Google places a high value on websites that demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). E-A-T is determined in part by the website, the content, and the creator. E-A-T should receive special attention from websites that publish YMYL (your money, your life) content.
You’ve probably heard of Google E-A-T unless you’re completely new to the search industry. Even though the idea has been around since 2014, it has gradually grown to be one of the most crucial SEO factors.
Unfortunately, even for industry experts, it’s also one of the most confusing.
What is Google E-A-T in SEO?
E-A-T, or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, is a marketing acronym. The idea was popularized following the infamous Medic Update in August 2018 and is based on Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines. E-A-T is one criterion that Google considers when assessing a web page’s overall quality.
As you might expect, a page’s position in the Google organic search results is significantly influenced by its page quality. The following components are essential in determining a web page’s overall quality, per Google’s recommendations:
- The Page’s Objective (does it serve any useful objectives?)
- Knowledge, Credibility, and Reputability
- Primary Content’s Quantity and Quality
- Details about the website or the person who created the main content
- Website reputation or Main Content author reputation
So, assuming everything else is equal, a page should rank higher the more it demonstrates its knowledge, standing, and reliability.
How is E-A-T determined by Google?
Let’s talk about how Google determines a page’s E-A-T now that we’ve clarified what E-A-T is. The Google search quality evaluator guidelines list three main elements at a high level:
- the knowledge of the Main Content’s author.
- the reliability of the website, the Main Content’s author, and the Main Content itself.
- the reliability of the website, the Main Content’s author, and the Main Content itself.
- providing reliable, accurate, and useful information
E-A-T is essentially one way Google tries to guarantee that it gives searchers accurate, real, and helpful information. Anyone can create a website and publish whatever they want on it. You don’t need a medical degree to launch a website with medical information, and you don’t need one to write about investing.
Of course, this is advantageous in some ways. However, it also presents a problem for Google. Based on the information they discover from search results, people make crucial decisions. Google wants to make sure that those choices are supported by the most reliable information possible.
Google, therefore, takes into account the individual content creator, the content itself, and the entire website when determining the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of a page. A thorough medical article on the Mayo Clinic website written by a qualified physician is much more valuable in Google’s eyes than a chance blog post offering unreliable medical advice.
What is expertise?
Google is aware that depending on the type of website, E-A-T will appear very differently. Knowledge on a news website is very different from that on a gossip website. Additionally, they recognize that even those without formal training can be experts in a field. Here is a quick summary of the QRG’s Google E-A-T guidelines:
Google Quality Rater Guidelines:
“Some subjects call for less formal knowledge. Many people provide incredibly thorough, beneficial reviews of products or establishments. On forums, blogs, etc., a lot of people share advice and personal experiences. These ordinary people might be regarded as authorities on the subjects in which they have lived. We will value this “everyday expertise” and not penalize the person/webpage/website for not having “formal” education or training in the field if the person creating the content has the kind and amount of life experience to qualify them as an “expert” on the topic.
However, Google only really and truly cares about one type of website E-A-T SEO: Your Money or Your Life.
What is YMYL?
“Your Money or Your Life” is the abbreviation. This acronym is used by Google as a guiding principle for classifying web pages that affect your finances, well-being, security, and/or happiness.
Due to the subject matter and what it means for a user if that information is misrepresented, YMYL sites are held to the highest E-A-T standards.
Types of YMYL websites
The pages that are most frequently regarded as YMYL are:
- News and current events: Subjects that include business, politics, science, and technology as well as global events (Not all news is covered by YMYL, for example, sports and entertainment news, but you should still aim for high E-A-T to raise the profile of your content.)
- Information about voting, government organizations, public institutions, social services, or legal counsel is disseminated under the headings of civics, government, and law.
- Finance: Any guidance or information on finances, including loans, investments, taxes, retirement planning, and insurance
- Shopping: Online retail content that includes product research or the examination of products and services that will be purchased
- Information or suggestions on clinics, pharmacies, or medications is included in content related to health and safety, along with information on emergency preparedness and risky activities.
- Groups of people: Information or statements made about individuals based on their religion, age, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or veteran status.
- Depending on their context or how the information is presented, the list may also include more subjective topics and content. These could be things like advice on parenting, home improvement or remodeling, school or college research, job hunting, or issues with fitness, nutrition, or weight loss.
Google E-A-T SEO Importance
Google is aware that decisions a person makes could have a significant impact on their lives. Consequently, a faulty source of information in Google search results can have negative effects in the real world.
You must exercise caution if any of these YMYL categories apply to your web pages or content. Make it crystal clear that it’s been authored by those with proper standing.
The more closely you can adhere to and implement the E-A-T standards in your content, the higher your chances are of achieving success in organic search engine visibility and ranking. We at Number9 provide all types of SEO services in Dubai.
Is Google E-A-T a ranking factor?
In terms of quantifiable metrics, E-A-T is not a significant factor in Google ranking. However, there are additional signals that Google takes into account when determining trust, authority, and expertise as ranking factors.
Google emphasized the value of E-A-T in its rankings in a white paper titled “How Google Fights Disinformation” that was published in February 2019. Furthermore, Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines currently reference “E-A-T” 137 times. It’s a crucial idea.
However, a Google E-A-T score cannot be determined by a single metric. Instead, it evaluates additional measurable factors that reflect the standard of writers, web pages, websites, and brands. The general method of operation works as shown below. Search quality raters gauge and assess the quality of websites, and they provide feedback that is incorporated into the Google algorithm.
Because keyword stuffing interfered with the reading experience, Google started to penalize it years ago. When the majority of people began using mobile devices to search the internet, they started making mobile responsiveness a ranking factor. Google prioritized HTTPS over HTTP because it wanted increased security for searchers. They created Core Web Vitals to quantify a quick, effortless user experience.
The same applies to E-A-T. It’s one more way for Google to deliver what users want.
E-A-T aids in judging credibility. It serves as the foundation for determining whether a website and each of its pages add value for the user. If search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of your digital marketing, keep E-A-T SEO at the forefront of your mind when creating your SEO strategy.
How to improve E-A-T SEO
Given how much it matters in organic search, let’s talk about some Google E-A-T SEO best practices.
1. Use off-page SEO to create the appropriate backlinks.
Backlinks from pertinent, high-authority domains are the cornerstone of an effective SEO strategy and one of the best ways to establish your authority in your field.
It probably won’t help you if you work in IT consulting and receive a backlink from a teen fashion website. Using those kinds of strategies could result in a manual action penalty. One insurance lead generation website discovered this, and as a result, all of its page-one rankings vanished after building hundreds of thousands of low-quality links on unrelated websites.
The Off-page SEO isn’t simple, though, when done correctly.
If you want to earn links, you must consistently create valuable, unique, high-quality content that draws links. Your blog’s once-monthly posting of a generic 500-word listicle won’t do much to help you. Spend the time and money necessary to establish your authority on any given topic. Next, establish connections with the appropriate publishers and influencers. These valuable backlinks will undoubtedly come afterward.
2. Obtain more references from reliable sources
Receiving mentions from reliable sources can help your E-A-T credentials in addition to backlinks. If your name or brand is mentioned more frequently in reputable online sources, Google will view you as a more credible authority. Visit our article on SEO and PR for more information on this.
How do you obtain mentions now that you are aware of their potential worth? There are dozens of ways to increase mentions. For example:
- Guest posting on respected websites
- opportunities for secure interviews
- show up on podcasts
- Join forces with influencers
- Feature speakers or host events
- Sponsor charitable occasions
- Construct valuable resources
- introduce novel ideas
3. Maintain truthful and current information.
There’s a good chance that you have pages on your website with outdated information unless the content is about something that never changes.
As much as you can, keep all of your content up to date with current events. This is especially true if your website has news or other current information-rich pages. Or take the subject of medical information, where it is crucial to keep the knowledge up to date in light of the most recent advancements and discoveries.
4. Amass more testimonials (and reply to them)
Getting and promoting online reviews of your goods or services is a smart business move. These same reviews contribute to Google’s evaluation of your website (E-A-T). Numerous positive reviews on a variety of review websites (such as Google, Trustpilot, Facebook, Yelp, etc.) demonstrate how well-liked your company is by customers.
Spend time responding to reviews as they come in, even the negative ones. Responding to customer feedback will increase consumer trust in your company as a reliable one that cares about its customers.
A new update to Google’s product reviews just came out. The update seeks to advance review material that is superior to the generic information that is frequently accessible online today.
The overall goal is to provide users with content that offers original research, and insightful analysis and is written by subject-matter experts or enthusiasts.
5. Employ or use experts
Google adores content from experts. They appear to favor content produced by people who have the credentials or qualifications to do so, in particular. If your site is in YMYL territory, expertly sourced materials are especially crucial. For this reason, many of the top websites for health information (such as Healthline, Verywell, etc.) have medical professionals write their articles, review them, or do both.
You can improve the E-A-T of your website by working with authors who have a wealth of real-world experience and credentials to back up their knowledge.
6. Display your identification.
Never merely refer to your authors as professionals without establishing their level of experience. Verify their credentials, and post them along with the content they create on your website. You should also link to the authors’ websites and social media accounts in order to help Google understand the entities responsible for your content.
The pages that introduce the people who created your website, such as Contributors, Team, and About, should also list your specialists. Don’t be shy about flashing the writer’s bonafide.
If your writers have the credentials, accreditations, and degrees, or have put in the necessary time to be recognized as authorities in a particular field, your brand has earned the right to let people (and Google) know.
7. List your contact information
Although it may seem unimportant, including your contact information on your website shows that you are a real company with live employees. Websites that don’t include a way to contact them are probably uninterested in their visitors.
Include your company’s physical address as well as all the contact details listed on your website.
First off, Wikipedia has a strict editing procedure. A backlink from this domain to your website is therefore comparable to a recommendation.
Second, creating a Wikipedia page is yet another opportunity to position your company as an authority in your field. You can discuss your achievements, provide links to reputable news sources, and more. Your Wikipedia page is another indication to Google that your brand is legitimate.
8. Check up on your brand
In addition to being wise business practice, inspecting your brand will strengthen the foundation for its credibility. Examine where your brand is currently positioned in the market and look for ways to strengthen it specifically.
Examine the online presence and search results for your brand. Do you have access to your social media, blogs, and websites? What about the press, community involvement, association websites, and independent publications?
Think back to the post’s What is E-A-T section. Do you possess all of the signals that Google seeks?
If your audit identifies a few gaps, develop a plan to increase your brand’s visibility. Your brand should be repositioned to emphasize its knowledge, authority, and reliability.
9. Conduct a content analysis
Your website probably already has a good deal of content, such as blog posts, articles, reports, case studies, data sheets, white papers, lookbooks, etc., unless it is brand-new. Learn how to conduct a content audit to make sure that all of the material you’ve published meets EAT standards.
There are three options for each page:
- Update it
- Remove it
Include it with other relevant pages.
Let’s take the case of a blog post you wrote four years ago. Update any out-of-date information to make it current for your audience. Or is it wholly ineffective, not generating traffic or sales, and not even worth updating? Next, remove it. If the blog post is incredibly short, either make it much longer or combine it with other pertinent blog posts to boost the value of the page.
Just keep in mind to use the proper 301 redirects when splitting up and deleting pages.
10. Create a framework for content marketing
Creating content regularly is a great way to build your authority. Whether you’re blogging, podcasting, or producing videos, effective content marketing allows you to demonstrate your expert knowledge in practical ways.
The challenge, of course, is that it takes a lot of work to consistently produce high-quality content. Hence the need for a framework for content creation. You and your team as marketers need a clear, repeatable process to regularly produce high-value content.
The following should be on your framework’s content calendar:
- The content’s nature
- Your pace of publication
- necessary resources
- Persona or segment of the target audience
- Specified keyword(s)
Each step that was required (a content proposal, draft, revisions, approvals, publication, etc.)
Who is accountable for each action