It should come as no surprise that small businesses must keep up with the ever-evolving world of digital marketing to stay competitive. Recently, Google released updated search guidelines that include the E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) framework and the Helpful Content Update. These updates provide valuable insights into how Google evaluates content and what small businesses need to focus on to achieve success with their content marketing.

Understanding E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

Google’s E-E-A-T framework has evolved with adding an extra E for “experience.” The updated guidelines emphasize that experience, expertise, and authoritativeness can support the assessment of trust, which is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family.

How the Helpful Content Update and E-E-A-T Guidelines Align

How the Helpful Content Update and E-E-A-T Guidelines Align

The release of the Helpful Content Update and the updated E-E-A-T guidelines share common goals and objectives in ensuring that users receive useful, practical, and factual content. Both updates focus on providing high-quality content that satisfies the searcher’s needs.

The E-E-A-T guidelines emphasize experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, while the Helpful Content Update promotes a people-first approach. Both updates reward content creators who focus on creating valuable and informative content for users rather than solely targeting search engines for traffic.

The new guidelines and updates also encourage businesses and content creators to develop content that demonstrates first-hand expertise and knowledge, providing users with reliable and accurate information. This emphasis on expertise and authoritativeness helps ensure that users can trust the content they find through Google search results.

Small businesses can focus on creating content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness by:


To create content demonstrating experience, small businesses should share first-hand knowledge gained from using a product or service, visiting a place, or experiencing a situation. For example, if a small business is writing a review of tax preparation software, it should provide insights based on its direct experience with the software.


Small businesses should showcase their expertise by creating content that portrays a deep understanding of their field. This can include sharing knowledge gained through formal education, professional experience, or personal experience in relevant situations.


Small businesses should establish authority by providing well-researched, accurate, and up-to-date information. They can also exhibit authoritativeness by citing credible sources, sharing case studies, and showcasing industry certifications or affiliations.


Small businesses can build trust by being transparent about their credentials, affiliations, and potential conflicts of interest. They should ensure their website is secure, easy to navigate, and provides accurate contact information. Lastly, they should avoid misleading claims and exaggerated statements.

The Helpful Content Update: The Importance of People-First Content

Google’s Helpful Content Update aims to reward content that offers a satisfying experience for visitors. To succeed with this update, small businesses should focus on creating people-first content that is genuinely useful and engaging while following SEO best practices.

Small businesses should ask themselves these questions to evaluate if their website content aligns with a people-first approach:

  • Does the Content Serve an Existing or Intended Audience?
  • Does the Content Demonstrate First-Hand Expertise and Depth of Knowledge?
  • Does the Site Have a Primary Purpose or Focus This Content Aligns With?
  • Will Readers Leave the Content Feeling Informed and Satisfied?
  • Are You Following Google’s Guidance for Core Updates and Product Reviews?

Small businesses should avoid creating content that puts search engines first. While SEO best practices are essential, they should come second to people-first content. Content created primarily for search engine traffic will likely be unsatisfying for users. To avoid a search engine-first approach, small businesses should consider the following:

  • Is the Content Mainly Designed to Attract Search Engine Traffic Rather Than Being Made for People?
  • Are You Producing Large Amounts of Content on Various Topics, Just Hoping Some Will Improve Your Ranking in Search Results?
  • Are You Using Extensive Automation to Produce Content?
  • Are You Writing About Trending Topics for Search Traffic Even if They Aren’t  Relevant to Your Audience?
  • Are You Trying to Reach a Defined Word Count Because You Believe Google Prefers a Certain Length?
  • Did You Decide to Enter a Niche Topic Area Without Real Expertise, Primarily Because You Thought It Would Generate Search Traffic?

How the Helpful Content Update Works

The Helpful Content Update will be rolled out gradually, with a site-wide signal considering many other web page ranking factors. Google’s systems will automatically identify content with little value, low-added value, or content that is not helpful to searchers. Content on sites with relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall will be less likely to perform well in search results. Therefore, removing unhelpful content could improve the rankings of other content. The classification process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model, and is not a manual or spam action.

Tips for Adapting to the New E-E-A-T Guidelines and Helpful Content Update

Tips for Adapting to the New E-E-A-T Guidelines and Helpful Content Update

Small businesses can adapt to the new E-E-A-T guidelines and the Helpful Content Update by following these tips:

Audit Existing Content

Small businesses should review their content to ensure it aligns with the new E-E-A-T guidelines and the people-first approach. Identify any unhelpful or low-value content that needs improvement or removal.

Develop a Content Strategy

Create a content plan that provides valuable, engaging, high-quality content for your target audience. This can also prevent a business from creating content for the sake of content, risking it being less than helpful or in adherence with E-E-A-T. Ensure the content demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Invest in High-Quality Content Creation

Prioritize creating well-researched, well-written, and engaging content. Consider working with experienced content creators or investing in professional development for an in-house team.

Monitor Content Performance

Regularly track your content’s performance using analytics tools to identify areas for improvement. Adjust the content strategy accordingly to ensure they continue to meet the evolving needs of their audience and Google’s guidelines.

Stay Updated with Google’s Guidelines

Always keep an eye on any updates or changes to Google’s guidelines to stay informed and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

Ideas for Obtaining Content from Experts

Ideas for Obtaining Content from Experts

Gain content from experts by following these ideas:

Collaborate with Industry Experts

Contact professionals and thought leaders in your niche and invite them to contribute to the content. Guest blogging, interviews, and co-created content are excellent ways to tap into their knowledge and credibility while also providing valuable content for their audience.

Leverage User-Generated Content

Encourage your audience to share their experiences, knowledge, and expertise by submitting content for their website. User-generated content can include reviews, testimonials, case studies, and articles, all of which can add credibility and authenticity to content.

Partner with Academic Institutions or Research Organizations

Collaborate with universities, research institutions, or other organizations to gain access to the latest industry research and knowledge. This partnership can help create content backed by scientific research, enhancing its credibility and trustworthiness.

Attend Conferences and Workshops

Participate in industry conferences, workshops, and networking events to connect with experts and gain insights into your field’s latest trends and developments. Use this knowledge to create up-to-date and relevant content for your audience.

Use Expert Quotes and References

Small businesses can include quotes and references from industry experts and authoritative sources in their content. This can help strengthen the credibility of content and demonstrate your commitment to providing accurate and reliable information.

Create Expert Roundups

Compile insights and opinions from multiple experts in a single piece of content. Expert roundups are an excellent way to showcase diverse perspectives and expertise on a particular topic, providing the audience with a comprehensive and informative resource.

Staying Ahead in the Digital Marketing Landscape

Staying Ahead in the Digital Marketing Landscape

As the digital marketing landscape evolves, businesses must stay agile and adaptive to maintain a competitive edge. For Your Business (and Content Team) To stay ahead, consider the following steps:

Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning-encourage your team to stay updated on industry news, trends, and best practices. Allocate resources for training and professional development to ensure the team is equipped with the necessary skills to create high-quality content.

Stay Connected with Industry Peers-Engage in online communities, forums, and social media platforms to stay connected with other professionals and thought leaders in your industry. This enables them to stay informed about the latest trends and best practices, share knowledge and collaborate on content creation.

Adopt a Long-Term Approach to Content Creation High-quality, people-first content is an ongoing process that requires commitment and consistency. Plan and focus on building a content strategy that prioritizes the needs of the audience and the evolving expectations of search engines.

Be Open to Feedback-Encourage your readers to provide feedback on content and be receptive to their suggestions and critiques. This will help identify areas for improvement and ensure content remains relevant and valuable to the target audience.

Diversify Your Content Formats- To cater to the diverse preferences of your audience, consider creating content in various formats, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and webinars. This will help them reach a broader audience and increase the chances of the content being shared and engaged with.

By implementing these strategies and staying aligned with the latest updates from Google, small businesses can ensure that their content marketing efforts remain effective in attracting and retaining their target audience. Embracing the E-E-A-T guidelines and the Helpful Content Update will improve their search rankings, create a better user experience, and establish their brand as a trusted authority in their industry. This will help drive business growth and success in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.

Do you want a professional team tackling the complexities Google continuously throws our way? The team here at Vinci is experienced and knowledgeable, with the skills and support to get your business thriving at every turn. Do you want to learn more about the benefits your business can receive from working with our team? Click here to schedule a FREE consultation to get started!

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with mid-size, established businesses as a growth and scalability consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel, CA home with his wife Safira and two children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”