Hotel SEO: How will Google’s new EAT Algorithm affect your property?
In August, Google rolled out a new algorithm update that is already causing widespread changes in both organic and local search engine rankings.
Although some specific types of websites appear to be affected more than others, all websites—including hotel and travel-related sites—should factor the latest criteria into their ongoing development and content plans.
Centered on the acronym E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness), the latest update is placing still-more emphasis on content quality and sourcing, as part of the search engine’s perpetual work to boost the relevance of its results. The new algorithm also appears to be favoring local business sites over broader, corporate pages.
“It would appear that the algorithm changes apply to both organic and local searches, rather than just organic searches,” said Sean Cornilliac, SEO Manager here at Tambourine. “Google says that it is trying to prioritize relevance, and we can surmise that it perhaps sees local businesses as being more relevant to searchers than large multi-nationals.”
The algorithm update is also connected to Google’s sustained efforts to prevent the practice of “keyword stuffing,” in which content is overloaded with targeted search terms, but may offer minimal information of use. Thus, the goal of E-A-T is to make hotel website designers write copy intended for real users, instead of search engine crawlers. So now more than ever, it’s best to strike a careful SEO balance, adding keywords carefully, while writing in a natural way.
“The ‘T’ in ‘E-A-T’ also becomes more important, as Google is working harder to determine which websites are the most trustworthy to show searchers,” according to another expert recent post on the subject.
“Hotels need to pay attention to EAT and take action to improve their trustworthiness in Google’s eyes.” says Sean Cornilliac, Tambourine’s SEO Manager.