Wondering what to focus on for search engine optimization with Google in 2020? Me too!
I have been spending a lot of time lately learning about SEO and how to make the most of my website content. Some of the best information that I have come across has consistently been from Jim Harmer and Ricky Kesler at Income School. Jim and Ricky focus their business on building and becoming successful in niche websites and they teach others how to do the same. They definitely know their stuff! They are near the top of my favorites to watch on YouTube and to learn from.
Not only does their expertise on SEO apply to niche sites but it also translates to websites in general as the strategies in gaining traffic carry over.
I have decided to share this video with you today, as it is full of important pearls on what you need to know about search engine optimization with Google in 2020 and beyond!
WHAT I LEARNED
Search engine optimization with Google in 2020 is all about credibility. Or, in other words, E-A-T. which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. But what does that mean for Google search traffic? As experts in this topic, Jim and Ricky break it down into easy to digest sections.
Essentially, it means that Google wants to know that your site is a site that can be trusted and is helpful to the readers. This is what you need to prove to Google.
When ranking, Google’s goal is to reduce spam, prevent the prevalence of AI written articles and to provide searchers with reliable sources.
You may know that your site is really credible. But how does Google know that? This is done through E-A-T. According to Jim and Ricky, no matter what industry you are in, E-A-T. will eventually be important. So it is worth it now to incorporate it into your site.
You will see here that Google updated their guidelines to include E-A-T.
And if you want to go super in-depth on Google’s new guidelines, check them out here.
E-A-T applies to three things: the content of the site, the author, and the website itself.
So, how do you establish E-A-T for all three things? Let’s take a look at them separately.
E-A-T FOR THE MAIN CONTENT
E-A-T for the main content is about having a great page aesthetic including citing reliable sources, including thorough long-form content, making sure to have good grammar, and interlinking between your posts.
Citing Reliable Sources
As you write your post, you want to make sure to link to other sources. This goes far beyond linking to other blogs. You want to try to incorporate links to sources that have a high level of authority for your field.
A way to do this could be to expand your research beyond Google. Do your research on Google Scholar and use links from there.
Length of Content
It isn’t just about posting long content anymore. Now, more relevant to Google is that your content is sufficient for the topic you are writing on. You want the reader at the end of the post feeling satisfied with the content they were given. Some topics need less, some need more.
A satisfying level of content is what Google wants.
Interlinking Between Posts
Google sees your site as more valuable when you are leading readers to other related content on your site. Making sure these links are highly relevant serves to help with the credibility of the new content you have created.
E-A-T FOR THE WEBSITE CREATOR
The next component of E-A-T is credibility of the website creator. The creator does not necessarily have to be the exclusive author themselves but they need to be a reputable, credible source for content.
Is the content you are writing or sharing trustworthy, authoritative and at an expert level?
You want to establish a reputation for your brand. How are you viewed by others?
Spend some time reaching out to others to see how you can help them be a source for the content they are creating. If you write guest posts for other sites, have the link back to your site be a link to your ‘About’ page. This helps establish credibility for you as an author.
Make sure your mindset is set on building your brand by participating in your industry. The focus should not be on seeking out tons of backlinks just for the sake of having backlinks.
Jim and Ricky give some specific suggestions on how you can establish credibility as an author:
- Create an ‘About’ page with a satisfying amount of content
- Write guest posts for other websites
- Start a YouTube channel
- Go on a podcast as a guest, or start your own
- Link to your professional credentials, if applicable
E-A-T FOR THE WEBSITE ITSELF
Search engine optimization with Google also looks at the credibility of your website. How is your website set up? Does it have an SSL certificate? If it receives funds, does it have a secure way of accepting payment?
Depending on how your website functions, make sure you have the proper settings in place to ensure the reader that you are legitimate. Think about what elements you look for in a website to decide that it is trustworthy.
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THINGS TO AVOID FOR E-A-T
Jim and Ricky give some examples of things that create low-quality pages in Google’s E-A-T eyes:
- Unsatisfying amount of main content
- Exaggerated or shocking title of the post
- Distracting ads
- Unsatisfying amount of information about the website or its creator
- A mildly negative reputation of the website or its creator
A helpful tip that Jim and Ricky mentioned is that you can use Google to see what others are saying about your site by googling: ‘your site name -site:yoursitename.com’. This can give you some indication of your reputation online.
I love how Ricky summarizes their teaching on E-A-T: “None of this is about trying to trick Google into believing that you have expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. The point it to actually have expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, and to display it to Google and to the users of your website in a way that they can tell and they can measure it. And you can do that even if you are not an expert today. If you’re following those steps, you can establish yourself by doing those things.”
I really appreciate that Jim and Ricky spend so much time sharing their expertise online. They present what they know in a clear, understandable way that is so helpful to a wide range of viewers. As a fairly new creator of a website, I know that I can trust what they have to say as they are committed to building websites with integrity. They are not looking for quick fixes and ways around the system. They are providing sites that are valuable to others and they love to teach how to do the same.
I noticed in the YouTube comments a commenter mentioned that they had just completed their training to be a search rater and confirmed that E-A-T, site and author reputation are indeed exactly what Google is looking for. It is great to have that confirmation from an insider!
It was interesting to me that there was no mention of keywords by Jim and Ricky in the video. I know a lot of the training on SEO that I have found has focused so heavily on using keywords for SEO. I will definitely be watching to see how Jim and Ricky incorporate that into E-A-T in the future.
Thank you Jim and Ricky for sharing such helpful content!