Google’s August Broad Core Algorithm Update: Were You Affected?

Google’s August Broad Core Algorithm Update: Were You Affected? 

On August 1st, Google released a broad core algorithm update that appears to have had an effect on both local and organic rankings. These smaller algorithm updates that are released several times throughout the year are far better than the previous Penguin and Panda updates, but they can still impact your rankings. While Google doesn’t typically share specifics, it continues to emphasize the importance of building great content.

In this post, I want to clarify some of the things that we do know about the recent update and the types of pages being demoted or promoted. With this information, you can see if your website might have been a target of this update.

E-A-T is More Important than Ever

E-A-T stands for “expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness”. Its goal is to encourage web owners to create content that is reliable, accurate and trustworthy. Google wants to avoid showing websites to people that could potentially scam them out of time and money or harm their physical and mental health. Here is what E-A-T breaks down to.

  • Expertise. You need to be an expert in your field if the content is centered around medical, financial or legal websites. Humor and gossip websites don’t rely on this as much. Rather, expertise comes from creating truthful and useful content.
  • Authority. You need to prove that you are an authority in your field. Authority comes from the expertise of your writers, the conversations that occur on your site and reviews.
  • Trust. You need to show users that they can trust your website. Visitors should always feel safe, especially when making purchases on ecommerce sites.

Google recommends that medical advice be reviewed and updated regularly. This also extends to other topics such as legal advice, tax advice and home improvement advice. Again, Google wants web owners to be accountable for the information they are sharing with their customers. Offering personal opinion and linking to non-authoritative sources makes the content lower in quality.

How to be an E-A-T

It appears that websites not following E-A-T standards are being hit the hardest after this update. If you think you’re one of them, there are steps you can take to improve your site and become an E-A-T! Keep these factors in mind when creating new content, but apply them to your existing content as well.

  • Create content that is relevant and useful to your audience
  • Go “deep” in your content rather than choosing broad topics
  • Hire experienced writers
  • Make your awards, certifications and news coverage known
  • Place trust symbols on your website
  • Make it easy for people to contact you
  • Make your policies (returns, exchanges, privacy) easy to find and understand

What about YMYL Pages?

Another topic that has come to life since the August 1 update is YMYL, which stands for “Your Money or Your Life”. YMYL pages are closely related to E-A-T because these pages may potentially affect the reader’s quality of life in a good or bad way.

YMYL pages include the following:

  • Medical information pages
  • Financial information pages
  • Legal information pages
  • Shopping or financial transactions pages
  • Parenting advice pages

Hiring Expert Writers to Achieve E-A-T

YMYL pages are favored by Google but they must have high E-A-T. Those with low E-A-T will be demoted, which mostly affects websites and forums with low-quality content and advice. The best way to ensure that you are not creating low-quality YMYL pages is by hiring expert writers. Here are a few tips for doing so.

  • Approach content agencies. Ask them if they have writers who are experienced in your field. If so, ask for a list of these writers and samples of their work. You want to avoid having generalist writers approach a niche-specific topic.
  • Share the samples with your team. If you have samples of a writer’s work, run them by a few people on your team. You may not have all the insight, so other teams can spot red flags in the writing.
  • Look within your own company. If you can’t find or afford an expert writer, look within your own team. These are some of the best people, even if they can’t write well. They can share incredibly useful and insightful information that can then be edited by a professional.

Have Your Rankings Suffered? We Can Help!

If you’ve seen a drop in rankings after the last update, don’t panic. Chances are, you have content on your site that doesn’t follow E-A-T, and therefore, is being demoted. A content audit is the best way to review the content on your site and identify low quality pages. By updating them with better supporting content, authoritative links and credible information, you can improve their E-A-T.

Remember, you’re not just trying to please Google. Your audience deserves the best content if you want them to trust your brand and the message you send. Going forward, be sure that your content is well-written, factual and credible. And, do your best to work with expert writers who have a professional, trustworthy tone.

If you’ve been affected by the latest broad core algorithm update, WSI Net Advantage can help. Contact us at 510-687-9737 to learn more about working with our team and making your site the best it can be!


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