SGE, AI and the Evolving Face of Search (Part 3)

Positioning review content to appear in the SGE carousel

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Our testing has shown a strong correlation between the top organic results for a query and the resources included in the carousel, so having a firm modus operandi for great organic performance is going to serve you here as well.

None of us have the keys to the Google Kingdom, but we’ve received enough indications over the years to understand what does and doesn’t signal “quality content” to Google from an organic perspective.

Let’s address E.A.T. first

Content creators have known about E.A.T., (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) a concept used by Google’s human quality raters to help evaluate how well the search engine provides helpful, relevant information, for quite some time. In essence, E.A.T. helps evaluators answer the question:

Would a user feel the results they see for a search demonstrate Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness?

Google has always maintained that adhering to the E.A.T. guidelines does not guarantee your content will rank highly. However, they DO acknowledge that creators should understand how to assess their content against the E.A.T. guidelines in order to be successful in search.

E.A.T. becomes E.E.A.T.

In December of 2022, just a few months prior to the debut of SGE, Google published a Search Central Blog that has significant implications for creators who publish review content

Going forward, in addition to evaluating the Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness of search content, quality raters are also going to be examining how well the content uses first-hand, real-world Experience.

So, yeah. There’s a new E to consider

As an example, if you’re still keen on figuring out which gaming headset is the best one for your daughter, you’re likely going to want to see “best of” lists and recommendations by experts in the gaming field. But, perhaps more valuable to your decision-making process, is content that provides you with first-hand knowledge of the reviewer’s experience with a particular gaming headset.

For those who produce review content, this information is golden because it provides a bit more insight into what the quality raters, and Google itself, deem important when it comes to review content: first-hand experience.

E’s aside, quality is paramount

Experience may be the new “E,” but quality is still king. Experience with a product or service alone isn’t going to be enough to get your review placed in an SGE carousel. The content still needs to be high-quality.

Fortunately, Google provides a set of guidelines to help publishers better understand what a high quality review does. Some of the highlights:

  • Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective.
  • Demonstrate you’re knowledgeable about what you’re reviewing.
  • Share quantitative measurements in various categories of performance.
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of something, based on your own original research.
  • Link to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help readers make decisions.

Back Shot of a Gamer Girl Playing and Winning on her on Her Powerful Personal Computer. Room and PC have Colorful Neon Led Lights.

What’s this mean for review content?

With the new E and the updated guidelines, Google is sending some fairly clear indicators that review content is going to play a big, maybe even prominent role, in SGE results. Now, more than ever, publishers need to understand what the Reviews System is and that it’s designed to make sure users see “in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.”

As publishers, we need to think of quality more holistically than ever when it comes to constructing reviews. For example, structured data, which helps Google identify review content AND looks fantastic in search results, will continue to be an important component of reviews, but its presence on a page is not the sole indicator of a quality review. We also need to make certain our content conveys Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness—after all, the goal is for users to find the most helpful, relevant information possible.

And maybe, just maybe, we can make finding that perfect gaming headset for your daughter a good bit easier than it used to be.

Don’t get blindsided by AI and search. Learn more about SGE from EVG, get help evaluating your content, or start improving your search engine presence! Contact EVGMedia now to get started!

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