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In this week's episode, Jack Chambers-Ward is joined by John Iwuozor to discuss how to create content that satisfies Google's E-E-A-T guidelines including:
Jack: Coming up on the show I will be talking with John Iwuozor all about how to write content that satisfies Google's E-E-A-T guidelines, and I'll also be diving into some fallout from the recent broad core update, that's the one in March that just happened and is still rolling out at time of recording. Thanks to our friends over at SISTRIX.
Welcome to episode 62 of season two of the Search With Candour podcast. I am your host Jack Chambers-Ward, and my guest for this week is one and only John Iwuozor. John is a B2B content strategist and content writer with a lot of experience, despite him being so young, I'm very jealous of how much experience he's got at such a young age. And we are going to be talking about how to write content that satisfies Google's E-E-A-T, or also known as double E-A-T as I like to call it guidelines. John has got a lot of experience of working with big, big brands and writing content and being part of their editorial process. And we get into the behind-the-scenes essentially of the Forbes editorial process because John writes for the Forbes Advisor section, and we dive into product review updates, we talk about how to achieve product reviews, and John has got some fantastic tips and some templates available on his website, which I'll link to in the show notes about how to create fantastic product review content for you and your clients.
But before I get into my conversation with John, the March broad core update, the recent Google update is still rolling out at the moment, but SISTRIX have had some early glances and early glimpses of some pretty significant shifts happening across the internet. And to say it's been pretty volatile I think in general. I know I spoke to Steve from SISTRIX a little while ago, and Johannes from over at SISTRIX has done a bit of an analysis here. I, of course, will link to this in the show notes as well. Big winners, big losers, big things such as The Guardian and Next here in the UK have seen a pretty big boost. Funny enough, we've seen a lot of volatility with the dictionary sites that have happened over the last few updates or so, like Your Dictionary, dictionary.com have seen a pretty significant boost. In general, there has been a big boost for gov.uk domains as well, which I think was pretty interesting.
So, things like hmrc.gov.uk, nrscotland.gov.uk are a couple of examples that Johannes from SISTRIX gives in the breakdown of the winners and losers. Of course like I said, this is all still rolling out and still shifting, but SISTRIX are my go-to source for all of this kind of information because SISTRIX do fantastic work in analyzing this stuff. You can of course go to sistrix.com/swc, get some free tools for you to use in your SEO toolbox. That includes an hreflang validator that includes a Google update tracker for things like this so you can keep an eye on when those Google updates are rolling out. And you can also check your site's visibility index, which is essentially what we're talking about here when we look at the winners and losers, we're reviewing the gains and losses in their VI, looking at their visibility index and seeing what the biggest shifts are.
And I think it's very, very interesting to see some big, big names shifting around everything from, as I mentioned, The Guardian earlier, but things like Vinted as well, which is kind of an alternative to eBay kind of thing, I don't know if you've ever used Vinted before. Prime Video shifted pretty significantly in a positive direction. Absolutelyrics.com, which is again lyric websites is something we've touched on a few times in these updates from SISTRIX, they seem to be really up and down depending on the quality of their content. And it seems like absolutelyrics.com is doing something right because they've gained 114% in their visibility index just over the last week at the time of recording. And as I mentioned, you've got gov.uk and also some .org.uk domains in there as well. So, computinghistory.org.uk and hmrc.gov.uk also gaining 112% and 75% respectively there as well. In terms of losers, funnily enough, coming back round to more dictionary sites, Urban Dictionary, not strictly clear dictionary site, but you know what I mean. Wictionary.org, TV Tropes, which is a site I use quite a lot for my other podcast when we are talking about tropes and movies and TV shows and things like that. And also big e-commerce stuff like ASOS has seen a pretty significant shift. Very interesting spread, like I said, dive into all of the data. If you go to sistrix.com/blog, or click the link in the show notes you can get the latest updates on the Google core update from March 2023, all analysed by Johannes and the team over at SISTRIX.
One last quick thing before I get to my interview with John Iwuozor, in case you missed the announcement last week, I am teaming up with the fantastic people over at the SEO Mindset podcast. That is of course, Sarah McDowell and Tazmin Suleman, and we are doing a live, in-person crossover podcast in Brighton during BrightonSEO. Basically the night before the main conference.
So, this is the evening of Wednesday, the 19th of April 2023. Tazmin, Sarah and I will be getting on stage in front of hopefully you guys, a group of listeners and fellow SEOs and talking all about anxiety and how to deal with it when you're attending a conference. Whether you're coming as an attendee, whether you're coming as a speaker, whether it's your first time, we have got some tips, some actionable tricks for you and some advice. And of course we want to hear from you guys, so there will be a live Q&A at the end of the show as well. Tickets are totally free, I will put a link for the Eventbrite page in the show notes, so just click on that and you can get your ticket for free if you're going to be in Brighton on the 19th of April, 2023. And if you're attending BrightonSEO, please do come and say hello as well, we will be there for networking and chat after the podcast concludes as well.
And our friends over at SISTRIX will also be presenting some awards for their Visibility Leaders as they do every single year at BrightonSEO as well. Come and join us, it's on, like I said, 19th of April in Brighton, and links with all the information will be in the show notes. So, just click the link down below and you'll get all the information you need to come and join us in Brighton. Hopefully I'll see you there.
And without any further ado, welcome to the show. John Iwuozor, how are you, sir?
John: I'm good, and how are you?
Jack: Yeah. I'm good, thank you, man. I'm good, thank you. It's a pleasure to have you on, I know you and I have talked a couple of times on Twitter, a little bit on LinkedIn. It's nice to finally have you on the show, nice to finally get to talk about what we're going to talk about this week. I'm excited for us to have a chat and have a conversation.
John: Yeah. I'm glad to be here.
Jack: So, give the intro for the listeners who might not know who you are, what's your career been so far? And we'll get into the topic in a little bit, but let's have a think about what you've done. I know you've just turned 22 years old the other day at time of recording. Happy birthday!
John: Yeah, thank you.
Jack: So, what has your career been like so far in sort of content writing and SEO, and all that kind of stuff?
John: Anytime anyone asks me, what's your career been like? Only one thing comes to mind and I will say this is my third year in content, SEO, writing, this is my third year. I started let's say December, 2020 or January, 2021. I found freelance writing as an accident, because I was doing an internship, I originally wanted to become a data scientist. I'll definitely go back to that field, but maybe subsequently I'll do a mix of data science and SEO. So, I did an internship for six months in 2020 during the pandemic, and at the end of the six months I was looking for an entry level role or, I need to get into this field, I need to be employed. I think I needed money at that point, so I was just desperate for a job. And then I found freelance writing and I was like, let me just try this out, let me see how it talks out. And then I did my first gig, I was like, wow, this is cool. Then I looked for the second client, I had my third client, I had my fourth client, and then I was just going and going and here I am.
Jack: You make it sound so easy.
John: Yeah, yeah. It's just been like, I've had the steady growth just starting from where, because I started from when I was earning $25 per content, so you should know, I started from the bottom and then I've gotten to this point where I'm now targeting, I want to make five figures, I want to make six figures, you get that kind of point. So, it's just been the steady growth. Right now I'm in my third year and yeah, I'm still exploring a lot of things. I'm still looking for a lot of, looking forward to a lot of inputs. I've gained so much knowledge, I've learned so many things. And yeah, I don't know, I just feel like I've just had this consistent growth. So, that's just the best way I can describe it.
Jack: I think that's so key to an early part of your career, thinking about it long term, like you said, thinking about steady growth and not worrying too much about like you said, in year one don't be aiming for five figures or six figures. Maybe that's something you build to over time, and I think that's a really good mindset to have going into it and planning and thinking about how you can grow. And like I said, I'm 10 years older than you at this point, so it's having that ability and as much as I hate this question, every employer will always ask, where do you see yourself in five years? That classic question we see in job interviews and things like that. I think it's a good idea to have a rough idea of where you want to be, and like you said, starting back end of 2020, 2021, could you imagine where you are now in 2023? And then seeing where you're going to go in the future? That's a cool way to approach it I think, it's an interesting way, because I think a lot of people get caught up in trying to do something too quickly and trying to do too much at once, but actually that steady growth I think is a key part of it, right?
Jack: I know you've worked with some pretty impressive clients as well, I know Forbes is a pretty big name to have on your resume, sir. That's pretty impressive.
John: Yeah. I get that lot.
Jack: Yeah, I think that is one of the big names that is a very, very good one to have on your portfolio. So, how did you get working with Forbes? What was that process like?
John: I don't know, it was kind of like, it's quite simple because I remember, I'm very active on LinkedIn and I remember just going on session for freelance writing gigs. I came across this gig by this editor from Forbes and he was like, oh, we need writers. And I was like, oh, let me just apply. One funny thing I tell people was that before I got the gig at Forbes I was like, if I was giving an illustration to people about high paying brands, I would always use Forbes as an example. So, I never for once expected that I would ever be working with Forbes at any point in time. So, I got this, I applied and then he asked to see my samples and all that. I had some samples, I've written content for eSecurity Planet, eSecurity Planet is part of technology advice. So, I've written content for them and I shared these things with him and he was like he'll get back to me, something like that. I don't know, I think like a week, two week passed and then I got back to him, he was like he's busy or something. Then probably I think this was after a month or after three weeks, he just sent every detail that I need to know, just sign here, sign here. And then I started writing for Forbes. So, it was just like, I don't know, I don't know if I should say I was lucky or anything, but I just found myself working out Forbes Advisor. I applied and I got in.
Jack: Nice. I think that's going to tie a lot into the topic we're going to talk about as well. We're going to touch on a lot of E-E-A-T later on, that's our main topic for the show. But before we get to that, I want to talk about how we got introduced to each other. I was tweeting saying, "Hey, I'm looking for guests on a podcast." And you were tweeting saying, "Hey, I want to be on a podcast." And funny enough, it was Liam Quinn from Blue Array that got us in contact, and he's been mentoring you through the FCDC, is that right?
John: Yeah. He's been incredibly helpful and supportive.
Jack: Shout out to Liam, shout to Blue Array in general. But shout out to Liam, thank you for getting us in touch. So, what's that process been? I know you also delivered a talk at the London SEO meetup as well, how was that experience for you?
John: It was my first and I was just like, it was just an interesting experience because I shared the stage with some other persons from the FCDC. They said powerful things and then I felt like, oh, what am I saying? What am I talking about? It was an interesting experience because at least for one I got to share my thoughts, I got to share the slides and those kind of thing. The whole idea of the London SEO was basically to prepare me because I still have this goal of, I want to speak at BrightonSEO. So, the whole idea of getting on the podcast is more like I can gain experience to be able to one day speak at BrightonSEO. The plan was I'll probably speak at BrightonSEO, so that would be at the end of the year. I'll probably be coming over to the UK to speak at BrightonSEO.
John: It's still pending, but that was just the basic idea. So, it was just a nice experience and Blue Array, they were very supportive and they ensured that everything just went smoothly. So, I appreciate them for that.
John: And then also thanks to the FCDC because it was Chima, Chima made that initially did the whole linking up and ensure that we could have the speaking opportunities because without the FCDC I would never have met Liam, and without Liam I would never had done the London SEO. And obviously maybe without the London SEO, without Liam, I wouldn't be speaking to you right now.
Jack: Again, it's that connections, right? And that all comes together.
Jack: I've said this a few times on the show already, when I spoke to Sodiq, when I spoke to Goodness, when I spoke to Kevin last week as well, shout out to Chima, shout out to the FCDC. It's doing amazing stuff for young people in Tech in Africa and giving you guys opportunities to come over here and speak in London SEO and BrightonSEO and all that kind of stuff. It's so cool to have you guys now being part of this wider community and given opportunities to work with companies in the US and the UK and across the world and being able to get the voice of Africa in tech, that I think is something we've been missing for so long. It's so cool to get you guys joining in a part of the conversation and bringing such interesting topics and ideas to SEO, PPC and then tech and marketing in general.
It's really, really cool. Let's dive into this week's topic then, shall we? Because we want to talk about some E-E-A-T. As I said, you've written for Forbes, this is kind of your thing, right? Knowing how to write content that is going to satisfy these fairly recently updated, they're updated sort of late last year, talking about of course experience, expertise, authoritativeness and the most important one now as Google has clarified, trust, which is the big one. So, should we dive into what your perspective is on E-E-A-T and now where we are in 2023, and then we'll kind of get into how to write content to kind of satisfy those things.
John: Something about E-E-A-T is initially I, let's say the beginning of last year I had no idea about E-A-T, then it was just E-A-T, not E-E-A-T. I had no idea about this, I think I did a Google search and I was like this is expertise, authoritativeness and trust. And then I just had that in mind, so I was not in anything with this. And then when Google introduced the new one, which is experience, they were like they want firsthand experience. And at that point I think writing for Forbes Advisor, because Forbes has the strictest editorial standard, before content gets published they ensure it goes through so many processes to ensure that it is of high quality. They do that a lot.
So, writing for them it's kind of given me some insight into E-E-A-T, understanding what it's all about. I have we even had some persons, I've seen some freelance writing gigs and then I'll see maybe a particular editor be like, oh I need an expert to come and verify some of the content with rating, to come and be like a contributor. I think it's because of the E-E-A-T, because everyone is trying to live up to that standard. And basically what I would say concerning that is I feel Google brought out the firsthand experience due to this overflowing stream of AI content, AI-generated content, because we just have AI-generated content everywhere with ChatGPT, with tools like Copy.ai and the rest. Everyone can create content, just get a topic, you go and you type and then you have content there.
The thing is, if you are now trying to create content and let's say for YMYL topics, that's your money and your life topics and you're just using ChatGPT, you can create content that very does misleading. I work for Forbes Advisor, so I work with Forbes Advisor and they basically create content that's for B2B companies. They're offering financial advice, they want to help companies realise, there are even particular products and they want to ensure that this particular product and this particular product they're the best for your company. This is what you should purchase, this would not fit you. If you want to purchase, you're looking at QuickBooks, QuickBooks won't be best for maybe certain companies. There's certain criteria and QuickBooks will be best for certain companies. So, Forbes Advisor they offer that financial advice and then they have the standard quality because they want to ensure that their content meets standards.
They want to ensure that their quality meets standards, so just doing the whole process, during the whole writing process I just got to understand that you have to take all this into account, you have to take the whole, you need to understand the content, the content outline, your author pages. There are so many factors to just put inside. I really don't want to start delving into these things right now, but this is just a summary of the whole thing to show that brands are now looking at implementing this E-E-A-T because Google wants to ensure that every brand have, every content has that firsthand experience. Someone can easily relate to show that this content is not just AI-generated, to show that this content is actually written by a human so that people can easily relate. Google wants people to create content that people can relate to, content that is actually realistic, not just content that's just generated online or generated by AI. So, I feel that that's basically the idea of this all E-E-A-T.
Jack: Yeah. I think you're totally right, with the massive increase in AI-generated content over the last sort of, what? Six months, maybe a year or so with GPT3, ChatGPT, now Bard and Bing AI coming in as well, and people being able to now kind of turning those APIs like you said into content creation markets and all that kind of stuff. I think a lot of what Google is having to do is react to this stuff, because this thing is moving so quickly. So many people are generating, and I know Mark talked about this in the show and I've talked about this a couple of times already where you can really easily identify AI content. And if you can do it because there is a GPT2 function that you can use to basically test for plagiarism and also test for AI-generated content. If you can do it, Google can do it, to put it simply. They're one of the most powerful companies in the world, they're going to be able to identify this stuff, and I think you're totally right where experience is so key there, that's why it's been added.
I think you're totally right where experience and firsthand experience and proving that you know the systems, the products, the services, whatever it is, being able to say, I am John and I am an expert in this thing because I have experience. You're doing those two E straight away and you have to have that human element in there to prove that you are an expert and you've got experience with it. And I think, yeah, that's a huge part of the difference between someone like yourself working for Forbes Advisor coming in and again, as you said, Forbes is in that financial advice sector. That is a key, key part that Google wants to make sure they're getting right, it's that your money or your life kind of content. When it comes to health, finances, all those kind of key topics, you've got to make sure you are proving who you say you are, like you said, author pages and all that kind of stuff. And also proving you're an expert as well, it's so important for that kind of stuff. And I think if anything, it's going to get more and more important because of AI and how quickly this is shifting and how much spam and rubbish we're seeing the SOPs at the moment. I don't know if you've ever done the search for a regenerate response, people have done the test for that.
John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've seen that.
Jack: Search and it's just hundreds of thousands of things from pretty big sites as well. I know CNET did a test of it, TechRadar have been testing some things as well. It seems like companies are kind trying dip their toe, right?
John: The thing is I'm not against ChatGPT because ChatGPT is a cool tool. The thing is even when I'm writing I use it, sometimes I use it to just maybe probably summarise texts. Let's say I want to, I'm writing a product review and then I want to, I have data of what people have said before, so I can use that from that data and I can use ChatGPT that pick out the most important things from this, just summarise it. It's just like you can use it to quicken your processes, but to entirely replace the writing process, no, that's wrong.
Jack: I totally agree. Yeah. We were talking about this in the Candour studio earlier where you can give it a piece of text like you said, and give it to summarise it. I was doing this for summarizing movie plots basically, coming in with, oh here is the story of Star Wars Empire Strikes back, here is the summary of that thing, and it'll give you 10 bullet points to summarise it and all that kind of stuff. I do a movie podcast as well on outside of Candour, and we were doing that on the podcast the other day of coming up with summaries and stuff like that. That's totally fine. Like you said, if it's taking existing content and being able to break it down, I think, and again, something everybody is talking about at the moment is where that creation comes in. The spark of inspiration and creation comes into it, and then where AI cannot, first of all, ChatGPT doesn't have access to the internet, so it is pulling from all the data, it's straight up making things up sometimes as well. Whereas, when you come in as an expert with the experience, you are proving that you have that topic in your head already and proving that you are an expert in that area. That's such a big difference maker, that's got to be the big difference maker and proving that there is a human that has created this content and it's not just somebody chucked in out to ChatGPT. Something you mentioned there, I think product reviews is such an important part of it as well. We've seen so many product review updates from Google over the last two years or so. How much do you think double E-A-T ties into product reviews? How important is it when it comes to those two kinds of sides relating to each other?
John: I've written a lot of product reviews, that's what I do for Forbes, I just write product reviews. One thing I want to say is based on what I've done for Forbes, because like I mentioned earlier, they have the highest editorial standards. Recently what we've been doing is we've been ensuring that the content we're writing is actually in depth. We've gotten past the stage of we're just writing 1,000 word content. I guess as this stage we're writing content that is at least 2,000, 2,500 words, because we want it to be in depth and it's not just about the words, it's about the quality. So, let's say in a particular piece of content we're looking at, let's say we want to review, I'll look for maybe a particular, let's say we want to review Zoom recording software. So, we're looking at what is Zoom? We want to understand what Zoom is. What are the pros and the cons? Those pros and cons, we want it to be in such a way that this is what we see users complaining about, or we see user appreciating the software for. The pros and cons, which benefits or which company would Zoom benefit? For example you could say Zoom is good for a company with maybe X to Y number of employees, and Zoom is not good, if you're looking for a cheap software Zoom is not the best for that.
So, we are just trying to analyse the Zoom software and just to ensure that at the end of the review, the, what's the name? The review out or the audience can get a major idea, they can get a major idea this is what Zoom is, and can know whether you would like to purchase the software or not. Then if you look at, let's say now we come to topics like law, because I've actually written legal topics. For these legal topics, for example now I understand that I may not really be an expert in legal topics. I know how to do my research, I know how to string the words together to make it make sense. But then that's why there's a need for a subject matter expert to verify the content, in Forbes Advisor we have this thing of, this deadline below the topic and we have this thing of the writer, the editors and then the reviewer, something like that. So, we ensure that I'm the writer, then my editors ensure, just check the content, check whether it's plagiarised or grammatical errors, just remove grammatical errors.
Then we have the reveal to check to confirm every fact there to ensure that it's actually correct. This legal fact it's correct, this legal fact is correct, this start doesn't make sense, yes, it makes sense. Because we want to ensure that Google recognises the fact that that this content is not just written by one person, it's written by a bunch of people, and a bunch of people that makes it so good, because someone is writing it, someone's ensuring that the content is good enough, and someone is verifying everything you need to know about it, and that's a law expert. So, this is basically how Google E-A-T affected content, because everyone is trying to ensure that their content is written and is also verified, so that Google believes that this content has what it takes to rank on the first page.
Jack: Yeah, I think what you guys do at Forbes is really great, where you have the writer and also verified and confirmed reviewed by. You literally have it on the page for the reader, for Google, for whoever is reading that, so you can get an understanding of, here is the writer behind the piece, but this has been verified by exactly as you said, subject matter experts who know what they're talking about. Another site that does this and I always bring them up, they are like my holy grail, my guideline for this kind of stuff is Healthline. Because again, coming from the other side of it, talking about health and stuff compared to Forbes talking about finance, they have multiple reviews by medical professionals for every single article, and you basically get a change log of this was updated six months ago by this doctor, this was re-reviewed six months later by this doctor and they have both verified and confirmed and all that kind of stuff. It's so important for that kind of thing when you're talking about these important topics to have these subject matter experts be part of that process. I think as well, working with you as a writer and working with the editor, they're different skills, right?
John: Mm-hmm. Yep.
Jack: Because you're a subject matter expert doesn't mean you necessarily write, and because you're a really good writer it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to know legal stuff and financial stuff and medical stuff and all these different things. You can't be expected to know everything. So, you're totally right, that editorial process is so important.
John: It just makes the process so smooth. To me the process is so smooth, it's so good because at the end of it all you're creating content that is just really good to read. Very, very good to read because it's not just one person involved in the process, you have four persons, so you can be sure that whatever is coming out is really good.
Jack: Again, we'll get into that. That's understanding trust, and once you see that multiple people have reviewed it, that subject experts are reviewing this content, that builds trust with the reader from... Completely taking SEO out of it and not thinking about it from a technical perspective, just as a reader me knowing that the advice you're giving me on, it could be a massive financial thing, buying a house or something like that, some big thing, that big decision. If I'm going to spend a lot of money I want know it's coming from people who know what they're talking about, who have credentials and qualifications and all this kind of stuff.
Jack: I mean that's such a huge part for building trust with the audience, and I think that's why Google has shifted trust to be that key factor, right? They've put trust on top of everything else, so the expertise, the experience and authoritativeness or bill to creating trust with not only the reader but with the search engines as well. So, how can we go about building this kind of stuff? If you've not got an editorial process quite like Forbes, say we're working on a smaller site, what can we do as writers, as editors to establish some of these key parts of double E-A-T and make sure that's part of our content creation process? Because not everywhere is Forbes unfortunately.
John: No, no, no, no, that's actually true. But I feel like companies can make drastic changes to their whole process, their whole website. One thing we do or one thing I've seen is the question of an about page, because you want to signify to Google that this particular person is really an expert in this particular field. So, you want create an about page, the writer has his about page, the editors they have their about page, the contributors that is external reviewers, they have their about page. So, when you have these about pages, and then let's say I'm trying to read a particular review and I stumble on the particular blog post and then I see that it's written by, it is done by so many people and I'm like, you have the writer, you have the editors, you have the external contributors.
So, by the time I click on external contributor I want to see things that make me feel like, oh yeah, this person has verified this content, so I can trust this person. I can trust the person. So, that's one. Another thing is you have to, another one is coming down to your content, you really have to show, how would I put this? You really have to make your content memorable and differentiate it from others, that is you are going the extra mile. There was something, I really don't know if this should be on the podcast, but for Forbes Advisor there was something that we did recently, that was happening recently. What happened was that sometimes, when we are given the briefs we just go ahead to write, they expect us that we would probably test the products. But now it's no more an obligation step because they are going ahead to subscribe to some of the software and then anytime there's a review they give us a password, they give us the username like go and test it, test this, try it out yourself.
Now, that's because they really want to see content that showcases that firsthand experience. It showcases that you've used this so you can testify, how secure is it? Explain, is it easy to use? How does the user interface look like? How are the features? What are the features? What are some things that may not be necessarily noticeable to those other persons outside that you've discovered? It's more like the fine prints. I remember writing a software review for a cybersecurity company, I wrote the review and when it came to the fine prints part I did some research and I discovered that this particular company had some issues with leaking user data. So, I mentioned it there, I mentioned it there that this company has been accused of this scandal, so if you're probably going to be purchasing the software, just keep this in mind, just in case your data gets sold you should know that we warned you first.
So, it's more like you are giving them everything, you're not hiding anything from them. You're telling them this is what the software is all about, this is the audience it's meant for, it's not meant for A audience, it's meant for B audience. C audience may find this slightly useful. We give them every tiny detail because we, it's not just... One thing people do is that they just go to the website of maybe the particular, what's the name? The particular software and they just copy everything there and just put it in. That's not really a review, because-
Jack: It's almost like the sales pitch they have, right? You just get all the positive stuff of them trying to sell you their product.
John: Exactly. So, you have to get both the positive and both the negative.
Jack: Yeah, definitely.
John: And then we also compare to other products. We also compare, we'll also be like, how does product A compare with product B? We also want to ensure that users can also look at other products maybe like four and be like, I think I would like to go with product C, product D may not have what we need. And for the pros and cons, one thing I do is that I use sites like G2, Software Advice, Trustpilot, Capterra. I use them to, sometimes I study them. When I'm writing the particular product review I can study 50 comments before even starting to write my pros and cons, because the thing is it's incredibly difficult to say you want to test the particular software and know the pros and the cons, you can't, unless you've be using software for a long while and you have people who have been using the software for a long while. So, you can go there and from their experience you can understand what is the key points?
What is the common thing they're all saying? What's the common pro they're all saying? What's the common disadvantage they're all saying? And then you take that, you analyse that and you put in your contents. These things takes time, this is why we are paid very well for this kind of content, because writing this kind of content it takes time. And then when you're writing it's possible that you may have missed some things, and that's where the editorial team comes in to verify, to ensure that you have not missed, to ensure that this content is just the way we want it. Let's say the structure of the content, the aim of the content, this content is fulfilling the objective. And then if the need arises, you have probably have the need for external contributors or reviewer to check, to verify and to ensure that this is actually correct. Then another thing is, I mentioned collaborating experts, you want to collaborate with experts with these external contributors to ensure that your content is really, really good. Then you want to be honest, that is one thing we promote at Forbes Advisor. I don't know if this is a pitch, but we want to be honest.
Jack: Turning into a sales pitch, I appreciate the hustle.
John: We want to be honest because we want to ensure that we are creating content, even though sometimes we do this thing of, we are promoting particular products. Let's say if a company purchases products from the website they get about percentage, affiliate stuff. Even though we want to do that, we also want to ensure that we are just saying it just as it is. If there are any pro and any con, we are just giving this objective review. It's not subjective, it's just that straight.
Jack: Yeah. I love the idea of that.
John: That's the major thing to consider.
Jack: Yeah, there's a really good point there you touched on where I think a lot of people underestimate having, like you said, taking other reviews into account, talking to other people, whether that's looking at, like you said, Trustpilot and things like that, review sites, or even talking to colleagues. I know this is a big thing in the movie industry and the video games industry, where my background is, where you will get a lot of groups of reviewers coming together and saying, oh, did you experience this? Did you experience that? You even come into terms of accessibility and stuff. So, you as an experienced product reviewer and having experience with financial software, I have never used financial software in my life, so we would probably have a very different experience. And that's judging on, I wear glasses, for example, my vision will be different than yours. How does it affect visually impaired users? There's accessibility for disabled users. And then also from a user knowledge level, you would go in with, oh, I have reviewed dozens of financial software before, I know what I'm doing, I roughly have an idea of where to click, where to go. And then me coming in completely new, I would have no idea. And unless you take that experience and that account into your review and you say, oh, this is very user-friendly, or this is terrible for new users, you should start here. Like you said, comparing different softwares, that's so important.
John: I'd like to mention something here, when we're writing these reviews we understand that we are writing for B2B businesses, sorry, B2B buyers, and then we're also writing for B2C customers. So, we want to make it as simple as possible. It's more like anyone who just comes onto the website, let's say I'm here and I want to check whether Zoom will be a good tool for me as a freelancer. I go into the software, I just want to see things that will make me understand. So, the way we write it, we write it in such a way that we want to, starting from the customer, we want to be like this may be useful for one, maybe a team that has one to three users or a team that has 50 to 200 users.
So, we are addressing every, should I say demographic now? We are addressing every level because we want to ensure that everyone has an idea of whether this product would be good for them. And then one major thing boils down to the cost, that's a major thing. So, we also have, that's why we also have these pricing pages and then pricing reviews. So, we just implement all these things in our review because we want to ensure that users have an idea of security, the pricing, the features, frequently asked questions. Just so many things because we want every single person that clicks on that page to understand whether the product is good or not good for them. So, that is why we take the extra steps to also check out what people have said about it, we want to give people a heads-up, this is what you should expect, this is what we've discovered. Based on users review, based on user's comment this is what they saw. So, we just want to state it just the same way it is.
Jack: Yeah, definitely. I think like you said, objectivity is so important rather than, but also bringing in different perspectives is that kind of balance of understanding. It's going to be subjective because you're a human, pure objectivity is basically impossible, but getting as close as you possibly can and looking at, as you said, everything, every little aspect, every positive, every negative. I know I've seen a lot of the recent reviews where they will kind of highlight pros and cons, but the actual full article goes into absolutely every single little detail. Mark and I were talking a couple of weeks ago on the podcast about somebody reviewing a computer mouse for gaming and stuff, and it talked about the speed of the laser or something, it was the brightness of the laser on the bottom of the mouse. I was like, I didn't even know that was a thing, I didn't even know that was an option for a wireless mouse to have a different light underneath it so it would have different reaction times and stuff.
Without reviewing that and without knowing that, I was like, oh yeah, okay. It's not really something I'm an expert in, and you can come in with people who know what they're talking about and review that and say, does this matter to that customer? And like you said, understanding your audience is a big part of it as well. Whether you're doing B2B or B2C on how that works, you need to understand what relevant information is for those audiences. If you are working purely for B2C stuff, they might want to know different information. And again, coming around to what you're saying about Zoom, different size of companies will make a huge difference. Have you got 500 people trying to use the same Zoom account? Have you got two people using the same Zoom account? That's going to be a different experience with that software and with that experience because that's how scalability and things work, right? You are totally, totally right. So, we've covered experience, we've covered expertise. How do you build authoritativeness? Do you think this is part of, again, those three key parts, building up towards trust, let's kind of finish things off and talk about authoritativeness specifically?
John: Now, when it comes to authoritativeness I feel like when you mention authoritativeness and expertise I feel like they're intertwined. They mean the same thing to me, because when you have this authority in something you're considered an expert in it. But basically, the way I see authoritativeness is it could be like, are you known for a particular thing? For example, now when you mentioned Forbes Advisor, they are known for giving reviews about products, of helping you make the best financial decisions. So, expertise can maybe boil down to they have writers that are really good and then they're telling you what you need to know. They're experts in their field and they're showcasing firsthand experience with the product. So, authoritativeness can be more like the soft and the sites. Yeah, the sites that this is what they do, the unknown and they have this authority. So, anytime just go and type review, let's say any SaaS product, just type a name, pick a name and put review.
I can bet you that you'll see Forbes Advisor on the first page. I've tried it so many times, any name, as far as a review has been written on that particular topic, if you type it you must see them on the first page. Now, that's because they built authority in that sphere, and with that it means that they've gained trust because people keep coming to this website. I remember last year my editor sent a message to every writer, and they were like, congratulation was that, I think we tripled traffic, the contents we're creating helped their traffic to get tripled. So, it's basically they've been seeing good stuff, positive things there, and that's because according to what we’ve done, the contents we're making are really helping users and they love coming back.
So, because the users have kind of identified us as we create stuff that's authoritative, they come back because they trust us, they trust that we are giving objective reviews. We're not saying things to favour us because we are maybe promoting the software. No, we are saying this because this is how it is out there, and they appreciate these reviews, and then they come back why? Because they simply trust us. So, that's just the way I can break it down. So, it could be from Forbes Advisor is known for giving financial advisors to people who want to make financial purchases, and then it will boil down to their experts, writers who do these reviews, who ensure that people are getting objective reviews and they're writing about their first-hand experience. So, it'll just be like that. And this whole thing, this whole three entire list would build trust.
Jack: Yeah. I think the diagram that was included in the search rate guidelines recently from Google where you have the three circles of authoritative expertise and experience, and then on top of that is trust. You are totally right that I think the way to look at authoritativeness is also to think about the expert side of things and think about the experience. They are all linked together and trying to separate it all out and think about it is probably the wrong way of doing it. And actually looking at as a whole and how you build overall trust for your brand, for your clients, whatever it is is coming from all three elements, kind of feeding into it and building the overall thing. I think you are absolutely right there, mate. Absolutely.
John: Yeah. That's it.
Jack: Well, I think that is a pretty perfect way to finish the show with some excellent double E-A-T advice. Thank you, John for joining me. It's been an absolute pleasure to have a conversation with you. Glad we could finally make it and finally arrange it.
John: Thanks for having me. Thanks so much, it was really nice coming onto this podcast.
Jack: I'm glad you enjoyed it, it's been a pleasure to have you on. Where can people follow up and find you across the internet and social media and things like that?
John: I have my LinkedIn, I have my website. But just my LinkedIn, then on Twitter you'll see me there.
Jack: Excellent. I'll put links for those in the show notes listeners, so just click on the links in the show notes and you'll be able to find John and follow him for advice.
John: Yeah. I have a product for people who want to write software reviews because I get this thing from search writers and they're like, where do we start from? So, I kind of developed some templates where anyone who wants to become a search writer or wants to start writing in bottom-of-funnel content, basically reviews, pricing pages, comparison pages, stuff like that, where they have the templates and I have a video explaining how to use it. So, I have a production like that too, anyone who is interested can just check it out.
Jack: Brilliant. That's the bottom-of-funnel content blueprint, right?
John: Yeah. That's it.
Jack: Excellent, lovely. Link for that as well listeners will be in the show notes. So, you can follow John on social media, you can also get some templates. There you go, some actionable actual stuff that you can use for you and your clients and your sites in the future. Highly recommend you go and follow John and check out his product as well.
John: Thank you so much.
Jack: Brilliant. Thanks, John. Been an absolute pleasure.
John: All right, thank you.
Jack: And that about wraps us up for this week. Thank you once again to John to joining me. Please do go and check him out on LinkedIn, he is full of fantastic advice. Even though he's only 22 years old he has so much experience, so much knowledge to share, and I think he's going to go a very, very long way in his writing career. So, jump on the train now essentially, get in there while John is still fairly early on in his career before he's a world-famous writer that you'll all be asking advice from him in a few years' time, because I know I certainly will. Like I said, thank you John for joining me, it's an absolute pleasure. Like I said, links for all of his social media stuff will be in the show notes at search.withcandour.co.uk, as they always are. I'll be back again next week with more news and interviews across the SEO world. But until then, thank you so much for listening and have a lovely week.