Were you hit by the recent June 2019 Google core ranking update? I hope not. Some of the big news agencies suffered with this update like the Dailymail.co.uk who lost 50% of their traffic overnight . This is catastrophic for some businesses and there have been lots of complaints suggesting that Google should give a warning when a core update is to happen. Fortunately last week Google announced that they would pre-warn about future core updates. But what can you do to prevent your website becoming the latest victim? Google doesn’t give away much information that enables a quick fix if you have been hit but it is clear from the messages coming out from Google web HQ that there are a few things to watch out for.
John Mueller from Google has recently talked about a few things that might be important for trust (remember Google doesn’t give many specifics). Here’s what he said recently about why Google may not trust a website:
“the layout looks outdated or the authors are people that nobody knows or you have stock photo images of instead of author photos”
So Google is looking for some sort of author authenticity. And this ties in with the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines that was released and then updated in 2018 to consider other trust signals like authorship in addition to the website itself. These signals are part of the much lauded and mystical E-A-T factors.
Which trust factors are important for ranking in Google?
So what factors are important? Google has put together a document to help but here are a few things that you should be aware of and which Google considers important in website content:
- Does it have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Would you give your credit card details to this website?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well?
- Are there lots of similar pages on the web saying the same thing?
These relate to actual website content, but what else aside from content is deemed important as a trust signal in a website?
- Clear and legitimate contact details
- Website forms which have fully functional Captcha
- An About page with real photos of the team
- The website looks like it has been updated since 2015
- The website is secure under HTTPS protocol
- Website links which aren’t broken
- An easy to use navigation
- A way to get back to the home page easily
- Links to social media platforms
These are just some trust factors to consider. During out SEO audit we cover all of these and more to ensure that your website fully complies with what Google is expecting to see via trust signals. Get in touch if you want to know more.