no longer possible to run a blog or website successfully, anonymously or just using a first name for instance?
Andrew Wilder (00:08:10):
Successfully is the key, right?
Melissa Rice (00:08:12):
Andrew Wilder (00:08:12):
It’s absolutely possible to create a blog that’s anonymous or just using your first name, but people want to know who they’re reading. It’s not just that Google wants to know that it’s trustworthy. You’re again, thinking of your visitor. If someone comes and sees a blog by Sarah, they’re going to be like, “Okay, great. Who’s the Sarah person?” If it has her full name, it’s a little different, right? I’d say there are some exceptions where if being anonymous is specifically part of the thing. Like back in 2010, the website fedupwithlunch.com. It was an anonymous school teacher who ate school lunch every day for a year. Part of the thing was that she was anonymous and that actually really added to the cache, and it’s Sarah Woo, she’s been revealed. That contributed, her website went crazy because of the whole ethos of it.
Andrew Wilder (00:09:01):
However, for most people, that’s not really going to help you. It’s just going to hurt, and really the bottom line is people want to know who they’re reading. When I don’t see a last name on there, I start to wonder who is this person? Why should I be reading this? And I can’t also find third-party resources to prove that this person’s good, either. If I have their full name and where they’re from or some other background information. I can do my own homework and decide if somebody is really qualified to be giving me this information On the website.
Melissa Rice (00:09:30):
Casey, there’s a lot of concern for self-taught chefs or bloggers who have, don’t have a professional designation. What’s the best approach to presenting oneself as an expert and how important are they about page credentials?
Casey Markee (00:09:46):
Well, I would say that it’s not nearly a in a big an issue now as it used to be, though I would say that it’s incredibly more competitive to be a successful food and lifestyle blogger now than it was just five years ago. An About Me page is the bare minimum I would expect to see on the site. As a matter of fact, I had someone try to onboard and on the other day and I literally refused to onboard them because their site was so untrustworthy. I told them that until they were able to fill out a very detailed About Me page, link all of their content to a clear author byline on the site and do other little things to prove to me that this was a business and not a hobby. I wasn’t going to justify onboarding them for an audit and that was my personal opinion.
Casey Markee (00:10:24):
But Google, the Quality Rater Guidelines specifically talk about the fact that it is not a detriment to be a home cook when they evaluate expertise, when they evaluate experience. It’s on the bottom line quality of the experience or the expertise in question, so a home cook with a decade of experience could easily be treated the same way that a Cordon Blue graduate would be based upon two specific related recipes, especially if the recipes are both extremely high quality. Our goal, of course, is to always try to push those authority signals on our site by making it easy for someone to understand there is a real person behind there, and that is certainly going to get much, much harder because you can only rank for, if I run across a blogger and they’re only comfortable putting their first name out there, that is going to limit their reach a little bit because you’re never going to be the number one ranked Sarah in the world, so something to be aware of.
Melissa Rice (00:11:19):
Very good point. Marie, I have a two-part question. First part, how should blogger show experience to Google effectively and are there key elements all publishers should consider? And then second part would be how long does it take to build this on Google? Does it take a lot of time?
Marie Haynes (00:11:39):
Those are good questions and I think that the answers to those are going to be speculation and here’s the reason why. I want to take a little bit of time to explain why we’re focusing on EEAT and some of what I’m going to say here is stuff that I haven’t really articulated on podcasts or in talks yet, so hopefully it comes out well. I’ve been spending the last year trying to hone down how I communicate this. We have two documents that tell us how to demonstrate experience, how to improve quality in the ways that Google wants to reward. One is a documentation that Google published called Creating Helpful Content or Helpful and Reliable Content, and it lays out a bunch of criteria that we first saw when Google released the Panda algorithm back in 2011 and they’ve modified them slightly, but they’re criteria that say things like, “Does the creator of the content have a depth of experience? Or, I’m rewording these.” But they’re the questions that we’re paying attention to in terms of EET and that’s why you’re asking should we have author bios and things like that.
Marie Haynes (00:12:50):
But those questions are based on a much bigger document, which is called the Quality Raters Guidelines, which anybody can get online. Google made it publicly available, they update it regularly. It’s a PDF document that I can’t remember the length now. It’s about 170 pages or so, and so to answer this question, the answer is in that document, but there’s no one specific answer. The reason why it’s in that document is that Google told us back in, when they rolled out Panda, so we’ll go back to 2011, they said, “Here’s the type of questions that we consider when we create algorithms to reward the type of content that users would find useful, that searchers would find useful.”
Marie Haynes (00:13:32):
And SEOs at the time, all we knew were a rules-based algorithm that we could say, “Well, what can we work towards? Maybe we can trim out thin content or duplicate content.” Those were the types of things that we went after to try to improve quality, but we never actually considered that maybe actually Google could measure the things that are in this document. It wasn’t until just a few months ago really, when last year Google released this helpful content system and they gave us the same list of criteria with just a few extra things added on about AI generated content and the value that it’s giving and stuff like that. Well, it just clicked with me that, “Oh my goodness. You mean Google’s been using AI.” They told us they’ve been using AI in their search algorithms for many years. They’ve been an AI first algorithm company since 2016, which coincidentally was when the Penguin algorithm stopped, was able to ignore links. It’s all connected.
Marie Haynes (00:14:32):
Well, they use AI to generate, to basically create a model that replicates what’s in the quality raters guidelines and what’s in the helpful content documentation. We can talk forever about how has that happened. We can talk about neural networks and we can talk about how machine learning creates this helpful content signal which says, “Is this website likely to produce the most helpful content of its kind?” We can get into all those details, but ultimately what Google’s trying to model is the advice that they’ve given us in the rater guidelines and in the helpful content document. With all of that in mind, which is a lot, it’s really a change in how we think about SEO. I would say that the most important thing for any website, whether you’re a food blogger or whatever, is to try and align with what Google says in those documents.
Marie Haynes (00:15:26):
How should bloggers show experience? There’s one other document that Google published recently that says, “Well, we’re going to now add experience to the quality raters guidelines.” So what I would encourage you to do is to open up the guidelines and do a search for experience. If you’re a recipe blogger, do a search for recipe, try to look for, they give loads of examples and they’ll say, “This site is considered high quality because they’re known as a popular recipe site or they have a reputation for producing high quality content.” That type of thing. And so you can see this is what Google wants to reward so how can I model my website so it looks the same?
Marie Haynes (00:16:09):
So in terms of showing experience, yes, you can put an author bio and you should write in your author bio something that demonstrates that experience, and here’s a little tip. You can use ChatGPT or Bard to take your current author bio and say, “I want to rewrite this to better demonstrate my experience on this topic.” And then ChatGPT will rewrite your current author bio and also include, “She’s good at this topic and this topic, and she’s known for these amazing recipes.” That type of thing. That can help to just put more evidence on the online world that says, “Hey, when you’re looking for this topic, this is the website and the blogger that you really want to connect with.”
Marie Haynes (00:16:52):
You author bio is one thing, but other things I really think that Google probably looks at the overall, I can use a tool like ChatGPT to look at content and say, “Does this content demonstrate real world experience?” And it’s going to tell me stuff like, “Oh yeah, they actually have a real store, or they talked about the recipe that they made as opposed to what other people have said.” So the verbiage that you use on your website, you really want to show that you’re not just summarizing what everybody else says, that here’s what you the content creator, the reason why people come to your website, here’s what you created. That might mean things like adding video, it might mean things like adding images.
Marie Haynes (00:17:38):
The thing, the most important point I would say, because everybody who’s watching this is trying to figure out what do I do? What do the best sites do and how do I copy that? How do I do better? Don’t, because this is the problem. We’re all in this rut of like, “Oh, well this site’s ranking with this type of SEO, so therefore I must do the same.” Meanwhile, none of us are really optimizing for Google’s machine learning algorithms that are trying to actually just figure out what is the best result to show searchers. Anything that you can do to improve, to use your real world experience and improve the content for your searcher, has the possibility of making your content rank better.
Marie Haynes (00:18:22):
And how long does it take? It takes some time. Unless you’re writing on a topic that there’s very little competition for. I’ve had people over the years contact me and say, I had one guy who said, “I need some links because I want to create a bank that’s going to rank against the major banks.” There was a time where maybe if you have enough budget for link building and you knew the right people who knew the right ways to build links that maybe you could compete in those spaces, but with EEAT now, you’re not going to be able to fool Google into thinking that you are the best option to show searchers unless you’ve built up your reputation, you’ve built up, and reputation is so important.
Marie Haynes (00:19:04):
For food blogs, that’s probably I would say the most important thing is that you are known as the place to go for this type of recipe. Whether you’re known for your vegan recipes, for your gluten-free, for your, just the fact that you create quick recipes or whatever, you need to have a reputation and you need to have people online that are saying this is the place to go, and that’s how you build experience. Then over time, that type of information gets put into Google’s databases. It’s in the knowledge graph, it might be in, there’s something called the Shopping Graph, which is all information about products and all of the connections in between them, and Google can use all of that information to figure out like, “Oh, somebody wants a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. Well, this is the person who’s known for making the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.” And it’s not necessarily because you got a link from all these other bloggers. It’s Google’s legitimately looking for signals that say, “Yeah, you’re the best option here.”
Melissa Rice (00:20:07):
Arsen, a lot of-
Arsen Rabinovich (00:20:08):
Melissa Rice (00:20:09):
I know. My mind is really… me and Arsen are so impressed.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:20:13):
Chef’s kiss. Chef’s kiss. Let’s go.
Melissa Rice (00:20:22):
Speaking of reputation, Arsen, how can the small bloggers compete on EEAT with these more established blogs? What’s your input on that?
Arsen Rabinovich (00:20:34):
Marie got into this, so the interesting thing, and we’ve talked about this plenty of times, the interesting thing that we’re noticing right now is we’re doing a study, we have an R and D team, and we’re doing a study in the travel blogger vertical. We started noticing a very interesting pattern and obviously correlation, causation, all of that stuff, but we noticed that a lot of the space for very competitive queries is being taken up, which is a little bit different than what we see currently in the food logging niche. The top 10 results are typically being taken up by the big players. Where in the food niche, in the recipe niche, we can see one or two, typically below position five can still make it in if the content is really good and you’re doing a good job in all of the three things that we always speech about, and that’s matching the query, satisfying intent, covering the topic.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:21:28):
In travel, what we’re noticing is that the smaller players have to really carve out, and Marie touched on this, a specific topic that they’re covering and establishing themselves as experts on and that topic usually in the travel space is hyper-local. When somebody’s writing about, “Oh, visiting Costa Rica and everything you need to know.” Somebody who’s writing about visiting Austin, Texas, and everything’s about Austin has a much easier time ranking for those queries. It’s all about that topical depth, owning a topic. We talk about this, this is topic clustering, this is all that.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:22:09):
So EEAT is a strong component, but EEAT is a byproduct of your expertise, what you’re going to write about, and over time, as Marie said, over time Google starts recognizing that. Yes, there are things you can do to optimize, you can definitely do knowledge grab optimization, you can do all kinds of stuff, get yourself include it in places, and we’ll touch on that a little bit later. But the best thing to do, if you’re in the space and you’re covering topics that you’re having a hard time competing, you really, really have to establish yourself as an expert on a specific topic that’s a subtopic of a broader one. If you continue to hammer away at that, over time, you will notice that for that particular topic, you’re having an easier time ranking. I’m not going to get into other stuff because we still have more to cover.
Melissa Rice (00:23:00):
We’ll answer more later. Andrew, this is a really common question among some of our attendees today. Should bloggers be afraid of changing or updating the author on their highest ranking posts?
Andrew Wilder (00:23:13):
I’m confused as to why this is a popular question because I’m like, “But you’re the one who wrote it, so why would you change the author?” Well-
Arsen Rabinovich (00:23:21):
Selling a blog, maybe?
Casey Markee (00:23:22):
Yes. Selling or buying blogs.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:23:24):
Okay, that makes sense.
Andrew Wilder (00:23:25):
So yes, be afraid is the answer. This whole thing is about building trust. If suddenly it goes from Stacy to Steve, that’s going to be weird because Steve wasn’t the one who wrote the recipe or whatever the post is. That has an impact on expertise, on consistency, on trust. You’re basically violating the trust, because what’s the truth here? It can confuse historical signals. I think if you’ve accidentally said by guest blogger in the past, then changing it to who the actual guest blogger is, their actual name and linking to their site on their their about page, that makes perfect sense because you’re increasing trust, but if you’re just going to play a shell game of author names, I think that’s just going to hurt you.
Melissa Rice (00:24:12):
Be worried and warned.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:24:16):
We warned you.
Melissa Rice (00:24:18):
Shaking tips. Marie, what role does content quality play in building EEAT? Some bloggers are curious about establishing expertise in posts without losing their readers. For instance, people who just want to get to the recipe and they don’t want to hear about how you discovered it.
Marie Haynes (00:24:34):
Recipe pages are always the topic that comes up when we talk about creating helpful content, because in my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to the helpful content system is Google tells us to pay attention to page experience. Now, page experience, most SEOs would tell you that’s synonymous with Core Web Vitals, which is having fast page load times, making sure your page doesn’t jump around, when searchers want to click on something and accidentally they click an ad. That’s important. That’s a component of page experience, and it’s something that could make your pages maybe a little bit more helpful if you don’t have a bad experience.
Marie Haynes (00:25:14):
But what makes a page the most helpful is when the users can find the content that they went there for, and so think about the last time you did a search on your phone and you pick up your phone, you do your search, and you find the part on the page that answers your question and then you move on. We think we have these magical readers that read every single word that we’ve written, and so why do recipe sites write the whole history of your grandmother’s recipe and the history of the food and all of this stuff? I think there’s three reasons why it happens. One is because everybody does it, and so again, we’re trying to copy what the best sites do, and if the sites that are currently ranking have all sorts of extra information, then perhaps we should as well.
Marie Haynes (00:26:01):
Two is that there’s some proof or some reason to do it in that one of the most important things when it comes to Google determining which content is relevant is the words on a page. If you have a bunch of words on a page that are all talking about the same topic, it can increase the chance that Google’s relevancy algorithms say, “Oh yeah, this page is definitely talking about the subject that the people want.” Now that’s important, but it’s not as important to getting the searcher to the question the answer that they want. Then I think the third reason why some people, especially the bigger sites have pages and pages of information before you actually get to the stuff the user wanted. That’s for ad impressions is that’s why most recipe bloggers have websites, is to make money from ads and the more you can get people to scroll through your content, the more money you’re going to make.
Marie Haynes (00:26:54):
If we think about what’s most important, how do you get somebody down to that recipe page or should you put your recipe at the top of the content? I think it’s perfectly acceptable to have a jump to recipe button as long as your searchers can find it and they use it. Now, I’ve seen some of those that you tap the button and like, “Oh my gosh, I got to close this ad, and then I got to figure out, is that the recipe or is that an ad?” You don’t want that. As long as you make it easy to find your content, then that’s good. However, I’d like to see some of you experiment with actually just putting the recipe at the top, and for those who are interested, here’s the whole life story of my grandmother below. Because Google has said in several talks in several places, that content near the top, the important stuff near the top really helps. I don’t have a lot of case studies. Maybe Casey-
Casey Markee (00:27:51):
Let’s talk about that real quick. Before everyone says, “Oh my God, Marie told me to move the recipe card to the top.” Just let you know, Lily Ray and I already did this multiple times, and the drop in revenue was 70%.
Marie Haynes (00:28:02):
Casey Markee (00:28:03):
So understand that is not an appropriate thing to do if your goal is to monetize your site. Now, it makes perfect sense. Well, people are looking for the recipe card. I’m going to put it at the top. I’ve 100% fulfilled my user intent. I’ve made it extremely easy for people to find my recipe card. The problem is what happens? They don’t scroll down. They don’t activate a scroll, they don’t activate anything below the fold. We don’t have anything. Then any lazy loading ads pop in and your RPM falls off a cliff and so does your ad income. Whenever we’ve tested this, clearly, we’ve even tested putting the recipe card in the middle of the post. Same thing. What happens is that people stop at the recipe card and they don’t go to the bottom and see anything below that. Unfortunately, if your goal is to monetize and make this a business as opposed to a hobby, we still have to be, we’re basically slaved to having to put the recipe card at the end of the post.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:28:58):
I just wrote this in the chat here, and I agree with Marie a hundred percent, and we talked about this many times on our webinars and in my coaching, prioritizing intent, the user is there for a recipe. They’re not there to know, is this the best thing or is Arsen’s grandma’s potato soup recipe. They’re there for a specific thing. You don’t have to move your recipe card to the top, but your content should satisfy that intent. If somebody lands on your page, they shouldn’t have three paragraphs of why you’re going to love this recipe. You can quickly do a quick blurb about buy this recipe is awesome, but three, four paragraphs is definitely too much. Prioritize intent. They’re there for the recipe, give them ingredients, instructions, write it.
Casey Markee (00:29:38):
Well, that’s what the teaser text is for.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:29:39):
Right. Right. Right.
Casey Markee (00:29:39):
Teaser text is there to qualify the content. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. When you’re talking about blogging-
Marie Haynes (00:29:46):
Let me talk about that teaser text because I think that’s a really good idea and I get that revenue will plummet for, that’s the reason why websites put all that content there. I think it would be interesting to look at the balance between does it really hurt user engagement? Because it’s not. What’s the point if Google decides that your content is too annoying and searchers don’t want to scroll through all those ads, it’s useless anyways. Here’s something that can really help again with using a tool like ChatGPT or Bard, is take your page that currently exists and paste it into one of these tools, and then ask, what is the main intent of a searcher who comes to this page? And maybe ask, what are three things that are really important to this searcher? And it might not always be what you think.
Marie Haynes (00:30:36):
You’d think that maybe they want to know the best recipe, but actually the thing that makes yours stand-out is that it uses a particular ingredient or something. Then you can ask the tool to write an introductory paragraph that satisfies the user that their answer is going to be on this page. I think that’s a good place to start, is that the initial, at least above the fold, somewhere in the beginning of your content, there is something that satisfies users that like, “Okay, I’m not going to have to read through four pages of stuff to get to the recipe. It’s there.” And then have a jump link to the recipe. I think that would probably be helpful.
Casey Markee (00:31:12):
The jump of the print recipe links by far, I’m going to single-handedly take credit for those, honestly, because I was literally the most hated person on planet earth by ad companies from 2019 to 2021, because I was relentless in pushing these out. As a matter of fact, the article and SCM rush from 2017, which pushed these buttons is honestly one of the earliest reference to those buttons. I couldn’t tell you the hate mail that I got from ad companies saying, “Oh my God, you cannot do this. You’re going to destroy RPMs.” RPMs went up. The reason RPMs went up is that you were making it easy for users to find what they needed on the page.
Marie Haynes (00:31:47):
Yeah, no, why… So what I would like to see sites do is experiment with what you can put on that page that actually is helpful to searchers. I’ve read some recipes where there’s a little video of each step, and I actually go through that or experimenting with stuff that adds your personal experience in a way that if… Here’s a good tip, if you take your recipe or your page or whatever, it doesn’t have to even be a recipe page and you erase everything that exists on other sites, not word for word, but everything that you could find this combination of ingredients on other sites. You take everything away and look at the rest. How much of it actually meets searcher intent?
Marie Haynes (00:32:30):
If you’re just padding the page with words so that you can get some ad scrolls, that’s not good, but if you can come up with ways that you can be like, “Look, here’s a silly video of me doing it.” And people actually want to watch this, or something that people actually find interesting. A really good thing is to do tests. It takes forever, but if you’re cooking recipes, I love those tests where people are like, “We cooked the eggs and we cooked this one for four minutes and this one for 10 minutes, and here’s the difference.” That’s super helpful. You’re trying to put content on the page that people actually want to engage with rather than just trying to come up with words, because those words are for search engines, which is what the helpful content system is designed to demote.
Casey Markee (00:33:14):
Exactly, exactly. That brings us again and repeat after me, and many people know this, I know we’ve got 133 on the call, what is the most important phrase that Casey teaches during his audits that we’re going to have a shirt, that we’re going to have a shirt on. I’m going to waiting for everyone to pop it in.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:33:27):
Bacon, candy corn.
Casey Markee (00:33:29):
No, not bacon. We always write for toddlers and drunk adults. That is literally when everyone who’s putting a recipe together, if you can write a recipe that is as easily understandable to toddlers or drunk adults, you are well on your way to having a successful way for you to be able to present that content in a way that both Google and users are going to be able to pull out without any issues.
Melissa Rice (00:33:50):
Casey Markee (00:33:50):
And that’s just something to be aware of. You can only write so many banana cream pie recipes, and yet you continue to have new banana cream pie recipes every day, so how are you going to do it?
Marie Haynes (00:34:01):
And if you have, let’s say your website has 800 recipes on it, of which four are super freaking amazing, they’re the ones that people come to you and then the rest are just ones that you padded, you got together, and maybe they’re not the best of their kind. Well, the rater guidelines actually instruct the raters to label content as they review it as low quality, medium quality, high quality-
Casey Markee (00:34:27):
Highest we see.
Marie Haynes (00:34:28):
Or fully meeting the needs of searchers. I am quite suspicious that the way they describe medium level quality content is content that serves a beneficial purpose, it meets that purpose, but it’s no better than anybody else’s. I think if you have, if the majority of your content is that way, then Google puts this classification on your site that says, “You know what? Unless this site is clearly the best answer, let’s not even consider that one in rankings.” So it’s so important that what you publish is the best of your stuff, that you’re not… And I think a lot of people have, we’ve thrown content out just because like, “Well, let’s try to publish as much as we can and see what sticks.” And some of that lower quality content could be dragging sites down as well.”
Casey Markee (00:35:13):
And that’s a common. There’s only some absolutes and search engine marketing, and one of them is that Google grades on an individual post basis, but they penalize at the host level. That’s exactly what you’re describing here with low quality content like this. If you’ve got 800 recipes on the site, which by the way is a significant amount of recipes for the average site. Just an FYI, you probably 400 is about what I’d be looking at for high quality, honestly. If you’ve got 800 recipes, then we know probably right away 40% of those recipes have quality issues without having to go into depth on anything else and we’d want to really work and-
Marie Haynes (00:35:48):
You can tell-
Casey Markee (00:35:49):
Filter those out.
Marie Haynes (00:35:50):
Probably a question that people are going to have is, well, how do I know if that is impacting me? Because how do you know if your recipes are maybe considered medium quality and Google doesn’t want to rank them? And it’s really hard. They don’t give you, you don’t get a warning and search console. You don’t get any message that says, “Hey, there’s a helpful content classifier on your site.” You basically have to look and see, did your organic traffic suddenly plummet and is there no reason why? And there’s certain dates that are important. If your traffic dropped on, I’m going to shout out a bunch of dates here that I think are important. December 5th is when the helpful content update officially happened, but then there was early November, the 15th of November, and then the first week of January, February, March, April, May, and June. I just realized this today when I wrote it all out, that the first week of every month seems to be when sites are getting impacted by this helpful content classification.
Marie Haynes (00:36:52):
If that happens to you, what you’ll see is there’s a clear date where traffic starts to decline, and then it just continues to get worse and worse as Google figures out that your content isn’t the most helpful of its kind. If that’s happening for anyone, the fix is hard because Google doesn’t really tell us. They just say remove the unhelpful content, which if you’ve got 400 recipe posts, how do you know do I remove 397 of them? It’s very difficult to make those decisions. Ultimately we should be making sure that every page that we have really is something that we’re super proud to have on our websites, and if you’re not sure then there might be a good room for content pruning, although that’s something that you need to talk to somebody who knows what they’re talking about if you’re going to prune out content.
Melissa Rice (00:37:44):
You can definitely talk to TopHatRank about that.
Marie Haynes (00:37:48):
There you go.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:48):
Shameless plug. Shameless plug.
Marie Haynes (00:37:48):
Melissa Rice (00:37:48):
Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:48):
Melissa Rice (00:37:53):
That was so much valuable information. Thank you both. I wanted to move on. Casey, I know we touched a little bit on this earlier, but can incorporating multimedia elements such as videos or infographics improve EEAT?
Casey Markee (00:38:05):
Well, it definitely can. If you go into the Google Quality Rater Guidelines, I know Marie mentioned earlier, type in and search for recipe. Well, if you were to type in and search for video, it’s referenced 64 times, and so that’s something specifically that the Google rater guidelines are saying is evaluated as a positive metric for main content as well as a negative. When we’re looking to add these multimedia elements to our site, I think the biggest takeaway is that they enhance expertise demonstration. When we have multimedia elements, any elements, whether it’s videos or video demonstrations or tutorials or infographics, those are powerful tools to showcase demonstrative expertise. If we can leverage that on our sites, we should.
Casey Markee (00:38:50):
Now, that being said, I know many of you on the call are food bloggers, and most of you were hit negatively by the video thumbnail update that happened on four 13. What happened there is Google took away the primary video thumbnails for secondary results of the search result. Meaning that no longer are you going to get a video thumbnail because the video, as is a case with recipe sites is never the primary component of the page, the recipe card is. Because of that, we had a lot of bloggers who came in just bombarded Arsen and myself, others with emails because they had lost in some cases hundreds of thousands of clicks from April to May in videos, and unfortunately, they’re not going to be getting those back. The only way that we could get those back was if you were to set up completely new primary video pages around that. Frankly, that’s not worth doing in many aspects because it’s going to cannibalize your existing recipe content.
Casey Markee (00:39:44):
But in many cases, if we can add things like infographics, if we can do maybe non-recipe posts, maybe produce guides or seasonal planning guides, or if you’re in the do it yourself niche, if we can add video tutorial steps, things like that, short videos including TikTok to your site, that is an exceptional way to showcase expertise, explain cumbersome and boring topics at scale, and provide a way that’s more interactive for the average user on your page, so I’m always for that when you can.
Melissa Rice (00:40:15):
Perfect, thank you. We’ve got a few more minutes before we go into our Q&A, so I just want to get through these next few questions. Arsen, how can website owners leverage guests posting and collaborations to boost their EEAT?
Arsen Rabinovich (00:40:30):
This is one of those things, again, this is third-party validation. You want to make sure that you’re not just doing this for the sake of link building. You’re not going to some random sites and submitting guest posts. You want to write content in, submit content to places that are authoritative, that have already established trust, bigger brand publications that are within your niche and topical expertise. Then very important to reference that and to showcase that on your about page and link out to the places where you’ve written content or contributed content to.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:41:06):
Those are those third-party validation signals that we talk about during our calls that are so important, so it’s not just for the sake of link building, it’s to help Google connect the dots. This is my blog. I also write on this topic for Huffington Post. Huffington Post in Google’s Eyes is already a trustworthy publication. If you can link from Huffington Post back to your profile, same as marked up on those. If needed, if possible, tell Google that you are here. This is your about page. When you connect dots for Google, Google can crawl through that and create those connections, and that’s how knowledge graph gets populated. That’s how things get picked up, so I would definitely focus on that.
Melissa Rice (00:41:46):
I think, Marie, didn’t you have a little input on this? Did you want to share?
Marie Haynes (00:41:51):
I just wanted to add, I’ve been very vocal about guest posting for links, and that’s not what Arsen’s talking about. Arsen’s not talking about guest posting for links. He’s talking about guest posting for brand exposure and for being known on your topics, but it’s very hard to find where that line is hard to draw, and so I started my start in SEO in helping sites remove manual actions when Google had gone after them for doing too much manipulative link building. You’re not going to get a manual action these days for guest posting, but if you are doing it as a link building tactic, it can impact you.
Marie Haynes (00:42:28):
Again, Google’s using AI in the form of spam brain to figure out where a site has characteristics that are aligned with what sites do when they’re trying to manipulate rankings. If you’re guest posting, my rule of thumb is if you get a link on a, or if you get a mention on a site where you want to tell your friends, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I got mentioned on this site.” Then that’s a really good place to guest post. If it’s a site nobody’s ever heard of or you’re just doing it so that you can pad some numbers to say that you got a few links, then it’s probably going to waste time for you.
Melissa Rice (00:43:03):
Thank you. Casey, quickly, what are the risks of neglecting EEAT on a website’s overall performance?
Casey Markee (00:43:11):
Well, I think we’ve covered all those in various degrees today, but just very quickly, the first one would be decreased visibility in the search results. Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritize high quality content, trustworthy websites that demonstrate expertise and authority. If we neglect EEAT, we’re going to lower those rankings and reduce visibility of our content. We also have a loss of user trust. It plays, EEAT plays a very valuable role in building trust. If I fail to demonstrate expertise and authoritativeness of my content, people aren’t going to come back. That loss of trust could also lead to lower user engagement, increased bounce rates, reduced conversions if I’m selling a product.
Casey Markee (00:43:53):
We also want to make sure that we police ourselves for negative user feedback and reviews. When people are visiting a recipe site and they keep making the recipe over and over again, and even though they’re following the directions, it is not coming out perfect, those people are going to be vocal and they’re going to leave comments of a negative nature about that recipe, and that, of course, is something that might lower your perceived value in Google specifically.
Casey Markee (00:44:18):
We also want to make sure that we focus on eliminating or reducing any misinformation or low quality content on our site. This is very, very common in especially some of the older sites that are gluten-free or have very specific health focuses. Every week I still run across at least one site where they’ve self healed themselves because of a diet, whether it’s gluten-free or celiac deficiencies or the like, and unfortunately, they’ve gone a little overboard and expounding that on their side, and they always come to me wondering why their posts are not performing as well as their competitor here. I say, “Well, because your competitor is linking out and supporting all these health and medical claims and you’re not.” Those are just little, little examples there, but we really, really want to focus on that.
Casey Markee (00:45:05):
If you don’t remember anything else today, remember this, you cannot ignore EEAT on your site regardless of your niche. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in your money or your life area, this is still going to impact every blogger on the site. Just as I mentioned earlier with the quote from Google saying that literally every query that goes through their site, they’re evaluating through the lens of EEAT these days.
Melissa Rice (00:45:31):
Very true. Marie, can social and testimonials contribute to enhancing EEAT?
Marie Haynes (00:45:38):
Yes, definitely. If you have time, everybody who’s watching this, I’d encourage you to read up on Google’s Shopping Graph and what’s in the Shopping Graph. Even if you don’t sell products. They talk about how review information is in the Shopping Graph. Now, this is about products. I would assume that there’s similar information in the knowledge graph, whichever graph it’s in, Google has, they’re trying to collect the overall picture of what do people say about these businesses, about this website. One of those ways is most likely, and there’s examples in the quality raters guidelines about social media.
Marie Haynes (00:46:16):
Not just… It’s one thing you can go and set up a social media profile so that when people Google your brand name, they see your LinkedIn page and your Facebook and your Instagram and all that. It’s more so that you can make the connections in the social graph to say that, “Yeah, this isn’t just a blogger who wrote a few posts. They actually have a following. They actually are popular.” We don’t know exactly how Google does that, but they’re trying to replicate, they’re trying to show like, “Oh, wow. If you have a big active community that really likes your content, then maybe other people will as well.” So improving your social presence is something that speaks to your EEAT for certain. Yes.
Melissa Rice (00:47:01):
I know some viewers are going to say they don’t like doing social. We hear that a lot, but-
Marie Haynes (00:47:09):
I don’t think this is necessarily mandatory to do social, but it’s one more thing that could improve your chances of being seen as popular. If you’re trying to produce… The only way you could survive by not doing any outreach, social marketing of some sort is by actually having content that’s so good that it stands on its own, which is really hard for recipe sites. There’s only so many cookie recipes in the world, and unless you have that reputation, it’s going to be very hard for Google’s algorithms to say, “Yeah, this is actually the best one.” They’re going to be looking at reputation signals.
Melissa Rice (00:47:48):
Well noted. You can use ChatGPT to help with those captions on social just in case you’re afraid of doing it yourself. That’s my input. Andrew, what are some tools or plug-ins bloggers can deploy to help with EEAT related signaling on their websites?
Andrew Wilder (00:48:05):
If we’re talking about tools and plugins, really it’s all about the tech, making sure things are technically correct and working. That speaks to the page experience, things like Core Web Vitals, making sure you’re on good hosting. If a site takes 10 seconds to load, that actually breaks a user’s trust, it doesn’t feel like it’s of quality. You can just start with the basics of technical, but then in terms of plugins, eHost SEO is great. That’s going to help with a lot of the schema that helps Google understand your site and other schema plugins like WP Recipe Maker, the recipe plugins are adding that schema to help everything work correctly.
Andrew Wilder (00:48:39):
If you don’t have an author box where your bio is on the bottom of the page, some themes may have that built in, but if not, you can get an Author box plugin that’ll drop that in. Social sharing, we were just talking about. A social sharing plugin helps people encourage people to click and share, but some of them also still show sharing counts. If you plugin does that, you can show the share counts. If something’s been shared a lot, if it’s been shared 10, 20,000 times, showing that number is validating. It’s an indicator to the person looking at the page, “Hey, this has been shared on Facebook 10,000 times.” And that’s really helpful.
Melissa Rice (00:49:15):
Marie, as we wrap up these questions, I’m going to leave this last one for you. How strong of a role will EEAT play now that we have SGE and AI?
Marie Haynes (00:49:26):
Let me just briefly talk about the SGE because I’m not sure if everybody knows what it is. It stands for Google’s Search Generative Experience, and it’s in beta testing right now. A number of SEOs, myself included, are beta testers where we can see what it looks like now. Although I don’t know that what it looks like now is exactly what it’s going to look like when or if it goes live. Right now what we see is if somebody does a query that triggers an SGE response, we get this big colored, almost the whole search screen shows an AI generated answer. Now, right now, that answer is put together, it’s stitched together from website content, and a lot of people are upset with that because they might see that like, “Oh, Google used my website in this answer, used the direct verbatim the content from my website, and they’re not actually quoting or linking to those websites from within that answer.”
Marie Haynes (00:50:21):
Now, I’m suspicious that what we see when it goes live won’t be stitched together content. It’ll actually be Bard, which is Google’s version of ChatGPT, and Bard is what we need to pay attention to, it’s not the SGE. We need to pay attention to what the SGE is doing. Bard is something that’s been very quiet and in the background because it’s not quite as good as ChatGPT yet, and it keeps improving. It’s had issues with hallucinations, with making up stuff. It keeps getting better and that’s the way these tools work is they use, it’s called reinforcement learning with human feedback to make it better and better and more and more accurate. Well, Bard is going to be integrated across all of Google’s products. I expect it’ll be in Search, Google Lens very soon. Maybe even now, you can hold up your phone to a meal that you see somewhere and use Bard to ask questions about that meal or to ask, “How can I make a recipe that?” Does the same.
Marie Haynes (00:51:25):
And so the way that… So AI generated answers are going to take a lot of traffic from websites, and that’s why it’s super, super important to have something on your website that draws people beyond just the facts. I saw in the chat some people were talking about TikTok and whether am I going to force you to do TikTok marketing? You all should be trying to figure out YouTube Shorts. I know YouTube Shorts might seem like nothing compared to some of the audiences that people have on TikTok. I saw a thing today that said Google’s revenue, I don’t know if it was for last year, don’t quote me on these numbers, but Google’s revenue from YouTube Short or from YouTube was almost as much as their entire ad ecosystem for the rest of Google and last year-
Casey Markee (00:52:19):
That would not be surprising.
Marie Haynes (00:52:23):
Makes sense, right. They’ve told us that they’re coming up with an update very soon to the helpful content system, which is designed to further reward experience. They talk about finding, their words are hidden gems, hidden gems in search. Now, what this is going to be is, what I picture it being is whether it’s an SGE answer or some other type of answer, you’re going to get an answer that’s like, “Here’s what the basics of what you want to know.” And then instead of websites, you might see websites, but you’re also going to see shorts. You’re going to see YouTube videos of, if I search for what’s the right way to boil an egg or something like that. There’s only so many ways to do that, but there are people who have their own little unique ways of boiling eggs and maybe they do it with entertainment or maybe they do it in a way that is just way more interesting. That’s the type of content that we’re going to start seeing ranking.
Marie Haynes (00:53:17):
And so I think we’re going to see a big shift from… And I know this is scary for people who make their revenue from websites, is we’re going to see a really big shift in how money is made on the web. I think we need to pay attention to the creator economy. There’s going to be a big battle between YouTube and Twitter. Twitter is trying to get all of the world’s experts and content creators to create content for eventually what will be their language model. Then Google is trying to get all the experts and content creators to do it on their model so they can train their model. It all really comes down to can you offer something to searchers that they actively want to seek out and find useful? We can’t get away with the old model of let’s just create something similar to everybody else and build some links and do some SEO and hope that everybody thinks it’s the best.
Melissa Rice (00:54:11):
Excellent. I want to save just the last five, we might go over just a few minutes for Q&A, but I wanted to go over some of the live questions that we’ve gotten. From Mike, “For bloggers that are two plus authors. What’s the best practice for author links to author pages for each author? Linked to about page with team details? What’s the best approach here, panelists?”
Arsen Rabinovich (00:54:36):
Marie Haynes (00:54:38):
I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that was a question for me. I was not paying attention.
Melissa Rice (00:54:44):
For bloggers that are two plus, like a two plus author, what’s the best practice for the author links? Should they be creating pages for each author linking to about page team or?
Marie Haynes (00:54:56):
What is a two plus author?
Melissa Rice (00:54:56):
Just multiple authors.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:54:59):
Melissa Rice (00:55:00):
Arsen Rabinovich (00:55:01):
Marie Haynes (00:55:02):
Oh, I see. Oh, if you have multiple authors. You want… Well, there’s two ways you could look at it. The rater guidelines talk about the experience of the, and the expertise of the content creator. If you have particular authors, then you should be building their EEAT. You should be having an author bio for everyone. You should be doing what Arsen said about using sameAS schema saying here’s where they’ve been featured in other places. That’s important, but not for every site. Sometimes the reason why people go to a site is not because they know the authors, but because they know the site. I’ll get a lot of recipes from All Recipes, and I don’t really know any of the authors on that site, but I know the brand, I understand the brand, and I know their popularity.
Marie Haynes (00:55:50):
I don’t know if that fully answers the question, but you should do all you can to get your authors known unless you have this situation where your brand is the thing that people come to you for. Even then though, I think I’d still want my authors to be as recognized as possible. I’d want them to be speaking at places and not just writing articles in places, but to be on the news and to be all over the place doing interviews and anything that gets their name out there in association with their topic.
Casey Markee (00:56:21):
Arsen Rabinovich (00:56:22):
We recently had a consultation with a blog that was doing very, very well in a sports niche, and the entire site tanked and they couldn’t figure out why. When we looked at it, and I looked at the out page, it was a persona that they created. This person does not exist. That was providing advice on products, on sports product., the entire site tanked, all of the posts. It looked to me like a manual action when we looked at GSC, but when we looked inside GSC, there was something there. Yeah, absolutely.
Marie Haynes (00:56:55):
And then there’s a lot of advice in the rater guidelines on how to represent your authors. It’s definitely something that, there’s a lot of guidance on that.
Casey Markee (00:57:06):
Right. And I’ve pasted over a code here from John Mueller from April 2021 where he talks about the process, the concept of reconciliation. Still something very important that a lot of bloggers don’t understand is that we don’t have to do anything dramatic here. People talk about sameAS schema, whereas that’s people’s eyes glides over. The average blocker just doesn’t have to worry about that. Google does a really good job of pulling the reviews and the connections somatically for you behind the curtain, so to speak. As long as you have one clear About Me page, for example, and you’ve provided clear information, maybe you have links to your social profiles, maybe you have links to some of your best mentions on the web. Google’s going to do a very good job of amalgamating all of that together and putting together a very sophisticated, very knowledgeable persona about who you are, and that is all that they’re going to need to be able to pull out that EEAT.
Casey Markee (00:57:57):
So for all you bloggers who are bombarding you with private messages about, “Oh my God, how do I improve my EEAT?” Focus on that About Me page. This is something we cover in the audience. This is something we talked repeatedly in the last several SEO for publishers. Have a quality About Me page. Make sure that we’ve got links to your social profiles. Make sure that you have a nice Q&A there and maybe sure, pull out some of your top brand mentions. Relate to users. Your About Me page is not for you to spend literally 1200 words talking about your family, respectfully. It’s there to talk about why your site is better than the million of other blog. What is your recipe focus? What is it about your, maybe if it’s related to your background, great, but what is it about your journey, your qualifications that makes your recipes more trustworthy than the many, many other options available out there? And then we present that in a very friendly way on the page, and you’re good to go.
Melissa Rice (00:58:53):
Sounds good. Let’s move through a couple more questions just because we’re getting to the end of the hour here, and we do want to talk about some of additional resources at the end. Question from Amy, “Do personal photos of the blogger help along with their first and last name on the about pages?”
Casey Markee (00:59:10):
I would say one or two, but don’t put eight. Don’t your entire vacation to California Disneyland on your About Me page with photos of you and Mickey and Goofy and all those other things right there.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:23):
So seven is okay?
Casey Markee (00:59:25):
Yeah, I would say-
Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:25):
Seven photos is fine?
Casey Markee (00:59:27):
I would say the plus and minus would be two if you ask me.
Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:30):
Okay. There’s also a difference-
Andrew Wilder (00:59:31):
Your range. There’s a difference of putting your vacation photos with the family. One of those are the tops, so you look like a real human, and then other photos can be you in the kitchen if you’re a food blogger, actually cooking something because then you’re demonstrating that you’re focused on this. It’s topical and it’s relevant, or if you’re in a restaurant and you have a chef’s coat or something. You can use those pictures to bring personality in, but also continue to prove your expertise and experience.
Marie Haynes (00:59:56):
Awesome. If you are a business that has a Google business profile, then you should absolutely be adding photos to your business profile as well, because they’re being pulled into the SGE right now, and it’s amazing. If the SGE ends up the way that it is now, it’s amazing what kind of control will have in it by showing what photos are in our Google business profile. I’m not sure how, right now, I don’t think the SGE is showing very many recipe sites. I could get it to trigger for queries, very simple queries like how to cook broccoli or something like that, but… Yeah, go ahead.
Casey Markee (01:00:33):
And that’s very good. It’s great that you’re going to have to actually go up and hit the prompt because the only queries that we’ve been seeing that they’re automatically triggered for are things like beef Wellington. It’s triggering things like beef Wellington because there’s a non recipe relationship to beef Wellington. There’s a historical significance to that. The SGE at the top, the auto-generated is, “Hey, beef Wellington is a very common dish, blah, blah, blah, and look at all the historical information.” Then it pulls out the three top results it pulls from beef Wellington are all recipes, food network and Wikipedia. That is not great for the average blogger. If I’m trying to make a beef Wellington recipe, well, the Wikipedia page might be some interesting table conversation, but it’s not going to help me make a beef Wellington, and so we do hope that’s improved.
Marie Haynes (01:01:19):
That’s where you might have an advantage with YouTube Shorts or some type of a video in there is if Google’s choosing to rank the authoritative sites, you’re never going to be more authoritative than Wikipedia, but you can be more helpful. You can be more helpful than Wikipedia by demonstrating experience.
Casey Markee (01:01:37):
Melissa Rice (01:01:38):
Well said. I’m going to fit in just one more Q&A. I’m sorry we couldn’t get to more today. This last one is from Carrie F. I’m going to summarize. She writes health information articles and she ranks pretty well. She’s got a master’s degree in public health, but she’s curious if there’s a way to future proof her site for EEAT in terms of authorities such as having an MD review articles of hers. Is that helpful?
Marie Haynes (01:02:03):
I think the answer to that depends on what’s happening with her search results right now. Right now if she’s able to rank relatively well for the queries that she’s trying to, then I’ll say, keep doing it. Just keep looking. The number one thing that she should be doing is continually looking at what is Google ranking? What is Google preferring? And then when there’s this query that you think that you should be able to rank for, but maybe Google’s ranking somebody else above, you try to figure out why. It’s really hard because we’ll look at our sites and go, “Well, my site’s clearly a better example. Google must have it wrong.” But that’s what Google ranks, so if they’re ranking a site above you, then look at their helpful content guidance.
Marie Haynes (01:02:47):
You can look at all of the QRG, but if you look at that documentation that just has, I think it’s about 20 questions to ask yourself, and usually you can be like, “Oh, you know what? The site that’s ranking above me has, maybe the page experience is better or it’s usually because they get users to their answer more quickly, or maybe they have a real world type of experience that is hard for me to replicate. Maybe they actually sell this product in real life to people.” And so by looking at what’s happening with the search results, that’s where to go.
Marie Haynes (01:03:23):
Now, future-proofing is tough. I don’t think anybody can predict, I don’t think we can… I think we could do this call a year from now and laugh at the predictions that we’ve made about how AI is going to change search, because I keep saying if I was an expert blacksmith in shoeing horses trying to explain how electric cars are going to change the future. It’s too hard for us to comprehend the changes that we’re going to go through, so I don’t know the answer to that. I think the way that I’m seeing things go with AI generated answers, if you’re focusing on EEAT, you’re doing the right things. As long as people will still seek you out as opposed to just information out, then you should do well, but if your whole business model is like, “I can gather information and collate it in a way that’s good.” Then that’s going to be tricky unless you have a reputation for doing that where people are like, “Oh, yeah, you need to go to that person.”
Marie Haynes (01:04:27):
So future-proofing is hard, but staying on top of what the search algorithms are currently doing is, and then try and figure out what changed and what is Google rewarding, that’s where I would go.
Melissa Rice (01:04:40):
That was amazing.
Casey Markee (01:04:42):
Excellent. Excellent answer.
Melissa Rice (01:04:45):
Just in case people want to find out more or work with you. Marie, do you have any resources that you’d like to share with us before we close out for today?
Marie Haynes (01:04:53):
Sure. My website is mariehaynes.com. It’s H-A-Y-N-E-S. Just today, I’ve been working on this for honestly, 10 years. Intensively for the last year, I’ve been trying to get down my process for improving helpful content, and so if you go to my website, I honestly just got it on there half an hour before this call. If you go to the books section, you’ll see there’s a workbook that’ll help guide you through the quality raters guidelines, help you through the helpful content questions as well.
Marie Haynes (01:05:25):
And very soon I will be opening up my site reviews again, and I have a little bit more information coming on that. I probably will be giving some access to my whole process that I’ve been building for over a decade now in reviewing sites, so stay tuned for that. Then the final thing is I run a newsletter that I’ve written for many, many years. It’s pretty much my full-time job to stay on top of what’s happening with Google, with AI in search and all that. You can find that at mariehaynes.com/newsletter.
Melissa Rice (01:05:56):
Awesome. I subscribed.
Marie Haynes (01:05:58):
Arsen Rabinovich (01:06:00):
I think we all do.
Casey Markee (01:06:02):
We do. We do.
Marie Haynes (01:06:02):
Melissa Rice (01:06:03):
Of course. Just closing out a quick reminder, everybody. We are, well, Casey, Andrew, Arsen, myself. We’ll be at the SEO Summit in New York City this fall. It’s October 4th through fifth. There’s more information available at tastemakerconference.com, just to, you’ll figure it out once you get there. Casey, Andrew, I know you guys are working on workshops and curriculum, so any other details you want to share?
Casey Markee (01:06:32):
Yes, I’m in charge of the after party, no. Oh, I’m in charge of the entertainment, and I guarantee you that we are going to have some very good meetups both nights. Some of that will be legal. I cannot share any more details than that.
Arsen Rabinovich (01:06:49):
Casey Markee (01:06:50):
I just want to make sure.
Arsen Rabinovich (01:06:54):
We have a bunch of really good speakers. We’re getting everybody’s stuff and pictures in order so we can announce them hopefully next week. Amazing lineup. The curriculum includes AI, curriculum includes everything we need to know 2023 and beyond. Definitely, something that if you are serious about SEO and you want to learn, this is the place to be. Check it out. Andrew just posted a link. I saw it there. Subscribe to the email list if they have one there. Stay on top of everything.
Melissa Rice (01:07:26):
Yes, I’m excited. Well, everybody, I know we couldn’t get to everyone’s questions, but we will share them with answers in the recap on our site next week. Check back in on Wednesday. Thank you again, Marie, for joining us and everyone else always.
Casey Markee (01:07:44):
Thank you, Marie.
Andrew Wilder (01:07:44):
Marie Haynes (01:07:45):
Thank you for having me.
Arsen Rabinovich (01:07:45):
The best. The best.
Melissa Rice (01:07:47):
Bye everyone. Thank you.
Marie Haynes (01:07:50):
Thank you. Bye-bye.
Arsen Rabinovich (01:07:50):
Melissa Rice (01:07:50):