How does Google's most recent update affect dental websites?

As any savvy business today knows, appearing in Google search results (SERPs) is essential to maintaining visibility to your potential customers on the web. Google likes to keep us on our toes in this regard by continually updating their algorithm and ranking factors that determine which websites and pages are displayed in their top results.

As a healthcare provider, you need to be aware of the most recent Google update. Google’s quality rater guidelines now place more emphasis on a factor known as E-A-T, which affects websites and pages in the industries of:

  • Healthcare
  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Government
  • News

Google calls these types pages “Your Money Or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. A YMYL page is any page that “could potentially impact the future happiness, health, or financial stability of users.” Due to the sensitive nature of these types of pages and the potential impact the content contained within could have on a person’s life, these pages have the highest requirements under Google’s recent quality guidelines update.

What is E-A-T and why is it important?

E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trust

E-A-T is now one of the top 3 considerations for ranking the quality of a page, so it is necessary to consider these factors when writing content for your website. You must show Google (and potential patients) you are an expert in your field, have the authority to speak on the topic presented, and can be trusted.

When Google evaluates a page about medical advice, for example, they will look to see if the content comes from “people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation.”

Let’s break this down a little further to ensure we understand all the ingredients needed to deliver consumable content and satisfy Google’s E-A-T requirements.

The ingredients in E-A-T

E-A-T: How to establish expertise, authoritativeness, and trust

Expert – Expertise is vital for medical, financial, or legal websites. Your credentials, expertise, and education MUST be clearly and prominently displayed on your pages as well as mentioned in your content. Do this, and you have met the requirement of demonstrating you are an expert in your field.

Authority – You need to show you are an authority on the topic being discussed. This can be accomplished by drafting factually accurate content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Credentials are important, but so are personal experiences like reviews from actual patients and case studies.

Trust – Show users they can trust the page they are on. If your users would feel comfortable reading, sharing, and recommending the content, then trust is established.

Additionally, Google will be looking for information on who owns the site and who is responsible for publishing the content. This information should be clearly displayed on your website in areas such as your footer, as well as your home, about, and contact pages.

Trust can be reinforced by placing a security layer on your domain and making sure your privacy policy is easily accessible and up to date.

E-A-T is considered on both the page-level and site-level. As a dental health provider, your pages are considered YMYL pages and therefore it is imperative that each and every part of your website meets the E-A-T guidelines.

Is your website content E-A-Table? Roadside specializes in building dental websites meeting E-A-T guidelines that will be served up by Google in search results and consumed by users. View our portfolio to see examples of content that establishes expertise, authoritativeness, and trust.