James: What can we do to our website, taking into account EAT? Is there a methodology you would prescribe to boost someone’s website?
Gert: It definitely depends on the individual industry. But there are a few things I would definitely add to the list. For a start, whatever you can do to tell Google who you are, and who is behind the site (not necessarily you, this can be someone else) is going to be good.
So I’ve been auditing I don’t know how many sites since last December algorithm update that dropped really, really hard. One common denominator was that they were very typically affiliate sites. And the typical affiliate site for me, is a site that does not even have a contact form, probably.
So the main idea is just drive people to this website and make them click on whatever link you can, as soon as possible. Provide the necessary content for this to rank, and you get your commission. This is a very typical affiliate concept that has been around for many years. Without any idea of branding, without any idea of real value. Just the higher the affiliate banner, the better. This is just like a very clear concept of what is not working anymore.
And I’ve seen sites drop 85, 90 percent with this concept in the last algorithm update. And we already saw this in the May update that Google had a clear trend. So we could have seen the May update as early warning signs to make sure we add certain information.
I remember back then, we had a financial website where I said, “Look, make sure you have an about page, make sure you have a contact page.” They were giving financial information and then trying to get people into a membership site, which was great, the information was perfect. They know what they’re talking about. But they didn’t want to have client interaction.
And this is the reason for many sites, why they don’t put out a contact page or an about page, because they say, “Look, I’m happy to put this information together. But I don’t want any phone calls. I don’t want anybody to see my address. I don’t want any direct interaction. I’m happy to put this out there. But I don’t want to be bothered.” And I think this is just, especially in some cases, an impossible scenario these days. So you can’t rank any more if you’re not putting yourself out there.
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