What does E-A-T mean, where did it come from, why’s it important to website ranking, and how do you optimize for it? For answers to these questions and more about E-A-T, read on.
To get things going, let’s start by looking at the abbreviation means. E-A-T is short for expertise, authority, and trust and is derived from Google’s Search Quality Guidelines – a document that the tech company gives to all its Search Quality Raters around the world. Who are Search Quality Raters and what do they do? Search quality raters are people whose work is to rate the quality of the results the search engine (Google) provides so that it has an easier time keeping track of websites its algorithm is rewarding.
So, what is E-A-T’s Quantifying Measures?
Expertise, in essence, refers to the quality of a website’s content, its authoritativeness, and reliability. If the content you post on your site is being written by people who don’t understand your niche, or is of low quality, chances are Google’s algorithm will notice this and not reward the site with rankings. The search engine generally doesn’t condone such behavior.
Authority is generally measured by a site’s recognition and value amongst its competitors and peers in its niche. When trying to determine your site’s authority, there are two important questions you need to ask yourself:
– Is my site a topic of discussion in any authoritative panel?
– Is it getting a substantial number of backlinks?
Trust, on the other hand, is measured by what people are saying about a website or business. One thing worth noting about Google is that the search engine company values semantics. This means that if your target audience has positive things to say about your services or products and your online reviews are generally positive, then Google will see your business/site as dependable and reward you for it.
The seo website Moz.com also has a domain analysis tool which can give you your website’s overall “spam” score. This score is supposed to give you an overall “trust factor” for your website as well. The lower the score the more trustworthy your website is. The higher the score the more spammy your website appears.
Why is E-A-T Important for SEO?
The reason why E-A-T has become so important is that as Google has continued to evolve, it’s transitioned from a simple search engine to a solution that provides specific answers to very specific questions/queries. This phenomenon has been highly successful, and that can be partly attributed to the introduction of Google Home devices and Voice Search.
For instance, let’s say you ask your Google Nest a very serious question like how to know whether the cut you just accidentally gave your hand by cutting carrots while making dinner is serious enough to have to go to the hospital or not. When you ask Google Nest your question, you trust that the device will provide you with the right answer, right? Now, imagine what would happen if the search engine provided you with the wrong, randomly-ranked answers.
To ensure this never happens, Google does its best to make sure that it only ranks sites with high expertise, authority, and trust. This, for the search engine, is essential in ensuring that the information it provides is always accurate and dependable.
Google is responsible for providing the most appropriate answers to what its users are seeking or risk bad publicity and being sued. While the search engine has no emotions of benevolence, it understands that it has a responsibility towards its users and always does its best to provide as much precise and accurate information as it can.
So, the reason why E-A-T is vital is that the search engine company has to look into the type of information it provides through search results and how it can ensure that results are always correct.
Which Industries Does E-A-T Impact the Most?
YMYL is an acronym that Google uses and is short for ‘Your Money or Your Life.’ While it might sound somewhat threatening, it isn’t. Essentially, YMYL refers to websites that deal with peoples’ lives, their health, or their financial situation. For instance, websites related to the medical and health industries automatically fall under the ‘Your Life’ section while those that take credit card information from users or sell products fall under the ‘Your Money’ section. All websites that offer health-related information or have an e-commerce element fall under E-A-T’s scrutiny.
And while E-A-T’s scrutiny is implemented on all websites, its main focus is on health and finance-related sites as Google is looking out for the reliability and quality of the information being shared.
Why is E-A-T a Big Thing Right Now?
In 2018, Google released a crucial algorithm update that impacted the rankings of many websites. A change in Search Quality Rating Guidelines that was highly publicized, and which appeared to have a significant impact on how websites were ranked, was the E-A-T update. Websites that were most affected by this update were those revolving around wellness, health, and medical.
Dozens of diet-related websites saw their ranking fall too as Google deemed that the information they were providing wasn’t written by professional/qualified medical experts. This caught the attention of the SEO community as it raised a huge red flag, which meant everybody had to follow the guidelines carefully. This new update forced website owners to take time and think about their content and ensure that it was written from a professional, qualitative viewpoint.
Due to this update, more people are working hard to become E-A-T compliant and are more conscious of how they present their businesses online. The update presents a great opportunity for website owners to build credibility with their customers and comply with any future and past Google algorithm updates.
Here is How to Ensure Your Website is E-A-T Optimized
- Audit Your Brand
One aspect that makes any site reliable to Google and users is when a renowned individual willingly associates themselves with you. Having a well-known and influential personality back your brand will automatically put your site in good books with Google. If you publish wellness or health-related content or are part of the financial industry, it’s always a great idea to have a respectable and influential individual backing your business. This helps establish trust.
We’ve noticed that many websites have managed to improve their ranking on Google during the E-A-T update period as they had author bios and pictures for specific content written about financial or medical topics, including the author’s qualifications and credibility. On the other hand, content that lacks information about the person who wrote it is generally disregarded and typically ranks poorly.
You can mention prizes, awards, and qualifications your business has achieved. Showcasing your accomplishments and successes works wonders for developing a good rapport and credibility with potential customers and leads and helps the search engine understand that you’re E-A-T compliant.
- Review the Content You Publish on Your Website
For your site to maintain a dynamic online presence, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself first concerning the content you create:
Does my content highlight my expertise?
Does it have sufficient width and depth to provide a professional context on whatever topic I’m writing about?
Is it better than what is on my competitors’ and peers’ websites?
Can the information I provide be considered the best in class?
- Ensure You Provide Quality and Trustworthy Content From Here on Out
The practice of providing high-quality and dependable information can become quite useful for you as a business. Consider building a framework that guarantees the proficiency of the people writing on/for your website. Sites like Kola Tree allow users to hire freelance experts in matters related to medicine or science. With such options, finding an expert that can create well-written, trustworthy, and authoritative content for your website shouldn’t be that difficult.
- Thoroughly Promote Your Authority
One way to accomplish this is to make sure you get featured or mentioned on other authoritative publications within your industry. This is one of the best ways to establish authority. If you need help implementing E-A-T, consider getting in touch with a professional search engine optimization consultant for guidance and advice.
E-A-T SEO checklist:
– Positive reviews
– Strong and Quality backlinks
– Relevant content
– Quality content
– Reasonably long content
– Proven expertise in your niche
– Trustworthiness of brand
– Are people sharing your content?
E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust) is especially important for websites classified as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) such as those in the financial and medical sectors. After Google’s August 2018 update hit diet and nutrition websites hard, website owners realized the importance of the E-A-T update. The term is derived from Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, and the search engine is quite specific about what makes a website with high E-A-T. If you own a website, then this is something that you need to keep in mind as we move forward irrespective of your industry and niche.
Google’s perspective aside, E-A-T is a useful tool for building credibility with audiences and implementing the guidelines that guarantee your compliance with E-A-T. Remember to check the expertise and credibility of the individuals creating content for your site, and always make sure you attach a name, face, and qualifications to all your posts. Enforcing the tips mentioned here will help demonstrate the genuineness of your content to your audience while making your site E-A-T compliant per Google’s Search Quality Guidelines.
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