In this past one week, you might have searched Google, at least once, for the term Coronavirus. Not just Coronavirus, but a few other words along with it like symptoms, remedies, and prevention. This is fine.
However, there are times you Google specifically for symptoms like coronavirus headache, coronavirus inflammation, coronavirus cancer…and so on. This is where I want to share the importance of E-A-T algorithm introduced by Google in 2018. I will explain later about EAT and the Medic Updates of August 2018. First I would like to share a story.
The story begins in 2014 long before Google introduced E-A-T in SEO. I got admitted, for one month, to get ayurvedic treatment for arthritis. There were symptoms of arthritis for a year hence I was on medication.
Arthritis is a relatively harmless condition unlike deadly diseases like Cancer – that is what my family believed. That was because there were no hereditary cases of severe arthritis in my family.
According to the ayurvedic doctor, there are about 5000 variations of arthritis. Furthermore, the ancient Sanskrit texts on Ayurveda say that a doctor cannot claim to completely cure four diseases, out of which arthritis is the foremost.
Only when my health condition got out of control did I decide to undergo proper ayurvedic treatment. There were excruciating pain and trouble in walking.
Ayurveda is a holistic treatment; therefore as the treatment began there was more pain and inflammation. Furthermore, for the first in my life, I came to know how functional every part of my body was. The situation is like taking the car for servicing and the mechanic finds a number of faults with the car, which you had never imagined.
Every day I used to clear all my queries with the doctors. Some replies were unsatisfactory. There were too many queries. Besides you cannot pester a doctor with ludicrous queries.
Therefore, to get more information I searched Google. The disease crippled and brought to a halt my speedy lifestyle. I had scores of queries for Google.
I was searching Google for arthritis and life span, arthritis and cancer, arthritis and degeneration, arthritis and deformation, arthritis and gingivitis. There were search results for every query. In case the answer was no satisfactory I would modify the question until I got satisfactory answers.
There were stories of many arthritis patients – a young lady in her twenties, a mother with three kids and a single mother with two grown-up children – all depended on their family to fulfill their daily routines. There were no positive motivational stories.
After reading all the articles I thought I was either going to die or remain bedridden forever. Thinking about my kids’ future, one night I was in a frenzy and loss of breath.
The next day Doctor told me that Rheumatic Arthritis is reversible. He showed me two of his staff who came there crippled with Rheumatoid Arthritis, now they were free of the disabilities and working like others.
Then I went to my room and searched Google for Arthritis reversal. There were many articles and inspiring stories on arthritis reversal. Those stories gave me the motivation to approach arthritis positively and to expect a recovery very soon, On a positive note, that day I stopped searching for health queries regarding arthritis.
That day I got the answer for the query for my cardinal question ‘Can I live a normal life once again’? Five years after the severe arthritis attack, I now live a normal life. Like the doctor said arthritis is not completely curable. By following certain food and lifestyle changes, the disease has come under control.
Google Search and Coronavirus
At this time when Covid-19 is spreading, faster and wider than wildfire, I would like to tell you how to make good use of the August 1, 2018 Medic update introduced by Google. To ensure quality content in sensitive topics like health and money google brought in the EAT ( Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness ) algorithm.
To be ranked high on google, the author of the post must be able to establish Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness about the topic. Now the question is how can a reader understand the EAT of the post that he or she is reading.
Here is how you can decide on the EAT of the post:
The Bio of the Author
When you read a health post check the credentials of the author. In the above example, the claims of the author have been reviewed and verified by a Doctor. That gives authority and trust to the post.
Read the comments
The comments of the readers are very important in asserting the trustworthiness of a post. In the above comments, the readers are doubtful about the genuineness of the post. In such cases, the author’s replies are very important.
Medical claims backed by science
Every medical claim that the author makes must be backed by science. In the above example, the author quotes from WHO. The quotes make the article authoritative and trustworthy.
Tips on how to search google for health topics from my personal experience
Listen to the Doctor
Some doctors have put posters outside their consultation rooms asking the patients to leave their google knowledge outside.
Listening to the doctor with an open mind is very important. A doctor gets his medical degree after years of hard work. They are those multitalented, studious, disciplined classmates who chose medicine as a profession with a passion to serve humanity. They have to clear tough exams to qualify for medical studies.
Listening and following what the doctor says is very important. Google can provide additional information and clarity about the disease. What a doctor says about your health condition and what you think about your health issue may be entirely different. The doctor is always right. There should be mutual trust between the doctor and the patient to get proper healing.
From my personal experience, I understand that we end up with the wrong information when we search for health issues we feel we are suffering from. For instance, now you are doubtful whether you got COVID-19 because of an irritation in the throat. The search results for your queries on COVID-19 and throat irritation might either give you jitter or false hope.
Yesterday a Volgger apologized for spreading false information on Coronavirus. She had said in her vlog to drink hot water so that coronavirus goes from the throat to the stomach and thus dies. Now she says her claims were a mistake.
I would say that you should not overdo google search. Google for Coronavirus symptoms or Coronavirus Cure and the top search results are from the renowned health organization from the world over. Trust what they say.
Search for the disease, not symptoms
You must search for a specific disease like Coronavirus. Then you get the proper search results. If you search for symptoms, you get confusing search results. If you google ‘cold, cough, sneezing’, then these are the symptoms for the common cold, flu, coronavirus and even cancer. Weight loss is a symptom of cancer, liver disorders, and many other diseases. Therefore you should google for disease in general instead of symptoms in particular.
Top Search results are most credible
According to Marie Haynes, a renowned SEO consultant, the top three Google search results have a Wikipedia page. Which means those are from credible sources that have Expertise Authority and Trust.
PS: This post was written with an intention to give a proper direction to everyone who searches about Coronavirus. Maintain social distancing, wash your hands always and stay safe until coronavirus in contained.