No more fake news. Faced with a drop in the level of information and excessive use of sensationalistic headlines, Google and other online platforms have decided to act and reward authentic news from sources deemed reliable.
To establish the reliability of a news or a source of information is the EAT model, acronym for Expertise, Authoritativness, Trustworthiness. These three cornerstones, already fundamental to Google’s claim to Quality Raters, become even more important after being included in the guidelines to be indexed in Google Discover.
What the acronym EAT means for Google
Theacronym Eat means Expertise, Authoritativness, Trustworthiness and specifies what the parameters are for measuring the quality of online content. They apply to all types of content, but especially to YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) content that covers specific topics about investing or people’s lives. For example, articles on medical topics and health were among the most affected by Google’s so-called Medical Update.
For each content it must be clear who the author is and this must have experience in the field of reference. This experience can be professional or even life. If I have experienced a disease, I have the experience to write on a page that is meant to provide a story, but not on one that wants to scientifically explain the results of a therapy and that therefore must be written by a doctor or researcher.
Authority is more tied to a professional field and investigates whether the author (or website) is appropriate to the type of content on the page. The first concept on which it is based is that of peer reference through link building: if other authoritative authors (or domains with high auhority) link its content, it means that they consider it consistent and useful and therefore recommend it. The second concept is that related to entities: Google understands that the author entity is linked to the argument entity and therefore gives it value in that context.
This is one of the most important parameters. Reliability refers to the accuracy with which certain topics are covered by the page or website. It is important to mention sources and link authoritative content to verify the information.
From Quality Rater to Google Discover guidelines
The first hints of EAT content were seen in the Quality Rater guidelines released by Google in 2015. This is a document with instructions to choose quality content, especially in relation to the most sensitive topics and that can affect people’s lives, health and money. With the Medical update of 2018 these indications have returned to the fore because many sites that dealt with these very topics have experienced variations in Serp.
Google recently relaunched this topic by explaining how the EAT template will soon be used to determine the indexing of news and information websites in Google Discover,one of the major sources of traffic for this type of portals.
Before Google: NewsGuard ratings
Before Google there were other platforms that monitored on similar parameters in order to promote journalism and quality information. Among them is NewsGuard, which has methodically analyzed the world’s largest news sites based on credibility and transparency criteria and assigning an overall rating that has sometimes punished some of the sites at the top of the traffic rankings.
NewsGuard certainly doesn’t have the power of Google that is able to increase or decrease web traffic and consequently profit (here’s how to make money with online journalism), but it has prompted some sites to reassess. In fact, many of these have begun to verify the sources, give up overly sensationalistic headlines and declare data about the editors and authors of the articles.
How to create quality content optimized for Google
Google is pushing for quality content and so are other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. There are no Seo tricks to fool the algorithm that analyzes news, only good practices of quality journalism (read the Seo guide for journalists).
At a general level, a site should always state who is the author of the article and provide guidance for contacting the editor. In addition, it should address topics for which it can guarantee good authority. A good link building profile from other authoritative sites is an extra weapon, but it must be as natural as possible.
At the single news level, the rule of originality of the content applies: news copied from other parts is to be avoided. If we use a source, we need to thoroughly verify it and mention it (if possible with links). The headline must be clear and consistent with content: Google doesn’t like click-bait titles and images. The author must be authoritative or must prove the veracity of the information reported.
The starting point is a well-structured editorial plan,followed by a thorough analysis; the finish line is a quality content that adds value to the reader.