It’s been an interesting year in Google land, with a number of momentous updates including those in March, April and August. Many have written at length and shared data about these updates. This article will cover one aspect of August update that hasn’t received much attention and that is brand authority.
This significant component of August update increased rankings for sites with general brand authority, means it was like an adjustment to March and April updates. There were many components of critical importance in August update.
A brief recap of March and April updates
Below are some key quotes from Google
As per Google’s John Mueller in the Webmaster Central office-hours hangout on April 23:
There is a general consensus that the most important components of this update were about how your content’s relevance is actually measures and Google’s adjustments for user intent. This is actually very consistent with statements given by Google as well as the data shared and analyzed by different people in the industry.
One aspect of the March and April update that didn’t receive much attention is the idea that breadth and depth of a website’s content were considered as ranking signals. Those websites that thoroughly and completely addressed a topic did extremely well in these updates. Below is the characterization of the depth and breadth of the content:
- Content which is created by true subject matter expert
- Content which is created in high volume
- Content that addresses key topic areas broadly and deeply
- Content that isn’t written too concisely for the sake of volume
There have been numerous websites with these four characteristics that received tremendous uplift in march and April updates. Below is an example of searchmetrics data through April for one of those websites =:
As you can see, SEO visibility has almost doubled during the course of these updates. That’s a tremendous set of gains! This kind of results seen with many sites that follow this pattern of publishing quality content in high volume. A big key to this is perceived breadth and depth of the content.
A brief recap of August update
There has been numerous aspect in August update but some of the principle ones are given below:
- The heath oriented websites are being impacted heavily
- There has been an increased focus on expertise, authority and trust
- Increased speculation on aligning content with user intent
- Some basic SEO factors like avoiding thin content, crawlability, mobile readiness and more
In case of August update, there is not the same level of consensus that there was with march and April updates, it could be because Google made fewer statements specifically about it. Whenever Google does any massive update, they continue to collect data on the performance of SERPs and they compare it with what they were witnessing prior to the update. Based on this, they can make adjustments to build upon the success of the earlier update and correct the weakness, if there is any. This way Google ensure to make continuous improvement.
There were undeniably many components to each of the major updates. We can’t say that brand authority was the only major aspect especially in the August update. We can certainly see that the wild E-A-T does matter a great deal. To make your site better, you must keep investing in the content and user experience because that makes your site rank better on Google.