E-A-T Google Update and How Does It Affect Your Affiliate Websites?
What is E-A-T?
Since Google has rolled out its Medic Update it has caused a stir in the Affiliate Marketers Community. Many of them are experiencing a heavy decline in their website traffic. Even a few of popular, big websites seem to be penalized. Traffic numbers from Google search engines to their websites have dropped drastically. Though Google has kept silence regarding most of their algorithm changes SEO communities has termed this algorithm as “Medic Update” as it has affected the rankings of a large number of websites related to medical niches.
Though it is been said that Medic Update has impacted mostly the health-related sites, but later industry experts observed there are several other categories which felt the aftermath. Those categories fall mostly under Fashion, e-Commerce, Local businesses, Affiliate marketing websites as well as Legal Information websites.
Before we go further deeper into the subject we need to understand how Google’s own ranking evaluators analyze a website for better search experience. If we need to understand what Google is looking for in high-quality web pages and how websites can achieve better results in Google’s algorithm we need to consider two important factors E-A-T and YMYL, which are vital parameters for affiliate marketers who are trying to create better pages in the future.
Actually, E-A-T focuses on three rules and they are:
- Expertise – Is the author of the content an expert on the subject?
- Authority – The website, the author and the content itself needs to have an authoritative reputation in their own niche.
- Trustworthiness – Is the content accurate and truthful? Trustworthiness is very much important for e-Commerce since these sites should make users feel safe while they’re browsing. For that, the site owners should immediately implement an SSL certificate. If your website is hosted with one of the bigger providers on the web then getting an SSL should be at a click of a button away. It’s one of major Google’s ranking signals as well.
Site owners who are trying to optimize an authority site don’t pay attention to these three rules, they might get a “low quality” rating by Google quality checks. It means the website is likely to disappear from the top search engine search pages. Though it doesn’t happen overnight, Google adjusts its search algorithm according to the feedback from quality rates. That’s why you see gradual effects in the coming months.
How Google E-A-T has affected the Websites?
We have seen Google’s E-A-T update has potentially impacted the majority of YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) pages, both in a positive and negative way. This also extends to local map listings. Since YMYL websites can have a major life-changing impact on the visitors, that’s why the standards for YMYL web content must be even superior to normal. It is clear that Google is emphasizing on high-quality YMYL content and the E-A-T update is planned to make it simple for Google users to search and identify high-quality trustworthy YMYL content.
If you run an affiliate website on health, fitness, or finance or lifestyle, you must have noticed the influence of the Google E-A-T update on your content. A recent survey conducted by industry experts after that update reveals almost 42 percent of websites has been affected by Google E-A-T and they mostly fell into the medical or health category. For many affiliate marketers and SEO professionals, these fluctuations in Google search ranking signify a major threat to the content marketing business model. With more than 4 million blog posts published daily, almost 91 percent of online content receives no organic search traffic from Google.
As the websites lose their ranking and start appearing in the inside pages of Google search, they see a massive drop in organic traffic. This drop in traffic results in a huge loss of advertisement revenue which is the basic source of income for the websites.
As the websites lose their position from the first page of Google, the website needs to go again for the search engine optimization process in order to regain its position on the first page. This process involves a lot of money and the websites will have to spend this money when their advertisement revenue is going downwards.
According to Google’s policy, only those content that shows a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, as well as trustworthiness should be rewarded with higher rankings in search results. But we see plenty of affiliates just copy and paste contents from other websites and publish them on their own website. This type of lower quality, thin content, is hard for Google to show in top search positions. Since Google has put more emphasis on the reliability of the websites, so it must demonstrate four chief qualities which are accuracy, thoroughness, honesty, and humility.
We have seen many affiliate sites have paid attention to create loads of backlinks that hardly links them to any related sites, which again raises a clear “red flag” on Trustworthiness and Website Authority. Moreover, when speaking about real expertise, how we can expect that level of quality from $0.015/word writers. It clearly fails in the very beginning. So when we speak of the content it is the main thing that Google repeatedly pays attention to. It is even better to publish some expert interviews who genuinely have detailed knowledge about the subject than posting hundreds of articles written by some random authors.
As we know Trustworthiness is a very crucial consideration when it comes to Google’s E-A-T Update, many site owners failed to pay attention to this factor. Websites without the security layer of instead of unencrypted HTTP instead HTTPS means they lack complete data security. This is an important parameter for ensuring how trustworthy the site is. This is especially essential for YMYL brands as well as any e-Commerce sites. Ensure your users that their financial and personal information is fully secure.
The purpose of Google’s EAT update was not just to demote affiliate sites but it is just reinforcing what brands were already aware of while dealing with consumers. The poor user experiences that forced customers to turn away to the offline world can also bring them back in the online world if they are presented with complete information they need before investing their money. Google’s EAT update is just a reflection of that customer expectation.