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Lily Ray — Winning with EAT and Algo Updates in the Age of Coronavirus


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These slides were presented at the SEMrush webinar "Winning with EAT and Algo Updates in the Age of Coronavirus". Video replay and transcript are available at

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Lily Ray — Winning with EAT and Algo Updates in the Age of Coronavirus

  1. 1. Winning with E-A-T and Algorithm Updates in the Age of Coronavirus August 4, 2020
  2. 2. @lilyraynyc
  3. 3. What you will see today: • Google algorithm updates in 2020 • What role does E-A-T play • The June 22 update • Ripple effects in SEO • 2020 keyword research and content creation strategies • Algorithm updates • COVID content pivots • Google My Business recommendations Agenda @lilyraynyc
  4. 4. Google Updates in 2020: What has happened on Google in 2020? A brief synopsis: • January 13: core update • January 22: Featured Snippet update • Feb 7: unconfirmed Google update • All of March: coronavirus • May 4-17: core update • June 22: "wear a mask" update* (*my unofficial name for it) • July 5: another unconfirmed update SEO visibility changes in Aprilduring coronavirus @lilyraynyc
  5. 5. Timeline of Google’s Responses to COVID- 19 Date Article 3/4/2020 Google I/O Cancelled Over Coronavirus Concerns 3/9/2020 Google Asking Businesses To Update Business Hours & Details For COVID-19 3/10/2020 Google Search Relations Team Grounded During Coronavirus 3/13/2020 Googlers Taking Work Stations Home During Coronavirus 3/13/2020 Google My Business Asking Is The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Affecting Your Business? 3/16/2020 Should Google Halt Search Algorithm Updates During COVID-19 Outbreak 3/17/2020 60% Of SEOs Would Like To Pause Google Algorithm Updates During COVID-19 Outbreak 3/23/2020 Google Stops Accepting Local Reviews & Q&A During Coronavirus Outbreak 3/25/2020 Google Advice On E-Commerce Sites Closing Due To COVID-19 3/25/2020 Google My Business Not Functioning Properly During Coronavirus Outbreak 3/26/2020 Most SEOs Claiming Organic Search Traffic Declines Due To COVID-19 3/26/2020 Google Ads Offers Advertising Advice During COVID-19 4/1/2020 Google Ads New Policy Prevents Profiting Off Sensitive Events, Like COVID-19 4/1/2020 Google COVID-19 Announcements Beta Structured Data 4/2/2020 Google Posts With COVID-19 Updates 4/2/2020 April 2020 Google Webmaster Report: COVID-19, Algorithm Updates, Mobile First Indexing & More 4/3/2020 Google Search Console COVID-19 Announcement Feature 4/3/2020 Google Doodle - Stay Home. Save Lives. Leads To Coronavirus Tips Results 4/3/2020 Google Says They Are Not Filtering Out Sites For Coronavirus Searches 4/6/2020 Google Logo Says Thank You Coronavirus Helpers 4/7/2020 Google Summarizes Its Search Changes For COVID-19 In Tweets 4/7/2020 Google Search COVID Announcements Feature To Be Live Soon 4/14/2020 Google Throttling Crawling Of Sites During The Coronavirus Outbreak? 4/17/2020 Google Now Supports Government Benefits Schema For COVID-19 Announcements 4/21/2020 Google Local Services Ads Enables COVID-19 Highlights 4/22/2020 Google Testing Questions Box In Search Results In US For COVID-19 Queries 4/23/2020 Google Offers Free COVID-19 Posters For Your Business 5/1/2020 Google Question Hub - What Is Your Question Is Wider Than COVID-19 Searches 5/4/2020 Google Has Not Slowed Crawling Your Site Because Of COVID-19 5/5/2020 Nooglers First Day As A Google Employee During COVID-19 5/5/2020 AMP Not Required For COVID-19 Related News In Google Top Stories Carousel 5/7/2020 Google My Business Adds COVID-19 Responder Policy For Hotels 5/7/2020 May 2020 Google Webmaster Report: Core Update, Google Shopping, LinkedIn & COVID-19 5/7/2020 Google Adds COVID Testing Center Details To Local Panel 5/12/2020 Google Posts Prioritizing COVID-19 Posts Over Other Google Posts 5/18/2020 Google AdSense Unable To Review Some Sites Due To COVID-19 5/26/2020 Google Asks SEOs How COVID-19 Changed SEO Work 6/19/2020 Google Ads Begins Issuing COVID-19 Credits 6/22/2020 Google Internship During COVID-10 Pandemic 7/20/2020 Google Ads To Ban Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dangerous Ads 7/24/2020 Google Search Showing Flight & Hotel COVID-19 Impact@lilyraynyc
  6. 6. Google’s SERP for “Coronavirus” thre @lilyraynyc
  7. 7. That’s Not All... @lilyraynyc
  8. 8. There's still more where that came from... @lilyraynyc
  9. 9. The White House Encourages Schema The WhiteHouse and key Federal agencies are working alongside to help ensurethese critical resources surface across online search engine results. - @lilyraynyc
  10. 10. You may notice a trend… @lilyraynyc
  11. 11. E-A-T was already important… @lilyraynyc
  12. 12. …but it just got even more important. @lilyraynyc
  13. 13. Wait, What is E-A-T Again? @lilyraynyc
  14. 14. "How Google Fights Disinformation"
  15. 15. Look Who’s Gaining SEO Visibility: @lilyraynyc
  16. 16. Official Health Sites June 22 Update: 120% 153% 72% 92% 144% 117% 92% 44% @lilyraynyc
  17. 17. Two of the Biggest Winners on June 22 The Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration were two of the biggest winners of the "wear a mask" update. @lilyraynyc
  18. 18. • CDC and FDA outrank the controversial Henry Ford article, which supports hydrochloroquinefor COVID @lilyraynyc
  19. 19. • FDA moves to position 1 and 3 for “hand sanitizer” after not ranking in top 20 • Amazon gets pushed down, Walmart drops off entirely @lilyraynyc
  20. 20. • FDA moves up 12 positions to #1 @lilyraynyc
  21. 21. These changes have a ripple effect. It’s not only health sites who are affected. @lilyraynyc
  22. 22. • The query doesn’t contain “coronavirus,” but Google ranks the FDA and CDC in positions 1 and 2 @lilyraynyc
  23. 23. • The query doesn’t contain “coronavirus,” but Google ranks the FDA and CDC in positions 1 and 2 @lilyraynyc
  24. 24. • The FDA moved into position 2 (after PAA) out of nowhere about drug interactions with grapefruit juice @lilyraynyc
  25. 25. • "Earn degree" and other education terms have largely shifted to an online format @lilyraynyc
  26. 26. These are only a few examples. Imagine the impact these changes have on a large scale, across trillions of keywords. @lilyraynyc
  27. 27. SEO is getting increasingly competitive, and E-A-T is more important than ever. You can’t fake E-A-T, but you can identify where your site is a true expert and authority, and focus your efforts there.
  28. 28. Ask yourself: on which topics is your brand an *actual* authority? @lilyraynyc
  29. 29. How Does Google Actually Determine Authority? BILLSLAWSKI A 2017 article by Bill Slawski expounds on a Google Patent that may be used to determine how authoritative a website is for a given keyword. @lilyraynyc
  30. 30. Use SEMRush “Referring Domains” and “Authority Score” A quick and dirty, oversimplified approach: Analyze your backlink profile – especially the “high authority” domains that link to you. • What pages or site sections do they point to? • What is the anchor text? • What themes emerge from this analysis? @lilyraynyc
  31. 31. Highly Oversimplified Approach: Publish “breaking” content related to these topics 1. 2. Export your inbound links’ anchor text Remove branded keywords 3. Create word cloud or phrase cloud 4. @lilyraynyc
  32. 32. When it comes to your keyword research and content strategies, 2020 is a different animal than 2019. ...Have you updated your process accordingly? @lilyraynyc
  33. 33. Example Exercise: Let's create content for a childhood education blog. @lilyraynyc
  34. 34. Google Trends is Your Friend Start with a generic term on which your website is an authority Drill down to related topics and queries: @lilyraynyc
  35. 35. Export Google Trends – Focus on Rising Trends TOP RISING homeschool 100 coronavirus homeschooling Breakout online homeschooling 42 homeschooling during coronavirus Breakout homeschooling curriculum 39 homeschooling memes coronavirus Breakout free homeschooling 35 woke homeschooling Breakout homeschooling programs 33 harvard magazine homeschooling Breakout homeschooling kids 29 the risks of homeschooling Breakout homeschooling texas 23 freedom homeschooling virtual field trips Breakout home school 19 homeschooling schedule ideas Breakout coronavirus homeschooling 18 black lady praying about homeschooling Breakout what is homeschooling 18 homeschooling for dummies Breakout homeschooling high school 18 how do you start homeschooling your child Breakout homeschool curriculum 17 woman praying about homeschooling Breakout homeschooling in texas 15 harvard anti homeschooling summit 4550% how to homeschool 15 homeschooling memes 1850% homeschooling kindergarten 14 homeschooling meme 1450% home schooling 14 harvard homeschooling 600% how to start homeschooling 14 homeschooling in nebraska 400% homeschooling florida 13 homeschooling tips 350% homeschooling requirements 13 homeschooling schedule 300% homeschooling near me 13 resources for homeschooling 250% homeschooling memes 13 homeschooling 4 year old 250% homeschooling resources 11 homeschooling resources 250% christian homeschooling 11 how to start homeschooling in texas 200% homeschooling cost 11 free homeschooling resources 200% homeschooling schedule 10 homeschooling options 180%@lilyraynyc
  36. 36. SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool Pro tip: Focus as much on “trend” as you do on search volume. @lilyraynyc
  37. 37. Indicate the Content is Relevant Now Sure, there are already articles that rank for this topic. But there is no indication that they were written or updated to reflect our unique circumstances in 2020. @lilyraynyc
  38. 38. SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool Look for common patterns and themes – this could serve as a source of inspiration for a “content hub.” @lilyraynyc
  39. 39. Assess the Competition These results are ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Even the Featured Snippet doesn’t say “California.” Neither does the 1st organic result. This is an easy opportunity! @lilyraynyc
  40. 40. BuzzSumo You can use tools like Buzzsumo to evaluate what content is trending on social media within the past day, week, or month, and to ideate accordingly. Recent social media engagement metrics may be more illuminating than monthly search volume. @lilyraynyc
  41. 41. Sometimes even Google gets confused about E-A-T (as made evident by recent core updates). @lilyraynyc
  42. 42. Fluctuations from Google's Recent Core Updates Sometimes it feels like even Google doesn't know what it's doing with core updates. @lilyraynyc
  43. 43. Epoch Times @lilyraynyc
  44. 44. @lilyraynyc If you came here for E-A-T tips, just Google: "Lily Ray" E-A-T
  45. 45. @lilyraynyc
  46. 46. With core updates, there’s never one smoking gun, there’s typically a battery of them May 2020 Core Update - Glenn Gabe @lilyraynyc
  47. 47. Content relevance Content quality Technical issuesE-A-T Backlink profile Recovering from Google's core updates requires addressing all of these. @lilyraynyc
  48. 48. Something Else To Consider… @lilyraynyc
  49. 49. Pop Quiz! @lilyraynyc
  50. 50. What do all these keywords have in common? Ketogenic diet school closings hemorrhoids endometriosis Strep throat chiropractor dermatologist tramadol lucid dreaming sports Shiba Inu Roman numerals dinosaur Xanax veterinarian pansexual Dolly Parton anxiety bed bug bites Michelle Obama San Diego groceries Microsoft Word Pearl Harbor @lilyraynyc
  51. 51. What do all these keywords have in common? Ketogenic diet school closings hemorrhoids endometriosis Strep throat chiropractor dermatologist tramadol lucid dreaming sports Shiba Inu Roman numerals dinosaur Xanax veterinarian pansexual Dolly Parton anxiety bed bug bites Michelle Obama San Diego groceries Microsoft Word Pearl Harbor If you guessed that they all have a monthly search volume of over 250,000, and that Google’s “PeopleAlso Ask” box ranks #1 for all of them on mobile, you’d be correct! @lilyraynyc
  52. 52. Desktop vs. Mobile: PAAs in Position 1 On mobile, the Featured Snippet disappears, the Symptom Card moves to the top, and the PAA takes the #1 spot. @lilyraynyc
  53. 53. They’re not the most sophisticated search results… @lilyraynyc
  54. 54. If you can’t beat , join them. @lilyraynyc
  55. 55. @lilyraynyc
  56. 56. Examples of Amazing Content Pivots @lilyraynyc
  57. 57. The Points Guy Writing about travel doesn't have to come to a halt in 2020. This publication talks all about travel deals, but in 2020, has shifted to focus almost entirely on travel updates related to coronavirus. @lilyraynyc
  58. 58. Fundera Coronavirus Hub Fundera built a "coronavirus" hub into its main navigation and curated a list of brand new and older, relevant articles. @lilyraynyc
  59. 59. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service The U.S. experienced unprecedented updates to its tax filing laws in 2020. Jackson Hewitt adapted by quickly providing insights and advice about tax updates, further solidifying its expertise in this category. @lilyraynyc
  60. 60. Hiscox This small business insurance provider identifies breakout trends in the industry to address on its blog. • The blog doesn't directly address coronavirus, but it looks at peripheral trends resulting from the pandemic that affect its customers. @lilyraynyc
  61. 61. Zoom ...And sometimes, you just get lucky. @lilyraynyc
  62. 62. Google My Business GMB has been working hard to provide new features during COVID-19. Are you using all of them? @lilyraynyc
  63. 63. GMB Posts at Scale: Postamatic Have a ton of GMB locations? Use the new free tool 'Postamatic' @lilyraynyc (by Two Octobers and AgencyAutomators)
  64. 64. @lilyraynyc • SERP Features and rankings are likely experiencing wild fluctuations in your niche • Use tools to measure and report on how the SERPs are changing for your targeted keywords • Pivot your content strategy to address users' constantly changing needs in 2020 • Don't just focus on monthly search volume, analyze trends and breakout topics Monitor Search Trends Stay On Your Toes • Use all tools available at your disposal to inform your customers about updates related to COVID-19 Leverage Google's New COVID Features To Summarize:
  65. 65. Thank You @lilyraynyc