Published April 17, 2019
This is just one of the outcomes that the Google algorithm update resulted in according to D. Eadward Tree, writing for The Publishing Executive.
D. Eadward Tree writes:
“Such venerable publishing brands as The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and Harvard Business Review suffered declines in U.S. Google search traffic of more than 40% during the week after the company updated its core algorithm on March 12, according to Searchmetrics.”
Indeed, in what was their first official broad core algorithm update of 2019, the internet giant’s algorithm changes affected search results in Google indexes worldwide. This was on the back of their August 2018 E-A-T Update.
In terms of the Google algorithm update E-A-T stands for:
Before the August 2018 E-A-T Google algorithm update, Google used to determine the authoritativeness of online content based almost completely on a website’s reputation. However, the E-A-T update placed more emphasis on the author’s expertise. D. Eadward Tree gives the example of how health-related searches on Google are now more likely to produce content written by physicians and less likely to highlight articles by healthcare journalists since the core algorithm update. The March 2019 core algorithm update continued this trend.
Google works with over 10,000 search Quality Raters across the globe who assess its search results. The Raters are provided with actual searches to carry out on the search engine, inspired by real-life searches that take place on Google. They then give the quality of the pages that appear in the top results a rating.
Quality Raters don’t directly change Google search results. If a Rater scores a particular search listing as low quality, that webpage won’t decline in rankings. Rather, the data produced by the Quality Raters is used to enhance Google’s search algorithms, which are systems that automatically rank pages in search results. Eventually, that Quality Rater data may negatively influence the low-quality rated pages that are ‘marked down’ by Quality Raters but the algorithm will also affect webpages that weren’t evaluated by the Raters.
Well, Quality Raters base their judgements on a set of in-depth guidelines issued by Google. Around August last year, these guidelines placed more of an emphasis on E-A-T, which influenced the Quality Raters’ judgements, and in turn, eventually impacted Google’s algorithm, prioritising websites that practised Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness in search results.
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