What is E-A-T, where does it come from, why is it so essential to your website’s ranking, and how to optimize for the same; discover the answers to all such questions here! To begin with, let’s discuss what is E-A-T. Well, E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust. This term comes from Google’s Search Quality Guidelines. This is a document that Google gives to its Search Quality Raters, the people around the world who rate the quality of Google Search results so that the search engine can keep a check on what sort of sites its algorithm is rewarding.
So, What Are The Quantifying Measures Of E-A-T?
Expertise is all about the quality of your site’s content, its reliability, and authoritativeness. If your content is of low quality or is being written by an amateur lacking appropriate expertise and knowledge of your niche Google can easily recognize this and usually does not reward such behavior.
Authority can be measured by your website’s value and recognition amongst peers and competition in your field. Some common questions to ask that can help you determine the website’s authority are whether you are getting a good number of backlinks and is your website a topic of discussion within an authoritative panel.
Finally, trust is measured by how well people speak of your business or your website. Google has given great importance to semantics and if you have ravingly positive reviews and the target audience seems to attach a positive sentiment with your product or service it’s good news to Google, and Google can be reasonably sure that your business is reliable.
Why Is E-A-T So Important?
E-A-T is essential because as Google has evolved, it has transitioned from being just a search engine to providing specific answers. This phenomenon has taken the flight into the clouds especially due to the introduction of Voice Search and Google Home devices. Let’s look at an example. We were recently blessed with a baby in 2018 and would ask the Google Home device standing upright in our kitchen, all sorts of questions like what temperature should a baby’s bedroom be at night, as all new parents baffling with confusion do! Now imagine the consequences one might face if the search engine provides wrong answers that have ranked randomly. Therefore Google ensures to rank websites with high expertise, high authority, and high trust to provide accurate information at all times. The search engine has to take responsibility for providing appropriate answers as to what the person is seeking or there are grave dangers of lawsuits and bad publicity. The search engine possesses no emotions of benevolence or kindness but understands its responsibility towards the users and tries to provide as much accurate and precise information as possible.
Therefore, E-A-T is crucial because Google has to look into the sort of information they are providing in the search results as well as how they can make sure that the information is as likely to be correct as possible.
Which Industries Does E-A-T Impact The Most?
Google uses an acronym, YMYL, which stands for “Your Money or Your Life”. It sure sounds a bit threatening but trust me, it’s not. Well, “Your Money or Your Life” means any website that implies people’s financial situation, their life, or their health. For example, websites related to the health and medical industry would come under the section of “Your Life”. Whereas websites selling products or taking credit card information from you can be considered as “Your Money” sites. Any and every website with an e-commerce element or health-related topics comes under the scrutiny of E-A-T.
The scrutiny regarding E-A-T is implemented on every website in the market with extra focus on financial and health-related websites as Google is looking out for the quality and reliability of the information you’re sharing.
Why Is E-A-T Such A Big Thing At The Moment?
In August 2018, Google released a significant algorithm update that had a massive impact on many websites’ rankings. One of the most publicized changes in the Search Quality Rating Guidelines, which seemed to impact the ranking, was the E-A-T element. The most affected sites during this update were the ones revolving around health, medical, and wellness.
Several diet-related sites also saw their rankings tank when observed by the search engine that the content on those websites was not written by qualified medical experts. This grabbed the attention of many people in the SCO community because it raised a big red flag and everyone had to adhere to such guidelines extra carefully. The update presented an opportunity for website owners to reflect on their content and whether it was written with qualitative expertise or just published for the sake of filling the pages.
Along those lines, becoming E-A-T compliant and thinking more about how we present our businesses online is an excellent opportunity to build more credibility with our customers and comply with any past or future Google algorithm updates.
Here’s How You Make Sure That Your Website Is Optimized For E-A-T
1. Audit Your Brand
An important aspect that makes any website reliable to the users and Google is whether any reliable face is willing to associate themselves with your brand. Having an impactful and renowned personality backing a brand automatically puts the website in the good books of Google. If you are a part of the financial industry or publish health or wellness related content, it is always a good idea to ensure that an influential and respectable personality is backing the business for establishing trust. We have observed that many sites have been able to improve their ranking during these E-A-T updates because they had author pictures and author bios for specific content written about medical or financial topics, including information about that person’s credibility and qualifications. Whereas the ones with generic information without any information about the author have been disregarded and dropped in rankings significantly.
You can mention the awards, qualifications, and prizes that your business has won. Showcasing the achievements works wonders for developing credibility and a good rapport with the leads and potential customers as well helps Google understand that you are compliant with E-A-T.
2. Audit The Content On Your Site
You need to ask the following questions in order to maintain an impactful online presence with your website and the inherent content.
- Does your content highlight your expertise?
- Is it sufficient in-depth and width to give an excellent background on whatever topic you’re writing about?
- Is that content best in class?
- Is it better than what’s on competitor’s sites?
3. Create Better Content In The Future
The practice can become really useful for the company. Build a framework that ensures the expertise of the people writing on the site. Websites like Kola tree allow you to hire outside experts in science or medicine to give authoritative and well-written content by a genuine expert in that space. If you don’t have the in-house expertise to be writing on those topics, this can prove to be a good inspiration to produce quality content by hiring content writers.
4. Promote Your Authority Thoroughly
One way to do so is to get featured on other highly-authoritative publications in your industry. That aids in establishing authority tremendously. If you want further help with E-A-T, you can get in touch with professional SEO consultant check out this quick EAT SEO checklist:
- Quality content
- Relevant content
- Trustworthiness of brand
- Expert in your own niche
- Strong backlinks
- Positive reviews
A Quick Summary
E-A-T essentially stands for expertise, authority, and trust. It is particularly crucial for medical and financial sites, signifying the ones that can be classified under “Your Money or Your Life” sites. We’ve seen diet sites being hit very hard since the August 2018 Google update, which brought the importance of E-A-T into the light. The term E-A-T comes from Google’s guidelines, and they’re precise in their Search Quality Rater document about what constitutes a site with high E-A-T. It is something everyone should keep in mind when moving forward, irrespective of their niche and industry.
Apart from Google’s perspective, E-A-T is a great tool to build credibility with your audience and implement the top tips that ensure your compliance with E-A-T is to check the credibility and expertise of the people writing content for your website. Lastly, attaching a face and name with qualifications to each post acts as a cherry on top demonstrating the genuineness of the content to the viewers and make your website more likely to fit in and comply with Google’s Search Quality E-A-T guidelines.
E-A-T in SEO is an abbreviation of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. The E-A-T concept is discussed in great detail in Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines (2013). It was already there in indirect form but awareness is spread now.
The concept of E-A-T helps in writing the main content. and, the right content boosts SEO, so though it’s not a direct parameter that boosts ranking, it is a backbone for strategic SEO + Content marketing.