If a total stranger got to your website and in a matter of seconds, could they tell that you are an expert in your field? Are you authoritative? Are you trustworthy?
[Pause for emphasis]

Seriously. If they had to grade you 1-5, what would they mark down?

If this fictitious person is not marking you a 5 immediately (or at the minimum a hard four), you are in trouble. Your first impression with a likely prospect will be lessened. And you are not reflecting your true self when there’s an easy opportunity to do so.

Here’s the kicker if you’re not perceived as an expert:
Your visibility in the search engines will be hurt.

So why am I talking about this? What’s the importance today of showing your expertise online?

Google’s “Medic Update” – August 1, 2018*

A little over a month ago, Google started rolling out what has been called the “medic update.” In Google speak, the medic update promoted sites of high-quality. But when we dig into the results of what we’ve seen happen over the past month and a half, it boils down mostly to these three concepts:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

See authorship is a big deal.

If a searcher, a Google quality grader, or particularly your customer cannot tell that you are the expert that you are, that you are a trustworthy source of information for that page, and if you are authoritative in your space, then Google is not going to promote that content to their user.

So the winners are those who tell their story clearly and thoroughly (no those are not mutually exclusive), have clean, modern looks on their site, and who display proof points of their expertise and authoritativeness.

Here’s the tough thing about your first person point of view.

You know everything that you know. But I’ll bet a nickel that a stranger doesn’t. And truthfully, 80% of the websites out there do not appropriately show their expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. (That’s a mouthful. Let’s just call this E-A-T from now on.)

What happened to sites after the “Medic Update”

So what happened to those sites in early August who had poor E-A-T. Over the course of the first week, sites started losing 30-50% of their views in search. They started losing 10-30% of their visits from search.

Yep, that is what actually happened.

And the flipside was true also. There were winners with the same results on the positive side.

It heavily affected what we call Your Money, Your Life (YMYL), which I’d say means “hey however you want to spend your money is up to you.” This can range from dieting, dentistry, orthopedics, to general contractors — i.e. wherever you have a choice on spending your money and you need to trust the source of information.

Is this a new thing? No of course not.

The importance of expertise has simply been dialed up.

In many ways, this has always been embedded within the four cornerstones of search marketing:

  • Relevance/Quality
  • Credibility
  • Authority
  • Proximity (this one is obviously much more important where local search/Google Maps is a factor)

All of these influence what Google needs to use to process whether the results that they show is going to be of the most benefit to their user. Is it what their user is looking for?

Relevance and keywords are not enough. The goog has some really smart robots (and humans) that make these decisions.

OK so what do you need to do today?

First, I recommend you take an honest look at your site, with fresh eyes one morning.

And I’d ask yourself:

  • Is this who we are?
  • Is this the first impression that I want to give about our company?

Then objectively, I’d also look at:

  • Industry associations listed— are they here?
  • Reviews – if customers give us reviews, are those here?
  • Social proof – do we have pieces of social proof that tell others we are who we say we are?

Or feel free to email and ask me. And if I’m too close to it, I’ll ask one of my really smart marketing colleagues who doesn’t know you. 😉