Content is considered one of the most important elements of an SEO strategy. Google and other search engines have made it clear that website content is a critical ranking factor and an area they’re continually refining. Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness, or EAT, are aspects that Google have introduced in regards to content.
EAT for SEO
EAT is closely linked to page quality. EAT became more of a focus following Google’s May 2019 update where changes were made to their quality guidelines. This same update placed different levels of responsibility on content quality for website topics – this is more commonly known as YMYL or “your money or your life” where Google is looking for higher levels of EAT.
Expertise – is the content produced by an expert or someone who demonstrates expertise? How can this level of expertise be validated by a search engine? Google states the level of expertise should be relevant to the topic of the page.
Authority – is the content source reputable? Does the source have relationships with other popular or authoritative sources? Google is looking for sites that are known within a industry or have shown themselves as leaders in certain subject areas.
Trustworthiness – is the information true and accurate? Is the source someone who can be trusted? Again, Google places higher standards on YMYL topics which must go to greater lengths to establish trust.
Tackling Legacy Content
On larger or older websites, content builds up and requires maintenance. Often, as times change, content becomes less relevant, outdated and even inaccurate the older it gets. As this occurs it can have a profound effect on EAT and page quality, especially for YMYL topics as described above. It’s easy to see how content on some sites can quickly begin to lose value or even create negative effects if not managed effectively.
To tackle this problem, SEO agencies must consider several different options in relation to legacy content. For different topics, this is more of a priority than others where Google is looking for much higher levels of page quality. As part of SEO maintenance on a website, legacy content should be evaluated – does the content have an impact on EAT? Is it misleading or inaccurate? If so, there are several options, including:
- Should the content be removed and a redirect added to more up to date or relevant information?
- Similarly, would it be better to consolidate or reuse this content to create newer pages or articles?
- Can the content be updated so it’s relevant and accurate?
An SEO agency will work with their client to arrive at the most effective course of action and take the steps needed to tackle any issues related to legacy content and EAT. At Herdl, we work with clients in lots of different industries and have experience dealing with large sites containing decades worth of content!
If you’d like to learn more about our SEO services or have a specific question regarding content, please get in touch with our team.