Google search engine optimization and trust
What do trust and trustworthy content have to do with Google search engine optimization? According to Google itself, quite a lot. We examine what role trustworthiness plays in search engine optimization and what E-A-T means in this context.
Google SEO Optimization Basics
Google writes in its Search Engine Optimization Start Guide following: "Users like to visit your website if they feel it is trustworthy. A website with a good reputation is trustworthy. Therefore, you should build a reputation for competence and reliability in a particular field."
It stands to reason that Google tries to select particularly trustworthy pages. After all, the search engine's goal is to display the best results. It is obvious that trust plays a major role here. It is interesting to observe which factors are important from Google's point of view. These can be determined with our Trust Building Blocks match.
In the following explanations, we want to see what Google focuses on for search engine optimization. And check which points are not taken into account. In the previously mentioned quote, the competence and reliability are listed. It is also important, with a SEO related Strategy to achieve the desired results.
Furthermore, the guide states: "Tell your users who publishes your site and delivers their content, and explain what your goals are with it." This refers to transparency and clarity. The aforementioned goals are also present in somewhat more detail in our trust building blocks with the values corporate purpose and decisiveness.
„If you run a shopping website or other website where financial transactions are conducted, it should include clear and unambiguous customer service information to help users resolve issues." This is already a strange limitation. Shouldn't every company strive to help its customers solve problems? What else do you do as a company if you don't take care of your customers' needs?
In the trust building blocks, this is included right away with the first point, customer orientation. I understand the reference to shopping and finance websites to mean that customer service should be emphasized on such sites in particular.
"If it's a news website, state unequivocally who is responsible for the content." With the German imprint obligation, we do easy in this point. On every website, it is clear who is responsible for the content. Google also alludes here to the separability of editorial and advertising content. It is understandably not trustworthy if it remains unclear whether the content originates from a company or an editor.
So Google names a number of industries that need to pay particular attention to trust. I assume that these factors can be applied to all websites. And I assume that Google has paid increased attention to these values, especially in the last algorithm updates. The big Google Core update of August 2018 aimed exactly in this direction. Unlike the Penguin and Panda updates, negative pages were not penalized here, but trusted pages were pushed up in the ranking. In the first step, this had a particular impact on websites in the healthcare industry. All further explanations and comments by SEO experts since then assume that trust is now a core value for Google search engine optimization.
Google additionally employs a group of several thousand Quality Raters. These people examine websites on the basis of Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. The document, which is about 170 pages long, states: "The amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important."
The aim of this research is to optimize the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Here, too, trust plays an essential role. Trustworthiness is one of the three main factors.
These people check websites live. It is good to know that the websites are not only optimized for an algorithm, but that real people can actually drop by. The assessment of these people is even more important because it can be assumed that they will not return as quickly as the Google Bot.
The so-called main content is decisive for the assessment of the website. It is distinguished from supplementary content and advertising content. In the case of main content, accuracy, completeness, and comprehensibility are the decisive target parameters that every online marketing manager should orientate themselves by.
It is important to understand that the E-A-T factor has no direct influence on the ranking. However, the influence is already there. The results of the quality checkers are used by Google. The resulting values are particularly important for online stores. For companies, they also play a role. They are less relevant on pure entertainment sites, for example. You can see quite basically from the E-A-T factor how high the importance of trust is for Google search engine optimization.
In short: Google depends on trustworthy content. And Google does everything it can to find out whether websites are trustworthy.
Building blocks of trust as Google factors
So what can Google do to assess whether a website is trustworthy?
Of course, Google looks at the content. The semantic evaluation of the words is no challenge for a search engine. However, the factors mentioned - competence, customer orientation and transparency - can only be the first step. From my point of view, they fall a bit short. Essential factors are not mentioned. Especially the achieved results should not be left out. For the view by the customers anyway, but just also for the search engine optimization.
The backlinks are another essential factor. The more trustworthy websites link to my website, the more trustworthy mine is. If you are listed by many universities, you deserve trust. No links or the wrong link building agency in use will lead to trust withdrawal.
Google rates reviews on specific rating portals, forums and the like particularly positively.
The page is often called up. This applies above all through the listing in the Google SERPs. Who is clicked here a lot and the users do not come back so quickly, scores. This is easy for Google to evaluate.
Trust is important for Google search engine optimization. For some industries this applies more, for others less. Even if E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, the integration of trust-promoting content modules is important for every company. In addition to the content on their own website, this also applies to the right backlinks as well as good reviews by customers. The SEO Content however, plays at least as big a role.