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If you’ve been following this blog over the past few months, you know the importance of creating ‘people-first content.’ Novice content creators often assume that all they need to do is write for Google and they’ll be set, but if they do that, they’re setting themselves up for failure. A site can have as much traffic as New York’s Grand Central Station, but it won’t amount to much if visitors don’t find the content genuinely engaging. Winning the SEO game means being mindful of your audience’s needs and creating high-quality, authoritative content for humans not machines.
High-quality content vs. low-quality content
First, let’s establish the distinction between high-quality content and low-quality content. High-quality content has depth. It’s well-researched, well-organized, and engages readers. It’s also intelligently optimized for search engines in a way that lets it rank well without resorting to cheap gimmicks (the days when you could get away with stuffing your material with keywords like it’s a turducken are long gone!).
Low-quality content, on the other hand, tends to be superficial. It doesn’t provide any substantive analysis, and it’s not supported by any kind of evidence. It can also use hamfisted SEO strategies aimed at driving traffic regardless of the content’s relevance.
EEATing is more important than ever: how SEO has evolved
Like technology in general or the British constitution, SEO has evolved quite a bit over the years. Google and other search engines are always looking for ways to improve the algorithms that power their search results in order to surface relevant content as quickly as possible. While keeping up with their ever-changing guidelines can be frustrating, the end result has been better-quality search results leavened with less spam. For example, Google’s guidelines for search quality raters—humans who provide feedback to help improve its search offerings—now emphasize the following criteria (also known by the acronym EEAT):
- The first-hand experience of the creator
- The expertise of the creator
- The authoritativeness of the creator, the content itself, and their site
- The trustworthiness of the creator
How to produce authoritative people-first content?
EEAT can seem daunting at first, but we’ve written a selection of posts that can help your content reach its fullest potential. Your content should:
- Provide value to the intended audience and be relevant to their interests or needs
“Authoritative content: creating helpful, reliable people-first content” offers some great tips to write for humans rather than algorithms. This will also help you stand out in a sea of AI-generated content. Furthermore, “What is authoritative content and how is it used?” shows how producing authoritative content can help you reach professional audiences.
- Offer well-researched, accurate, and trustworthy information from credible sources. “How to use research to make your content stand out” discusses the importance of using original, research-driven insights to bolster your authority. For a look at how specific content creators pull this off, check out “Newstex publishers who use research to create original content.”
- Be well-organized and easy to read, with a clear structure and logical flow. “How to structure authoritative content for greatness” looks at how careful structuring can improve the quality of your content. Basically, it should flow logically, and it should show rather than tell.
- Include supplementary material as well as visual aids such as infographics to help enhance the reader's understanding. “The art of contextualizing: how to provide a complete understanding of complex topics” describes the importance of context. Including hyperlinks and clear language in your content is a great way to level it up.
- Encourage interaction and engagement from the audience. “How to create highly shareable content” explains how you can leverage the power of social sharing to broaden your content’s reach. Ideally, you want as many people engaging with your content as possible by commenting, liking, sharing, etc.