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Impact of E-E-A-T on UK Health Charities

Impact of E-E-A-T on UK Health Charities

In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of the internet, establishing trust and credibility has become a paramount concern for businesses, content creators, and online platforms alike. Especially with the rise of fake news entering the digital sphere.

This is where E-A-T evolved; an acronym that encapsulates three vital components that contribute to the credibility and expertise of online content. E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, was first introduced by Google in its Quality Rater Guidelines in 2014 and has since become an essential factor in SEO.

In recent months, Google updated E-A-T to include an additional E for experience. Google is now looking to see if the content writer and website have first-hand experience on the topic. Take a look at this article to read more about the E-E-A-T update and its widespread impact across all industries.

We’ve taken the time to specifically review the impact E-E-A-T is having on UK health charities and have highlighted ways they can future proof their website for upcoming tweaks to the quality rater guidelines.

Keyword ranking trends for UK  health charities

From working with numerous health based charities, we started to see a decline in rankings for their priority keywords. No recent changes had been made to the target pages that had seen a hit that could have caused such a significant decline.

For example, one charity targeting ‘ovarian cancer’ was typically ranking in the middle of page one. Suddenly, rankings started to deteriorate rapidly without an obvious explanation. Upon investigation, it was clear the search landscape here was changing, and more and more American based health websites were making their way into the SERPs.

We examined the ranking history over time to see if any other website saw a decrease in rankings at the same time. And they did. Below are two screenshots of rankings overtime and you can see on the same date in November, the two UK charities started their decline as American website, Cleveland Clinic, started climbing.

Keyword: Ovarian Cancer

Graph displaying the decrease in ranking position for the keyword 'ovarian cancer' for a UK ovarian cancer charity, whilst the US website increases in ranking after the E-E-A-T update.

  • Cleveland Clinic (YELLOW)
  • UK Ovarian Cancer Charity (PINK)

Decrease in ranking for 'ovarian cancer' keyword for UK based cancer charity compared to increase for US based charity after the E-E_A-T update.

  • Cleveland Clinic (YELLOW)
  • UK Ovarian Cancer Charity (GREEN)

Keyword: Ovarian cancer symptoms

Decrease in ranking for ovarian cancer symptoms for UK based charity compared to US charity after E-E-A-T update.

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • UK Ovarian Cancer Charity

We can see this is happening for other health-bases charities too. In some cases, you can see at the end of November there is that step up from ranking bottom of page one to within the top 3 positions.

Keyword:  Skin Cancer

Changing trends in ranking position for the keyword skin cancer comparing UK and US based charities.

  • MayoClinic
  • UK Skin Cancer Charity

Improving E-E-A-T for health-based charities

Does your content demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced? There are some situations where the most valuable information to users is content from someone who has first-hand, life experience about the topic.

To enhance the E-E-A-T of your online content and bolster its credibility, several best practices should be followed.

  • Ensure new content demonstrates your experience on the subject matter. When it comes to health-based content, consider sharing personal experiences or other people’s testimonials, including examples or using technical language that is well explained.

 

  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field by consistently producing high-quality, accurate, and insightful content on a frequent basis. This can be achieved by conducting thorough research, citing reputable sources, and showcasing your expertise through in-depth analysis and unique perspectives.

 

  • Build authoritativeness by showcasing your credentials, experience, and qualifications, such as including author bios and linking to your professional profiles. If your charity has a single professional in your sector who writes most of the content, creating an author bio stating who they are and credentials will work well. If you have multiple writers whose content is checked by scientists or researchers then a branded author bio may be best.

 

  • Actively seek opportunities to contribute guest posts or collaborate with respected individuals and organisations in your industry to make yourself more well known. The more people cite your work or reference you as an authoritative source, the more Google will trust what you have to say.

 

  • Create trustworthiness by being transparent. Make sure your website is as up-to-date as possible, and ensure your content is free from spelling or grammatical errors. Include clear authorship information, privacy policies, and secure website features to encourage confidence and trust among your audience.

Key content elements Google wants to see!

  • Dates. Published date, updated on date, or reviewed on date associated to all pages. Especially those with health-based support and advice. Google likes to see up-to-date content so if you find content doesn’t need a refresh, ensure it has been reviewed!
  • Author names. An authoritative name to state who published, updated or reviewed the content.
  • Author biographies. These author bios should either be specific to the individual or to the brand.
  • References. A section, preferably at the bottom of the content that shows your references and sources you have cited throughout the page.
  • Backlinks. Backlinks to your pages to show third party websites agree and are sharing your content with their readers.

These signals demonstrate to Google that you’re abiding to their quality rater guidelines and will help you to be visible and climb up the search results.

Noticed a change in your keyword rankings?

If you think your charity has been impacted by this E-E-A-T update, feel free to get in touch and speak to our team of SEO specialists who can guide you through updating your content. We would love to hear from you and are eager to help!

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    SEO Developments in August 2022

    A plant with some post it nots stuck to the pot and a pen holding up a post it note with a message on it.

    It has been an eventful summer for search, with lots of updates rolling out, and a fire that led to Google Search outages! Here’s the latest.

    Product Review Search Ranking Updates.

    Google began rolling out a product review search ranking update as of July 27th. Whilst there was speculation it may take 2-3 weeks to complete, Google quietly changed its update landing page to show that the update had finished rolling out on August 2nd.

    Impact of the July 2022 product review update.

    This particular update doesn’t appear to have made many changes to the ranking criteria. It’s most likely that Google has just been refreshing it and making small adjustments.

    This update is part of a continuing series of product review updates. All aimed at promoting review content that goes above and beyond most of the more basic templated information we see online as a standard. If you are interested, you can check out the previous product review updates, which were released on:

    • April 8th  2021
    • December 1st  2021
    • March 23rd  2022
    What is the purpose of these product review updates?

    Google has said that the aim of these updates is not to punish sites that have reviews with thin content but to focus on rewarding sites that have detail-rich and genuinely useful product reviews.

    If you offer product reviews on your website – it may be worth reviewing your rankings to see if you were impacted now that the update has fully rolled out.

    What to do if product review rankings have dropped?

    There is a lot of advice out there about how to evaluate and improve your site’s product reviews. Google has provided specific advice on how to write product reviews that are high quality, which you may find helpful to read if you have been negatively impacted by this update.

    Introducing Pros and Cons to Structured Data.

    A new update to structured data is now allowing additional information for snippets in editorial review pages.

    What is structured data?

    Structured data in SEO is a mark-up code which provides information about a page to help search engines better understand the content and display key elements in a more useful way in search results pages.

    Users often find pros and cons in product reviews a very useful way to quickly gain clear and concise summaries of the products they are searching for. Therefore, we’re very excited to see the introduction of pros and cons Structured Data, which can be added to your Product Schema to enhance the search results for editorial product reviews.

     

     

    At least two pro/con statements must be made for the information to pull through. This could mean either two pros, two cons, or one of each, and can be seen in the example above.

    Currently, only editorial product review pages are eligible for the new pros and cons update. This means it is only available to sites that do not sell products themselves but focus on reviewing them, leaving merchant and customer product review sites out in the cold for the time being.

    We would love to see this pros and cons update roll out further in the near future to extend to retail and commercial content, so that charities who sell products online will also be able to benefit from the likely increase in click-through rates this opportunity represents.

    Available languages for this structured data update include: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.

    Google search quality rater guidelines update: What has changed

    Google has updated its Quality Rater Guidelines,  with changes coming to both E-A-T and ‘Your Money’ or ‘Your Life’ (YMYL) content. One area of particular interest to us is the changes to YMYL content rating, due to its potential to impact charity content addressing health.

    Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Topics.

    Topics that pose a ‘high risk of harm’ due to the potential to significantly impact health, safety, finances or welfare/well-being of individuals or society are known as YMYL content.

    These can either be inherently dangerous topics or harmful due to the potential damage that misinformation and inaccuracies in the content could cause.

    Google has removed it’s previous 7 categories of YMYL topics and is now encouraging quality raters to consider four types of harm this type of content could cause to the user, including:

    • Health or Safety
    • Financial Security
    • Society
    • “Other”

    Google also announced that YMYL content assessments are done on a spectrum, including ‘not likely or unlikely YMYL topic’, ‘May be YMYL topic’ and ‘Clear YMYL topic’.

    Here is a link to a useful table from Google which shows clear definitions and examples of what it considers to be YMYL content which you may find useful.

    Due to the spectrum approach, not many topics will fall into the clear YMYL category. However, understanding YMYL content and how it is viewed by Google is important for the charity sector as many organisations function within the health or safety section. Such as cancer charities or dementia support. Content surrounding these topics has the potential to cause a negative impact on lives if it is inaccurate.

    Google Search Outage.

    Google search experienced a widespread outage over the course of the evening on August 9th, which is apparently linked to an electrical fire at a Google data centre in Iowa, United States.

     

    Indexability issues, extreme ranking fluctuations and pages either dropping out of search or not being ranked at all were also noted at the same time as this outage issue.

    It appears as though the main issue was resolved quickly, however, it is worth taking note of this event in case you did notice any distinct changes in your rankings, both positive or negative.

    Did we miss any SEO news?

    Have we missed any of your key SEO highlights from our round-up? Or do you have any burning questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?

    We’d love to hear from you!

    Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page

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      SEO Highlights in July 2022

      Yep, there’s a new search engine on the block!

      Ahrefs has delivered on its 2019 pledge to deliver a private and creator-friendly search engine. As promised this endeavour, designed to compete with the global giant Google, has two key features it proposes will set it apart from competitors:

       

      • Privacy: Yep has been set up so that it does not automatically collect and store your personal information as you are surfing the web.

       

      They will collect data on keywords, language preference received from the browser and approximate geographical area, but will not use this information to create a personal profile for targeted advertising.

       

      • Profit-Sharing: Ahrefs have proposed a 90/10 profit model for their search engine, meaning that 90% of advertising profits will be going into the pockets of content publishers.

       

      This is in direct contrast to Google, who often display content in their search results in such a way that means users don’t have to click through to the website to get the answer they are looking for. This means less site traffic for content creators – and less traffic often equals less revenue overall.

       

      Search listing for Uprise Up Digital Media on the Ahrefs search engine results page

       

      Despite some distinct differences from Google in terms of privacy and socially positive profit sharing, Yep still has a long way to go before it can become a real competitor.  The search engine itself presents results in a basic format still, looking very similar to original SERPs with just 10 blue links.

       

      Options are also currently restricted to web or news pages. However, there is the promise of an image index being close to delivery in July, which will bring Yep one step closer to being a serious alternative to other main search engines such as Google or Bing.

       

      Search Console is Being Simplified: Wave Goodbye to ‘Warnings’.

      The most recent changes to Google Search console labels aim to simplify the interface, allowing users to more easily focus on warnings that will be of immediate threat to their content rankings in search results.

      The old reports had three categorisations for URLs: Valid, Error and Valid with warning. This change affects the ‘valid with warning’ category. Whilst it was clear that valid URLs were okay and that error URLs had critical issues that needed addressing, there has always been a level of confusion about how critical these ‘valid with warning’ URL issues were, and whether these bits of content would still appear properly in SERPs.

       

      A report showing website warnings in search console

       

      In response, Google Search Console will now present items as ‘valid’ or ‘invalid’ at a top-level. This is to help businesses ‘focus on critical issues that affect your visibility in search’ and enable a better prioritisation of fixes.

       

       

      Search Console Insights Now Supporting GA4.

      Whilst we’re on the topic of Search Console, it’s great to see that Google Search Console Insights is now supporting Google Analytics 4 properties. Previously, Search Console Insights were only compatible with Universal Analytics (UA) properties. This marks another step towards GA4 taking the lead once UA is sunset in June 2023.

       

      What is Search Console Insights?

      Search Console Insights use data to help content creators and publishers better understand how their content is performing with audiences. Some of the insights it can provide include:

       

      • Best performing content pieces
      • New content performance
      • How people discover your content online
      • What people search for on Google before visiting your content
      • Which article refers to your website and content

       

      You can access this feature via the ‘Search Console Insights’ section at the top of the overview page in your Search Console property.

       

      Tips on using Search Console Insights with GA4.

      Make sure to link your GA4 property with your Google Search Console property, as otherwise you may only see 20% of possible content insights.

      Also, remember to check your Search Console Insights regularly, as the data is frequently updated so regular checks will help you keep on top of new and emerging trends.

       

      Google bot crawling the first 15 mb of page content.

      An update to the GoogleBot help documentation states that only the first 15MB of HTML files will be crawled and considered for indexing by Google. Anything after this point will not be used when calculating ranking positions.

      The documentation states that ‘Googlebot can crawl the first 15MB of an HTML file or supported text-based file. Any resources referenced in the HTML such as images, videos, CSS, and JavaScript are fetched separately’. This suggests that the 15MB cut-off will only apply to HTML.

       

      How does this impact SEO?

      This new documentation means that high priority content needs to be included closer to the top of webpages in order to be weighted in ranking calculations. Images and videos should also be compressed instead of encoded directly into the HTML where possible.

       

      What does Google have to say about the 15MB limit?

      In response to a lot of questions from the wider SEO community surrounding this documentation update, Google published a blog addressing the 15MB limit directly. They emphasised that this is not a new threshold; it has been around for several years now. The update to the GoogleBot documentation was aimed at helping people when debugging.

      It is also important to note that 15MB is actually rather a large amount of HTML. In fact, Google said in the majority of HTML files are only around 30KB, and there are a minimal number of pages online that are close to the 15MB cut-off point. So this update to GoogleBot crawling and ranking most likely won’t affect most site content, but is good to be aware of.

       

      Did we miss any SEO news?

      Have we missed any of your key SEO highlights from our round-up? Or do you have any burning questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?

      We’d love to hear from you!

      Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

       

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        SEO Developments in May-June 2022

        Typing on laptop on a desk with notebooks on the table and plants in the background.

        From the Core Algorithm Update to Multisearch adopting augmented reality here’s the noteworthy SEO developments from May and June.

         

        Google May 2022 Core Algorithm Update

        Google formally announced a core ranking update for May 2022, but were characteristically vague on it’s purpose, (which is what we now expect from Google).

        Measuring tools and data identified a strong amount of volatility in organic rankings initially, (within the first 24hours of the announcement), although this appeared to level out quickly after a day or two.

        We are currently gathering data and coming together with the wider SEO community to develop a better understanding and compare learnings. We’ll let you know if as / and when we get any more clarity on how Google are looking to impact SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) rankings .

        For an in-depth guide of what to look out for with core algorithm updates and how to react if you’re impacted take a look at our deep-dive into the Core Algorithm Update for May 2022.

         

        Developments in Multisearch

        Later this year Google will be expanding the multisearch feature to gain the support of the ‘near me’ function, this function will allow people to take pictures or screenshots to match places, stores and array of businesses for ‘near me’ type queries via Google Maps and Google Search.

        In addition to this, the new ‘scene exploration’ feature in multisearch will enable people to pan their phone cameras across the view in front of them and gain insights about multiple objects in the scene. This use of augmented reality is pulling us one step closer to the ‘metaverse’ setting that could be the possible future of search.

         

        How will multisearch impact SEO?  

        Multisearch won’t necessarily have an immediate influence on how SEOs need to optimise content, that is if you are already following SEO best practices. This idea is supported further by John Muller’s thoughts on the impact of multisearch for SEO:

         

        “…if your content is findable in search, if you have images on your content and those images are relevant, then we can guide people to those images or to your content using multiple ways.”

         

        In response to this, it may be a good idea to conduct an SEO audit of your site to make sure your content is optimised and indexable so that Google can find and serve your content in multisearch results.

         

        Google’s training contributing to SEO misinformation

        Google ruffled some feathers last month by presenting some guidance many considered questionable in their Digital Marketing Training Course.

         

        contents of keyword stuffing training material

         

        Industry professionals were quick to identify some questionable SEO advice suggested by Google, including the 300 words plus for content length and ‘industry standard’ of 2% keyword density.

        It’s not uncommon for advice on these areas to vary between individuals, however, a basic point that seems to have been missed here is that content is very subjective.

         

        The ‘correct’ volumes and density of keywords is completely dependent on the type of content, format, audience, industry, and end goals – an immeasurable number of factors in fact.

        To the relief of many, Google has since removed this ‘keyword research and keyword stuffing’ section from its course and the takeaway very much is that a focus on quality of content is key.

         

        Did we miss any SEO new?

        Do you have some thoughts to share on the impact of the May 2022 core update? Or do you have any questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?

        We’d love to hear from you!

        Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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