NovaXyon Affiliate Marketing Meet the search engine marketing Who Examined and Solved Google (Kyle Roof EEAT Interview)

Meet the search engine marketing Who Examined and Solved Google (Kyle Roof EEAT Interview)



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Want some help understanding what content and site features Google seems to reward in today’s SEO landscape?

Friend of the show, Kyle Roof is back on the Niche Pursuits podcast to help us all make sense of it all.

The last time he was on, he talked all about EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) but now there is also the added E for Experience factor to account for.

Watch The Interview

And the obvious elephant in the room where recent Google updates have wiped out traffic to tons of sites overnight.

So Kyle brings some much needed insights into what Google prioritizes and timely recommendations for how we can adapt accordingly.

Kyle stresses the importance of showcasing genuine human experience and expertise on our websites, advocating for:

  • First-person language
  • Author bios
  • And validating experience through linking

He also discusses how the use of user-generated content (UGC) through site blog comments can potentially be a helpful tool to demonstrate experience and trustworthiness – with a focus on curated blog comments and discussions to validate expertise.

The rise of UGC platforms like Quora and Reddit are also referenced as helping you build a digital footprint of experience as well as enhancing your overall credibility and trustworthiness in your niche.

And there is significant time spent on highlighting the “E” for experience in the HCU update has influenced website rankings, favoring tangible businesses and eCommerce sites that complete transactions on-site rather than acting as the standard ‘doorway pages’ of the standard affiliate and content sites.

And with Google favoring these websites that facilitate on-site transactions, building Trust becomes a significant challenge for these affiliate sites.

Another important topic discussed is building authority – not necessarily in the standard way of links – although that certainly doesn’t hurt – but rather in growing the number of keywords your site ranks for.

Along with this is the importance of updating content and monitoring SERP changes, with tools like Page Optimizer Pro (POP) for their watchdog feature playing particular importance.

This is another excellent interview with Kyle Roof. Don’t miss it!

Topics Kyle Roof Covers

  • Difference between Experience and Expertise
  • How to think about Trust with EEAT
  • Which EEAT factor is most influential
  • How to check the boxes
  • Key things to add to your site
  • How to measure authority
  • Updating content
  • Driving conversions
  • And more!

Links & Resources

Transcription

Jared: Welcome back to the niche pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Bauman. And today we are joined by Kyle Roof. Kyle, welcome back on. 

Kyle: So happy to, you know what, this might be my favorite podcast. Well, you know, 

Jared: is this our third one? Is our third one? Yeah. We choked last time about how many you’ve been on and we were at like three or four.

And I didn’t go back and check. I always say, I’m going to go back and check. We joked about how we need to get you like a nice jacket last time. I mean, now we’re up to like naming, naming a building after you or something. 

Kyle: I like that. Or like an official, like chair, like the podcast, YouTube show chair. 

Jared: Oh, again, I haven’t checked, but you gotta be the longest running guest now, officially.

It’s the unofficial officially. 

Kyle: I’m proud of both of us. I’m proud of both of us. 

Jared: You know, we found more to talk about. Uh, it has been over a year, uh, just over a year and the podcast episode you did about a year ago, um, as per usual was one of our most popular ones of the year we were talking.

Serendipitously about EAT and simultaneously as we released that podcast, Google announced the fourth letter to the acronym. It was almost a week or two later, but the podcast was so excellent that it still stood up on its own. But, um, that was a year ago. We’ve got more to talk about. A lot, a lot’s happened in the world of SEO in 2023.

And as we entered into 2024. Yeah, let’s do it. So, um, again, I always have to ask this, but just give us like a 60 second overview on yourself. I will link in the show notes to previous episodes and for anybody who’s been living under a rock and isn’t familiar with you and what you do, just catch us up really quickly.

And then we’ll dive into some of the, uh, the 

Kyle: topics today. Sure. I’m the co founder of a multinational SEO. Um, I think when we spoke, we had offices in, in, uh, Phoenix, Berlin, and Melbourne. And now there’s an office in Jamaica. Oh, we are slowly but surely, uh, expanding our global, uh, domination over taking things over globally.

Um, I am the co creator, uh, inventor of page optimizer pro, which is an on page SEO tool. And I am the co founder of IMG courses. It’s a place where, uh, we help you learn SEO. My courses are there. And that we also test Google’s algorithm and the tests that I run on the algorithm I posted as well. 

Jared: So last time you were on, we talked all about EAT, which was expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

I think let’s dive into today’s episode by expanding on what you offered with the new E, the experience factor. And, um, I don’t want to cut too quickly to the chase, but you really outlined A very, um, I’ll just say almost like a playbook for, uh, uh, the things that you need to do, uh, at a bare minimum to kind of check boxes as it relates to EAT.

I’m, I’m over summarizing and probably putting words in your mouth to some degree, but in many ways, I’d love if we could pick up where that was, give us again, just a really high level over why the experience component you think got added and how it plays in with EAT. And then we can get into the details of the, of experience.

Kyle: Well, like a very quick, I think, recap would be what we talked on talking about on the expertise was really, um, is this a real person, you know, is there a real person here that has expertise, um, the, and then we talked about the signals that you can give because keep in mind. And this is a very, I think, important point.

Google doesn’t look at your website. You know, Google doesn’t get to your site and be like, I am a better person for having read this information like that. That’s not what happens in the process. And so all of these signals are things that a bot needs to be able to find because they can’t look at the website and be like, Oh, this looks legit because that’s just not how it’s it’s done.

And so these signals are these things that you want to project have to be in a way that a that a bot To be able to, to understand them. And so, uh, as much as you can do to show that a human has written this information is the idea on, um, on the expertise, uh, it’s not that you have a particular expertise, you know, there isn’t a value judgment where what’s better, a degree from Stanford or a degree from MIT, you know, who knows if Google doesn’t know, or what’s, what’s better, you know, having more experience that we talked about, you know, having 20 years of experience.

What’s better than, is that better than somebody who’s got a degree of four years and just got out. That’s not, it’s, it’s not really a value judgment that Google is doing, but it’s, it’s establishing, I think, that a real person has written this content. Um, when you get to authority, or authoritativeness, um, that’s where you’re looking at, I think, are you the go to website?

Are you the go to place for information? And that’s really getting into ideas of topical coverage. Have you covered the topic fully so that if somebody has, A particular question, can they get more than that information there? You know, can they get the question answered fully? Because it’s usually not one webpage that will solve, you know, your problems or provide a complete answer on something, but that as they go through the site, that the answer is there.

And then the last one, trustworthiness, is really responsibility. Who is responsible for this website, and who is responsible for this content? You know, if somebody has an issue, if somebody has a question, if somebody has a problem, uh, who can they talk to, who can they get, uh, redress from? And, and so those were kind of, I think, some of the big things we talked about, and then signals that you can help give a bot, uh, to help them find that those things are there, you know, that you are a real person, that, uh, you do take ownership and responsibility, you know, that you’re present, you know, that, that, those types of things.

So that’s kind of what we got into the last time. And then it was pretty hilarious. I think it was two weeks after that they released the new, um, quality rater guidelines and added an extra. 

Jared: My heart sunk a bit, but it was pretty funny. It was pretty funny. You got to admit 

Kyle: instantly, almost going, uh, Uh, out of fashion with with you.

But you know, with all of that, it’s kind of like all of that stayed basically the same. There were two big changes with with that update. The one was adding the extra E for experience. And what’s interesting is when you read the guidelines, it’s really gray is the difference between experience and expertise.

Right. And in typical Google fashion, that grayness is kind of like a charcoal gray. Um, you know, like, what, what, what does this mean? Exactly. I think you can probably think of, um, expertise as a degree and experience as time. would be kind of, I think, the two differentiators between the two things. But then how do you express time?

And I really think what we talked about with the expertise part covers the experience part as well. Is this a real person? Have they done this? You know, have they been there and all that? And I think really that’s kind of the main focus. There’s been some speculation as to what else you might do. And I don’t have anything hard or, or, You know, like, yeah, this is this is it.

But a lot of people have been using terms where They, um, discuss things in personal experience. I did this, um, I tried this thing out, I used it this long, I have been doing these things. So, like, talking from a perspective of, of experience, that, um, they have been involved in this thing, they have tried it out, if you’re talking about a product, when I used this product.

And so using that type of experiential language is something that people have turned to. Again, I don’t know, I haven’t seen amazing results doing that or somebody conclusively saying that’s the thing, but that is. Some of the people are leaning towards. Um, and when you think about Google looking at a page kind of like as a bag of words, you know, they’re all kind of in there and you’ve got contextual terms that help Google understand what it’s about.

You could see those personalized terms could be something that they could be looking for as as a, again, a bot will be looking at this, not a user. Not a human. The other huge change though. Oh, I’m sorry. I think I got you. 

Jared: No, no. I was going to ask you about the other change. Uh, is it related to that? So go ahead.

Kyle: I think you changed what they basically kind of said, who cares about the E or the a it’s all about the T it’s all about the trust part. And they actually have a new diagram where they’ve got three circles that have the E the E and the a, and then there’s a bigger circle overlapping with the team for trust, basically saying, if you don’t meet the threshold for trust, the other things don’t matter.

Uh, adult and that really the trust part is the part that is the main focus now going forward. And that’s really what you need to clue in on, uh, to kind of pass these E type checks. And the trust is, is really what they’re, what they’re in on. 

Jared: You were saying on the podcast last time that you thought that authority was probably the, I don’t, again, I don’t want to mince your words, but that the expertise and the trust were the two more tangible ones and perhaps more important that authority was a little more about how well your, your site is performing.

You talked about, Hey, Ranking for keywords, um, covering the topic. How will you know if you have authority? Well, because you rank for more keywords, it’s important to rank, to get authority and those things come on the back of doing all the other things. Well, now you’re saying it’s, it’s gotten switched a little bit to maybe trust being more important.

If you had to kind of score these or at least give people like a way to evaluate what to put a priority on, is it trust experience? And then the other two, or does it, does it kind of, it’s kind of change a bit now with the new experience? I’ve probably 

Kyle: go like trust. And then the authority, you know, bigger sites do better, bigger sites seem to get more grace.

Uh, and bigger sites are ranking for more, for more keyword. And so authority is, I think maybe above establishing. The things that say that this is a human, um, they have these qualifications. They’ve done these things, so that’s a little bit harder, I think, to get into because also you can fake humans rather easily.

You can’t fake your rankings, you know, they’re there or not. Um, and so I can see how that would be extremely important. And then the idea of trust, um, trust becomes, it is very tangible because it’s like, who is responsible for this website? So there you’re getting into, um, you know, Is there a company behind this?

Are there people behind this? And that’s easily identified, like in your organization schema, for example. Or, um, uh, is this a website that actually has just good website features? You know, is it 404s everywhere? Uh, broken links? Uh, it doesn’t load incredibly slow, like basically nobody’s taking care of this.

You know, they’re not really taking responsibility for the website and doing the things that a website should do. Um, are there a lot of de indexed pages? Are there, you know, do they have a lot of errors in Search Console, for example? You can see how that would factor into, okay, this is, this is not a website that anybody is taking responsibility for and there’s really no point to have it in indexed in the first place.

You know, as, as kind of a, you know. Defining go like they start giving those rankings. Okay, this is getting authority. Should it be here in the 1st place? It seems like that’s kind of the, the, the step that things go. There’s probably a threshold for traffic of some measure. And then once they say, okay, you’re hitting this thing now, we need to really evaluate.

Should you be here? And so, at that point, that would, I think, trigger a lot of these types of checks and then. Things are going to look at, or is there somebody responsible for the site? You can identify that easily. And, um, is this a site that’s worth anything? You know, should this be here in the service because people will have a good experience with them.

Jared: So let’s, let’s dive into experience as it is the new one that we haven’t really covered in depth in the podcast. And again, if you missed last year’s interview, um, Kyle, like went through this stuff with a razor sharp knife and just went through each of these very, very practically. So a lot of practical tips and we kind of ping pong back and forth.

Do you need a Google business profile? Do you need an address? Do you like, so all those questions were asked and that’s why I’m not asking them right now. Um, so go back and listen to that one. If you’re wondering why I’m not asking some of those, um, but with experience, I didn’t have a chance to ask that.

So let’s talk about experience. I mean, you touched on a few of them already that are on my list to ask you about first person language. Um, uh, uh, Referencing in an author bio, your experience on the page, um, um, uh, actually highlighting and showcasing by linking out to places that you’ve been mentioned, awards you’ve been given, uh, areas that you’ve been quoted.

Uh, what are things that. Are a little bit less, uh, a little bit less, um, you know, fantasy, a little bit more practical in terms of what we can do to show experience. 

Kyle: So I do think, and there is a blurring between these as to what would help this or that, but one thing that I’ve always kind of clued in on is UGC.

Um, Google talks about how much they like that, so user generated content. That often comes in the form of comments or forum posts, kind of a thing. And if somebody has experience, you know, if they have expertise, if they have all those things, you will ask them questions. You know, people come to my website and they ask questions.

Um, I think that establishes that, you know, at least someone trustworthy or people want to know, they want to know more information so you can see the value of UGC as something that would establish, okay, this person has the experience that they’re talking about, because now people are asking them questions.

Um, and when you see like the helpful content update that’s happened, and we might talk about this a little bit more, the sites that are winning, um, that are, that really moved in are Reddit and Quora. And that those are all UGC. Somebody asks a question and then somebody gives an answer. And then a discussion happens, uh, kind of independent even of, of the original, uh, post or the original, uh, thing that was there by a lot of different people.

And what you can see when that happens is that you get a lot of different opinions as well. We get a lot of information allows you to evaluate information quickly It also helps you evaluate if the original post or the person that made the claim or whatever they’re talking about Really if if the the people that are there have accepted that if they say that yeah, that’s a good thing or not It’s a way, you know when we talk about the google doesn’t do value judgment You know humans do and they do it through comments and they do it through threads and you can see where um, that would allow the person who is Absorbing the information and to look at the thread and And see what other questions people have, if they’re answered appropriately, uh, if the discussion seems to be positive about what this person has presented, it’s a way to kind of validate, um, the experience of, of the person or, or their expertise, even as it’s a little bit gray, but done through UGC.

And so I can see all those things you mentioned that I would still totally do. I don’t know how far Google is going to go off of a web page to verify anything, if at all. I think they would have, they would see the existence of those links or of those things and that would be enough to kind of tick that box.

But then I think a way to really demonstrate that you have this experience that people are interested in. Would be through you can see that they’re now asking you questions about what you talked about 

Jared: and this is on your page, right? So comments open on your page You wrote an article about something that you have experience in and you’re using all the right language to show Google you have the experience And it you’re even pointing to a link or two that says you have experience in it But perhaps opening comments up engaging in comments and showcasing a back and forth highlights that people are actually interested in your experience on it 

Kyle: Right it validates what you’ve done You It also then gives anybody who goes and reads that information later also a thread to review to see, do other people think this is valid?

You know, do other, are other people in line with this? And so even if it’s the wrong information, because Google can’t really determine if information is right or wrong. It only, only what satisfies what its algorithm is looking for. But you can actually then kind of fact check, proof check, you know, any kind of kind of check can be done through comments after that.

And I can see that’s why, um, a Quora or a Reddit, I think, have gotten reference after this most recent, uh, update. Well, that’s several updates. Um, I would mention, don’t just turn them on, you’re going to get spammed to hell. So, like, don’t just turn them on, like, moderate them, but if a question comes in, that’s something that you can approve and then you can answer also in a term rich way.

So you’re getting your term counts up on the page. Uh, you could tweak things so that every time you respond to the page gets a new freshness data, do modify to show that this is fresh content that people are engaging with, um, that, uh, this is something that is relevant. So you could be talking about something, a product from last year.

I think Google will have to decide is this being updated or is this something that should show and having those comments is one way to do it. This, this conversation is still happening. 

Jared: It reminds me a bit of what we’re encouraged to do in, uh, with our, with our Google business profile. We’re encouraged to get reviews.

It’s better when people are reviewing and then what do they want us to do? They actually want us as owners to reply to the review, to show engagement with the person and show their interaction with the person. Even if it’s like, Hey, thanks a lot. Appreciate it. That’s about all you can usually say with a review, but they still want that engagement to happen.

Kyle: Yeah, and you can do that on your site, and I think sites that, um, can engage in that, and obviously that’s time consuming, and it’s not easy, it’s resource intensive, those are the sites they’re looking for that can do those types of things. Because again, it kind of then satisfies what they’re looking for on, um, should this site be here.

Is this a site that people can go to and they get their information? Can they ask questions? Uh, is somebody responsible for this? Are they responsive? And you can really see a lot of that through something like a UGC feature. 

Jared: Um, do we flip the script and start engaging? On you on you gc platforms like reddit and quora in an effort to help build a better footprint of experience for ourselves and yes if you’re wondering i’ll tease it we’re going to get into the hcu we are i promise so we’re trying to kind of stay on the topic without totally going into hcu but we will get there.

All in the HCU, if you’re wondering. So, but, um, but yeah, obviously that is an HCU related question, but just from the idea of experience, do we want to engage in say, starting some subreddits or participating in reddits and, um, you know, et cetera, et cetera. 

Kyle: I think for the existence of it, I don’t think it’s going to do much to help your site, but one other aspect of, of eat is links.

You know, that is that is something that is certainly a part of it. I don’t think we touched on that too much It’s something i’ve thought about more about since that talk that we had And I I can certainly see that that there would be an aspect to links that would um be valuable And the question is what type of links are those because it couldn’t just be all links It couldn’t be domain authority sites with domain authority get hit, uh by each step all the time But I can really see value in things like uh citations Uh, which confirm your business identity?

You Branded web 2. 0 is, which again, confirm what kind of business you are, but then you can see links from social media, you know, that would potentially bring traffic in. So links on places like Facebook and Twitter and Quora and Reddit, I think. Establishing those links coming in meaning that you are out in the in the universe, you know And you’re talking about these things and there are links then coming from these types of sites In and so well, I think just posting on there might not be something where glue is going to go from your site And then check it.

I think something that can be very beneficial for eat Uh would be that existence there and there’s a link and that’s coming back Too and so any kind of things you could do and even maybe get into a parasite sco which is a good way Maybe to alleviate some of the issues with hcu but also On links on third party sites that are trusted ones that are showing up within search results or they’re showing up in the And the knowledge graph, you know, it’s like review sites or other places for you to check information if you’re there and present and there are links coming in from those.

I can see high value in doing that. 

Jared: Speaking of citations, speaking of the knowledge graph, there’s been a lot of people talking about, we’ll call it entity building as a better way to create a digital footprint of experience in Google’s mind. Perhaps the scenario here would be getting, um, mentions, whether it’s on a business level or on a personal level on, uh, sites that Google has been known to trust, not in a classic backlink environment.

That’s more of an online mention, but more in terms of creating profiles, creating, uh, uh, we’ll just call it like citations mentions on these kind of. Trusted platforms. Maybe, um, a crunch base would come to mind for your business. Um, you know, uh, these sorts of platforms, uh, how important or how relevant do you think that is in gaining experience and perhaps that swings into the expertise conversation too.

I don’t mean to 

Kyle: toot my own horn, but when I launched my on page course in 2019, uh, there was a whole section on this and I think it was valuable then and I think it’s very valuable now. You know, you do need to get those mentions on the web. You do need to be in those third party sites and sometimes you get a backlink out of it, which I think is great.

And other times it does get into those mentions. It’s hard to quantify a brand mention or a personal mention and how many do you need or how many can you get or does Google really look at these? I’m not really sure. But you do see how when those things seem to happen, how you do seem to do better, you know, and it’s probably, it could also be a byproduct of other work that’s happening.

But, um, it does seem to go hand in hand with sites that are doing well, sites that can pass these types of checks, sites that have excelled, all have those things. And, you know, they have them because they are, you know, present outside of their site and they’re present on those platforms and they’re, and they’re posting and they’re being involved and answering questions.

And so there is. It could just be kind of a byproduct of that and that’s why you see all those mentions, but they’re there because they are out there and people are talking about them and they are also being involved in that conversation. It 

Jared: feels like not to overly summarize, but maybe to kind of move, move towards a conclusion here.

It feels like experience is a lot more nebulous. Then some of the other ones we talked about. I mean, I remember with trust, you were like, Hey, have a privacy policy policy page. Hey, um, you know, uh, with, uh, uh, expertise. Hey, make sure you have author bios and like it felt a lot more, uh, uh, more, uh, I guess tangible in terms of what we needed to create.

And with experience, it seems like there’s a lot of like, It’s a collection of a lot of factors. So let’s try to do as many of these factors for as long of a period of time as we can. And collectively we will kind of check this box. Is that accurate or is that a little bit too simplified? 

Kyle: No, no, you hit the nail on the head.

And, um, it is, it is a murky thing. As I said, when you read the guidelines, it’s, it’s, it’s charcoal gray. Like, like what, what are we talking about? It honestly says like. A person with experience has experience. It’s like, whoa. Are you serious? Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, that’s a, that’s a paraphrase, but it’s not, not too far off.

It’s like, good, great. Yes, it’s like that professor. I will now go 

Jared: get experience. Yes. Yeah, it’s like that professor We all had who would answer your question with another question and you’re like, this is not what I came here for 

Kyle: Okay, so because it because it’s like that you do we have to kind of make some some guesses some best guesses and and some Best practices whether you know is the best practice on all this is make yourself real You know make yourself as real as you can that’s the big thing think about the the brick and mortar building Of what you’re doing, you know, what do they have?

There’s probably something online that’s similar or something you can do online That’s kind of I think if you think in that mindset like what makes me look more real What makes me look more like an actual physical business online the more you can do of that the better You know, and I think if you put that framework on on your on your mindset I think you’ll get some good direction as to what you’re doing What can we do?

Jared: Well, let me segue into the HCU with this. We, you know, we’ve been talking about the experience and the extra E got added towards the end of 2022. I believe it was December, 2022, maybe first week of January, 2023. Right. So, um, and then, you know, about nine months later, we had the helpful content update and Google told us when they added the experience that they really wanted all of us to have experience.

And then ironically, nine months later. A significant number of websites lost traffic for UGC content, user generated content, where it was experience focused and also lost a lot of traffic to businesses, uh, tangible businesses were starting to rank higher than a lot of say content websites and affiliate sites.

And a lot of people surmised, well, because a plumber running a plumbing business might not have a very well optimized website. But that’s because they’re out plumbing and they’re ranking higher than you because they’re a plumber that plums and your plumbing website that’s very well optimized isn’t so maybe let’s wade ourselves into the HCU with with kind of that precursor like does so much of this come on the back of the experience, uh, acronym that got introduced nine months earlier.

Kyle: I think personally, it’s actually more on the trust side. Um, yeah, I think that’s actually where, where it comes in, because as you mentioned, the sites that, that seem to get through were brands, and then there are also e commerce, uh, sites where you can complete the transaction on the site, you know, that, that’s actually the biggest thing, the sites where you can get your information and complete what you need to do.

Right then and there versus most affiliate sites uh where in order to complete the transaction you have to click and go to another site and you can see then I can see how that falls under the trust aspect of things that if there’s a problem with the purchase The the user cannot go back to the place where they originally got sold, you know, they they read this content Okay, this is what I need.

This is what I like and then I go to another site To, to finish the transaction there. If there’s a problem with the transaction, they can’t go back to that original person that sold them. 

Jared: Yeah. It says amazon com on their invoice, not, you know, so and so’s website.com. Exactly. 

Kyle: Right. So the, the sites that made it through were brands where you, you finish or, or, or, or companies where you finish the transaction right there, you know, you call the plumber, you know that that’s it, you know, that’s, that’s the end of the transaction in terms of the online part.

And then, then you get your plumbing services done, right? Uh, or e-commerce stores where they then ship you the thing. And then from there, if there’s a problem, you need to do a return and do it through, through the site. And so I can see where this is still, as they mentioned with the addition of the extra E, they also said, by the way, trust is the most important part of all of this.

And I can see where then those are the sites that they trust the most. The sites that are taking responsibility for the thing that they’re selling. You know, and, and that’s where I think, um, uh, the affiliate sites that have been, Just pummeled by google for the last four or five years took one more giant pummeling is because Uh, they want the the transaction to finish in that spot in case their issues or things come up Um, this these aren’t my thoughts.

By the way. I was talking with casra dash Um, and he had an interesting idea He’s like, you know If you’ve got 10 links on a page and they all go to amazon, they all go to different products Isn’t that really a doorway page? You know a doorway page which is on the no no list in the guideline says you rank for specific keywords You And then you funnel somebody somewhere else to make the sale, to come finish the transaction.

And that’s exactly what affiliate sites are doing. So you can see that helpful content as one theory is really a doorway page update and that what you need to do. And the reason that brands and e commerce got through that is because those aren’t doorway pages. They can, they can do the transaction.

They’re not funneled somewhere else to finish the experience. Um, and so as that, then really when you think about what can we do from an EEP perspective and what can we do, uh, for an H, uh, uh, helpful content update perspective, um, is, is kind of one of the same. Again, you need to get back to that idea of make yourself real, you know, make yourself a brand, make it so that there is a conversion that can happen on your site.

And I think the more of that you can do, the more trust you’re going to build. And the more likely you are to not just survive, but thrive in this new environment that Google has created. 

Jared: That’s HCU as it relates to an affiliate site. How about the segment of our audience, and the segment of the world out there that would classify themselves as a content website, right?

Uh, I’ll, I’ll list off all the stereotypes, but like a site that’s producing mostly informational content, comparison content, content that makes its money on advertisements, on a large amount of traffic and monetizing through ads and maybe a couple of other measures, but would say I really don’t make much money on affiliate sales.

I don’t send much traffic out of my website and I still got creamed by the HCU, 

Kyle: but they all do. They all do send traffic out. You know, they might be informational, but they all have affiliate links. I’ve yet, maybe there are some that, that don’t have any, but I’ve, I have yet to see, like, even ones that the vast majority might be display ads of, of their, of their revenue.

I don’t doubt that, but I bet they have what would be, under this definition, uh, as doorway pages all over their site. And I bet in their, um, in their source code, um, they’ve got more than one link out. You know, within, like, as those things are put in, like, they’ve got a whole bunch of links going out of their, of their site continuum.

And so, you know, again, I don’t know that Google would say, like, oh, that’s clearly an ad. So, that’s not an issue here. It’s a link going out of your, out of your site. Correct. Yeah, 

Jared: it’s a good distinction. An ad is still clickable, obviously, right? Yeah, 

Kyle: and that’s going somewhere else. Who is Google, like, I don’t know that Google could be like, Okay, that’s clearly an ad link, so I’m gonna ignore that one.

But this one is probably an affiliate link. But no, so you might be like, I only have one affiliate link on this page, but you’ve got seven ads. Well, now you’ve got eight links going out. And actually, when you look at the source code, there are a lot more than that because you’ll see multiple, um, there’s 

Jared: more than if you just linked Amazon once, exactly.

And 

Kyle: then more than just that one on that ad too, there are often multiple links as, as the, as the code is generated. So that those eight actually look like 30 in some situations where it’s just those things stack up all the time. It’s just link after link at the link is what this looks like. And they’re all going out.

And essentially that’s where the transaction will be completed anyway. Somebody who’s advertising and okay, I read this thing and Google probably feels pretty good about the content that it’s giving you in terms of just matching up and like, okay, I’ll go there to complete my transaction. And essentially it’s impossible to distinguish that, that ad traffic or those ad links from just affiliate links.

Anyway, Guy, 

Jared: that is such a good point. That, um, is so obvious. It’s one of those things where you’re like, well, duh, but I hadn’t connected those dots until just now. 

Kyle: I can’t take full credit for that. As I said, I was talking with Castro and he’s like, aren’t these doorway pages? What do you think? And I was like, Oh my God, I think you’re right.

Yeah. I usually deal with like doorway pages on like the local side more than anything, like where people like, you know, you’ve got, you know, service and then city, you’ve got 10 of 10 of those and they’re essentially all the same page. Aren’t those doorway because essentially it’s duplicate content.

You’re just changing out. You’re, you’re just ranking for keywords. You get that. And when I was like, well, no, they’re not because you can complete the transaction on that page. You know, that, that plumber and all of those different cities that you’re going after neighborhoods or whatever that might be.

You can convert because then you call the plumber, you know, you get the service. And so they’re not doorway pages and they’re not violating the guidelines. And I didn’t really kind of put that thought together until I spoke with them about, Hey, you know, Essentially the transaction finishes off. You’re funneling them somewhere else.

And when you’re following them somewhere else, that is a doorway page. 

Jared: Why did UGC skyrocket so much in an HCU that is so dependent upon trust? What trust components do we get from a 10 year old post on Reddit from some guy who has no expertise and his experience that he or she is citing in their 10 year old post can’t be verified in any way, shape or form.

Kyle: I’ll give you one better. A buddy of mine runs one of the largest travel websites that’s independent. So like not part of Condé Nast and their conglomerate for example. And he had this post about the top 50 things to do in Seattle. It was written by somebody who was born and raised in Seattle and it had All the things to do in Seattle and it was an amazing post and ranked number one or number two for the longest time He’s now sitting I think like six or seven or eight or something like that And the one that took over is something like this and the number one thing to do in seattle apparently is not 

Jared: I know exactly who you’re talking about.

Yeah I saw that 

Kyle: and and the number two one is a less savory Thing to do than doing math.

So yeah, there have been, there have been some hiccups with the helpful content. 

Jared: The baby might’ve gotten thrown out with the bath water on that one. 

Kyle: And that happens with updates. There, there, there are two things with, with, with updates. One is, um, again, they’re not doing a value judgment. And I think that should, hopefully it’s obvious for people.

They’re not again, reading this and being like, Oh, I’m, I understand this now. I have a better feeling for what this is. That’s, that’s not, it’s whatever they tweak in their algorithm. And that’s, what’s driving this. Uh, to happen. Um, the other thing though is let’s say they do an update and, and there are 80 bad websites that they’d like to wipe out, you know, just as, as, as a, as a number, like we want to do this update because we hate these 80 sites and they do the updates and they knock out 100.

They got the 80, but then they also swept up 20. They were doing it right. They’re okay with that carnage. They’re very happy with that. You know, because the idea is, in their minds, we got rid of the 80. I’m sorry about those 20, but we got rid of the bigger problem. And that’s how you see these updates, because all the time, these updates are like, I don’t understand why I got hit.

I’m not doing any of these things. Because you can look at all the bad actor sites that got hit, and you can see like, okay, I understand. Why did these ones get, get hit as well? And it’s, it, that happens a lot. And just, I think from Google’s mindset, when they roll these updates out, when they’re trying to do something like that, get rid of some sites, they hate.

They will take out sites that are good and it’s just part of the, uh, the equation of the calculus of how they do this and they’re, and they’re willing to accept those losses to get rid of those sites they don’t like. 

Jared: When it comes to the elephant in the room question that everyone’s going to want me to ask.

So I’ll ask it the affiliate site that got hit by the HCU. The content site that we now realize five minutes ago looks just like an affiliate site to Google that got hit by the HCU. All right, so what do we do? You know, like, do we, I mean, I’ll throw a couple ideas out at you because I sit in this community on a daily weekly basis talking to people about this.

Um, do we sit and wait? And hope they change things in 2024 and beyond. Hopefully they understand they overreached. Hopefully they understand that maybe they can correct some of the, the sites that got negatively hit that maybe shouldn’t have. Um, number two, uh, do we turn ourselves into an e commerce brand and try to figure out how to take our articles and our content and our referrals and all that and turn it into a brand that sells things?

Number three, do we just say, Oh my goodness, I just need to get myself more links to become more insulated to remove, um, a helpful classifier, uh, uh, uh, uh, classifier, helpful content classifier that’s on us. Uh, and I could rifle through four or five more, right? That we’ve kind of heard and have gained momentum and stuff, but I think a lot of people are trying to get some advice on tangible things that they can do as they sit in this circumstance.

Thanks for. For sites that have been hit by the HCU, 

Kyle: one of the problems here is I’ve, I’ve not seen any recovery. I’ve seen a couple of people mention recoveries and I’ve yet to see anything with my own eyes, especially as to what they may or may not have done to, to get that recovery. Which is really very frustrating.

It’s, it’s, uh, it’s upsetting. Uh, especially again, I think we’re, we’re talking about the same friend, the same site, um, that site has done everything right. You know, like there’s so much good on that site and that is the content that is helpful and that is excellent and well written and sourced and, and they’ve done the right things.

And then when they’ve, I know they’ve identified some things that could do better, like, especially with like maybe how many ads they had on the page and stuff like that. They’ve done all of that and they’ve gone through and, and, and, and freshened up content and they’ve gone through and taken this, that, and the other out.

And they haven’t seen any recovery. I think because they are such a quality site. It doesn’t give me a lot of hope for a fast return, uh, where they were doing everything as they were supposed to be before. They probably improved it and that hasn’t, um, resulted in any recovery and I haven’t seen any widespread recovery.

Uh from sites that have been hit. So what I would do is I would be thinking about Um, how I can make money And and sitting around and hoping it is always a play, but I don’t know that’s going to do much I don’t think that’s going to bring any money So I would opt for option two And I would look at how to get e commerce going or get something going that I can sell So that I can make money i’d be doing it from a practical standpoint If I don’t know when this will revert if it will revert You If there’s anything that can be done, especially in the short term, so I’d be looking at how I can still use my site to make money.

And that would be probably building out some sort of brand and building out some sort of e commerce portion, portion to the site. And that’s what I would focus on. 

Jared: Let me give you a scenario. Real life one. I got an email about this a month or so ago. Um, gentleman emailed me retired early. And, uh, turned into the neighborhood handyman.

He always likes fixing things, repairing things. He likes building things, ended up starting a web, got into SEO, uh, got into content, got into writing, started a website, got about 400 articles, was getting good traffic, um, on various handyman topics, um, does it every day? Has original pictures in there.

They’re not, uh, works of art, but they’re pictures that clearly show he does it. They’re legitimate pictures, like pictures. Legitimate pictures. Yeah, they’re real pictures. They’re from his phone as he’s like underneath the house. You know, um, he he’s by all intents and purposes, a handyman without a certification, without a business, without these, these things in his site was tremendously hit by the HCU.

Going back to what you just talked about, option two, creating a brand. Maybe play that example or that scenario out. What would you tell that person in that scenario? Because I think there’s a lot of people listening who could then put their scenario, their situation into that example. 

Kyle: Yeah, for that, create the company, you know, actually get a handyman business thing going, um, as much as he can, you know, as much as he can possibly do.

But then I would be getting those citations within the handyman listings. You know, I would be, I’d have schema on there that I am a handyman business. So I don’t know if handyman is a specific schema, but there might be something pretty close that they could do to identify what type of entity this is, what type of company this is.

And, um, that’s what I would do. I’d create a brand out of it. I’d create a company out of it as much as. Get a Google 

Jared: business profile, get all those people. You did you help all the neighbors that you helped with to help them to go review your handyman business. 

Kyle: Absolutely. What I would do, um, for sure.

Like make yourself real. Make yourself a brand, make yourself a company. And that’s exactly what I do in that situation. 

Jared: You talked about links as a part of the HC or as a part of the EAT. Sorry. I’m I’m leading with that question already. Terrible. You’re not supposed to do as a podcast host. 

Kyle: Talked about how links.

Let me tell you the answer. I want real quick. I hate 

Jared: when I get to the question. I try not to do that. Uh, but I did it there. So, um, anyways, cat’s out of the bag. You talked about links and how we didn’t talk about them last time. Is it related to E A T? You did talk about how links are a part of E E A T and let’s talk about links as it relates to the HCU.

Then, I mean, Spencer and I have talked on this podcast a lot about how it does seem that Higher DR sites, right? Sites with a lot more links seem to be on a different playing field or at least evaluated differently when it comes to the HCU by and large compared to sites with less links. So what’s the role of links in all this with the HCU from what you can see?

Kyle: Yeah, that’s one of those things where you can’t do one thing and neglect the other in SEO. You can’t be like, I’m just going to build links and not worry about my content or what’s on, I’m going to do only content. I’m not going to get. Anyways, there has to be that balance, uh, between those two things. I still think you don’t need a ton of links, because Again, I don’t really like to look at authority with DR.

I like to look at authority with number of terms they’re ranking for. You know, and I think that is a better metric. But you can’t really see that from the outside. You can’t really see that through third party tools very well. But, um, what I think I’d be more interested in than getting high DR with links is I’d be getting, I’d make sure that my site is growing.

Sites that are growing, that are obtaining more and more keywords are healthy sites. That’s an indicator that you’re doing things very well. And Google likes you, where you, where I would start to be concerned is when that plateaus and starts to dip, you start losing keywords, you know, that’s where I think then you’re losing authority, authority is going down.

So I wouldn’t necessarily clue in on DR, but that is a byproduct of the whole thing, right? I would make sure that I’ve got a plan in place that I’m gaining keywords. I can see that through my own search console and I’m tracking that. My pages are getting keywords, the site is getting keywords, and you can see that upper, upper trend.

What that also means is you’re going to be producing regular content. You can’t just kind of set and forget. Um on the content and I think that also means you need to be very intentional with the content that you post You can’t really just post something for the sake of posting it There needs to be a reason behind what are we trying to rank for with this term?

What’s this page going to support or how does it factor into at the day us getting more keywords? Which would then increase your authority? So I think the dr is a byproduct of that I think a true measure of authority is the amount of keywords ranking for And if I were focusing, that’s what I would focus on rather than necessarily getting wins just to move up my team.

Jared: Yep. Yep. So chicken or the kind of chicken, chicken or the egg scenario there. But if you’re, yeah, I see where you’re going with it. Yeah. I see where you’re going with that. Um, this might seem like a little bit of an outlier, but as we bring this to a close, I wanted to make sure I got this question in because I do see it a lot.

And, um, like. In the new HCU world that we live in, um, how important is frequently updating content? Because I think that people are satiated to the fact that they need to be updating their content. They understand that there’s a balance for the vast majority of websites between publishing new content and updating content.

But I think there’s a big gray area back to charcoal gray, big gray area. And how frequently do I need to be updating this? Like, um, uh, I guess I’ll just leave it at that. 

Kyle: So. If I spent a lot of time on a page to, to try to get it to run, you know, I, I really dove in and I did all my on page with my tools that I use for on page and I, I did, um, content together and I built out silos for this or I’ve done my topic clusters, whatever, whatever you like to do.

Uh, and I’ve got that all dialed in and then I did some outreach for it. Um, so I’ve got things going and it’s going well, right? So that, that type of thing, you have to monitor that at least quarterly. Because as a Google update happens, as new competitors come in, the goalpost will shift as to what you need to do.

So you have to have some form of monitoring of that. And I think that quarterly is a minimum. But when you do see those tweaks, um, or when you do see those changes, you will have to tweak something a little bit. And when you do tweak, that’ll give you a new modified date. That’ll make the content fresh.

You don’t have to tweak more than one word for it to, you know, to update. But I would imagine as you go through this process for your most important pages, I think at least quarterly, you want to do that. So then you are, um, staying in line with what Google is rewarding. And then you’re also, then as you do that, your page will be fresh.

So I would do whatever you can do. I can make some suggestions. They’re very self promoting on that, but, um, uh, you want something like that in place. And that’s how I would approach kind of that idea of how should we do this? Or how should we keep these pages fresh? I would keep them fresh so that I’m in line with what Google is rewarding.

I’m not necessarily for the sake of the freshness. 

Jared: Yeah. So you’re saying almost like there might not be a tremendous. Amount that needs to get added from a necessity standpoint. But the fact that you need to continually show Google that you have at least checked the article, it can only be shown to them by updating the article.

Kyle: That’s right. Exactly. Right. Again, chicken and the egg, but, um, it’s like these need to be fresh, but they also need to be in line with what Google is awarding and that’s where you see like that content rot happen where like, Hey, we’re doing great. And then you just kind of see the slow death, but nothing was done for the page.

It wasn’t, Updated to where these terms to be now, things do shift a little bit. Entities might new entities might come to play or, or slightly new content needs to be put in to hit different important terms, then that gives you that freshness. So you’re kind of maintaining what Google is rewarding and also showing people that they’re fresh or new.

Jared: Is there anything about the relationship? To EAT to the HCU. Is there anything we didn’t cover that you think is really important to close on? No. 

Kyle: Um, you know, the whole thing with eat, you know, going back, uh, back to medic all the way back was to make yourself real, you know, like make yourself as real as you can and make yourself as really tangible bot.

And that hasn’t changed now, what we understand that to be from Google’s perspective, that has changed a little bit and our knowledge has expanded on what perhaps they’re looking for. But really, as I said before, the framework you need to have is okay. There’s. My company’s online, but that company over there is a brick and mortar.

What are they doing? What do they look like? You know, and then look for things that are online to make yourself look like that as much as you can. And that’s, I think the right framework to think about these things. Make yourself real, make yourself real that a bot can find that. It’s not, not that a human can look at me like, Oh, this is a great website.

I get it. This is, but that a bot can make that evaluation through the different signals that it can find. That’s really the most important thing. 

Jared: If I had to summarize the last hour, I would say be real and be a brand. 

Kyle: Yeah. And then, um, yeah, get, get conversions on your site. Make it so that people can convert there.

You know, whatever that might be. But the more of that you can do, I think, the better. 

Jared: Well, Kyle, um, Where are the places that people can go to learn more about the things you offer? Um, uh, specifically the, um, well the courses you have. We talked about it last time, but we haven’t given much time to that right now.

Where can people go to learn more about that? 

Kyle: That’s img. courses. All those fun new TLDs. Makes it so easy. Is that new? Yeah, I think it’s like one of the last ones around. Yeah, we have img. courses. Um, you can go in there. Uh, I actually have a brand new course that it’s kind of like a, a little mini version of a few of my other courses and they, like where to start with SEO.

So if you’re kind of like, I’m kind of new to this or maybe I missed something. It’s only like a 10 part. So that’s on there. That’s fun. And then go to pageoptimizer. pro. That’s my homepage tool. We have had an eat tool and we might be, I don’t know if anybody else really does, but we’ve had an eat tool for the last four years.

Thanks. Three and a half, four years. And, uh, so we’ve been extensively studying the signals and the things that a bot can find. And so we do have that as well. And if I can get pitchy for a second, um, we do have a watchdog feature where if you’ve done the work, you click the watchdog and we monitor the SERPs for you.

And when there are changes, you know, there’s been an update or new competitors come in, you get an email alert, Hey, these things have happened and you might want to change these terms. You might want to add these terms. So that can help you kind of solve that question of how do we keep this fresh? Or how do we monitor this?

Or how do we stay on top of these pages that we’ve taken the time to optimize? So. Oh, I built that for me. I was going to answer my question. So my problem, but now 

Jared: there’s a podcast podcast host doing a good job. Cause I got you a question without even realizing that you, you actually had something to address.

How often do you need to update a page? There it is. There it is. I solved it. I 

Kyle: solved it. I solved it for myself because it was a problem that I had, you know, we’ve got, say these clients, we’ve, we’ve done 30 pages, we can’t keep eyeballs on 30 pages and you can monitor rankings, but that’s not really the same thing.

What the. You will need to monitor it, but this monitor is the actual SERPs. Yeah. Hey, there are two new competitors that have come in, and they seem to be doing pretty well. And they moved you down a spot. You know, kind of a thing. What do you need to do? Or, looks like there’s been an update. These new types of sites are showing up.

You know, what can you do? Here are some things you can do. That’s what we needed for ourselves. And now it’s everything. 

Jared: Well, Kyle, another good one. Um, I’ll talk to Spence about which building we want to name after you. Cause, uh, you know, I think Perfect. Let’s take a share. Something small. Something small.

Okay. Yeah, you’re right. You gotta hit 10 podcast episodes before you get a building. I think I shot too high there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s too high. That’s too much. I’m not into, I don’t do the building, the building naming around, around these parts. So that’s probably why. Um, Hey, thank you again.

Always good to have you. Always good to see you. Um, everybody loves, uh, when you come on and, um, I’m sure this one will be no different. Um, until next time. Appreciate 

Kyle: it. Yeah. I look forward to this. Like I said, this is my favorite. So thanks so much. 

Jared: You’re too kind. Thank you.



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