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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 Updates for April and May 2022

    April started spectacularly with Brighton SEO bringing together SEO enthusiasts from across the globe. We witnessed a great range of talks at the biannual beachside conference, covering everything from the fundamentals of search right through to the future of SEO in the ‘metaverse’. The weeks to follow have continued to offer several other interesting developments which we’re unpacking below. 

    Google Released Annual Search Spam Report

    In response to a world searching for ‘how to heal’, Google highlighted how they kept 99% of searches spam-free with significant improvements in fighting link spam, scam results, and ranking manipulation in their annual search spam report. 

    Google also focussed on reducing low-quality content through identifying behaviours that manipulated search rankings. These behaviours would narrowly avoid violation of the quality guidelines but negatively impact user experience. With the help of their AI-based system SpamBrain, Google stated they were able to keep 99% of searches spam-free in 2021.

    As ever, websites should follow best practice guidance and steer clear of ‘black hat’ SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing and product review manipulation, to avoid being penalised by Google’s spam algorithms. Producing high-quality, relevant content for your customers will always be the best way to help improve your search rankings. 

    Google Search Parameter Tool Officially Offline

    Back in March, Google announced it was going to retire the URL parameters tool, and this is the first month we can see it coming into effect. Google has now turned off support for the tool in Google Search Console. The decision was made by Google to turn off the tool due to the advancement in Google’s capabilities to decipher which parameters are useful on a site. With only a minute number of parameter configurations specified in the parameter tool deemed useful for crawling purposes, the tool was deemed unnecessary. 

    Google has stated that ‘Google’s crawlers will learn how to deal with URL parameters automatically’ in the near future. We would suggest making a note of this update on your reports and keeping an eye on your analytics over the coming weeks just in case any issues arise from this change. 

     

    Significant Changes to Featured Snippets being Tested

    Google has started some testing that may provide a major shake-up of the featured snippets section on SERPs. Our SEO Team certainly has a lot to say about these two new features:

    ‘From the Web’: Traditionally, the featured snippet shown at the top is a table, a list, or a snippet of text with a link to the webpage the content comes from. For text snippets, Google is now testing short excerpts from two to three other websites in the same section, with links to the sites added after the sites’ favicons. 

     

    ‘Other Sites Say’: Google is planning to group at least three different sites under a new ‘Other Sites Say’ section, which shares some resemblance with the established ‘People also ask’ section. Again, this will provide more exposure for brands, but equally will create more competition in the top-ranking results. 

      

    What could this mean for search?

    Sites that currently hold the featured snippet position for certain keywords could face a substantial loss of traffic as more competition enters position zero in SERPs. On the flip side, if you’re not currently featuring in any snippets, this update could increase your chances and improve traffic volume to your site. 

    It will be very interesting to see the impact of these tests on clickthrough rate (CTR) and visibility in the search results, and whether these updates are rolled out temporarily or permanently. One to keep an eye on!

    Google PaLM: The Future of Next Generation Search

    This month Google revealed a breakthrough in its efforts to create an AI architecture that can handle millions of different tasks by itself. Enter PaLM.

    What is PaLM?

    Google’s Pathways Language Model research (PaLM) is an AI architecture Google has been developing. PaLM can produce answers reflective of fluctuating contexts by learning how to efficiently solve millions of different tasks, including complex learning and reasoning. 

    What makes PaLM special?

    PaLM is a system worth recognising as it’s striving to combine the efforts of multiple existing AI systems, into a singular architecture. To achieve this, recent developments of the PaLM system have involved the scaling of the few-shot learning (FSL) process. This is a type of machine learning method that works with a limited training dataset, as opposed to deep machine learning, where an extensive amount of data needs to be manually input for the AI to learn each new ability. Essentially, FSL has the AI learning so it can make predictions based on a smaller dataset.

    Recently completed was the BIG-bench benchmark, where several tasks were designed to see how large language models, such as PaLM, responded. Of the 150 strong BIG-bench tasks (relating to reasoning, translation, and question answering), PaLM outperformed many of the current state-of-the-art models. There were many notable achievements on hundreds of language understanding and generation benchmarks, including: 

     

    • Enhanced reasoning abilities 
    • Explanation generation 
    • Inference Chaining

     

    This recent research shows PaLM delivers significant improvements compared to current AI systems and can even ‘outperform human benchmarks’ for certain elements of language processing and reasoning. However, humans still outperformed the new algorithm on 35% of tasks. So, whilst breakthroughs are being made, PaLM is not quite there yet. 

    What could this mean for search?

    Machine learning has a big impact on how search results are created, tailoring results more and more to the needs of the user. As PaLM seeks to consolidate all this machine learning into one AI system, the change to search may not be great. However, with capabilities in one place, it may mean Google can get an even greater understanding of the intent and needs of users when they use search engines. Either way, this is an update to keep an eye on.

    Did we miss any SEO news?

    Think we may have missed something worth exploring or if you have some thoughts you’d like to share on SEO developments? 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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