Google is ever busy tweaking its algorithm and keeping SEOs and website owners on their toes if they want to be at the top of the search engine results pages. In the last few years, two important aspects have materialised that have a major impact on how you optimise your website and create your content: EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and, more recently, BERT. Is your website responding to them? How can you change this if not?
The impact of these Google guidelines means that you should look at the reputation of your brand in a world in which internet users have become highly wary of fake news and, generally, more mistrustful of what they see and read online. If you have a reputation for bad customer service or other issues, it’s time to clean up your act because you’re going to have a tougher time online than a brand that internet users trust will.
Offline, you should work on these issues so that users leave good reviews instead of bad ones, and in general, you should seek to promote your brand by appearing at events, conferences, etc, and then creating quality content around it. It’s all about building your reputation offline so that people trust you more online (not to mention Google). Additionally, you should make sure your website is secure and technically sound.
BERT has been a major step in natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning, as Google tries to match search results as close as possible to user intent. Google has been moving away from focusing on keywords for several years now and the incorporation of BERT into its algorithm is a further shift away.
It means that you should be responding as much as possible to the intent behind searches and giving the user every bit of help that you can. Learn from your customers by finding out what their issues are and see how they talk about them. You can use all of this research to create solid content that matches the intent of searchers and to offer a smooth user experience on your website, both upon which Google will smile more kindly.
BERT and EAT are important factors in the evolution of search. Website owners who don’t respond to them could be missing out. Are you?