When it comes to online content, the acronym E-A-T is an important concept to keep in mind. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, and it refers to the criteria Google uses to assess the quality of content on the web. In this article we will explore what E-A-T means, why it is important for SEO strategy, and how content creators can use it to improve their content quality and Google ranking.
What is Google E-E-A-T?
Google E-E-A-T is a concept used by human quality raters to evaluate Google’s search ranking systems. It stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are the factors that Google considers when assessing the quality and credibility of a website and its content.
Google E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking signal, but it can have an impact on your overall search rankings indirectly. Google’s general idea here is to reward (rank higher) quality content that comes from trusted sources. So the messenger is at least as important as the message.
What does the E-E-A-T update mean for SEO?
Google E-E-A-T is not a new concept, but it has been updated in December 2022 with an additional ‘E’ for experience. This means that Google now expects some types of content to be produced with firsthand experience to be trustworthy.
Experience means that the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. This means that Google will aim to “reward” pages where the author has actually experienced the topic they are writing about. For example:
- For an iPhone review, the author must have actually used the product.
- For a guide on the best jazz bars in San Francisco, the author must have actually visited them.
- For an overnight oatmeal recipe, the author must have actually made the dish.
- For an article on how to help people mentally cope with an illness, the author must have actually gone through it personally and/or helped other people.
- For a guide on how to be successful in business… you get the idea.
The E-E-A-T update means that SEO professionals need to pay more attention to the experience and credibility of their content creators, especially for topics that require personal involvement or knowledge. It also means that they need to provide clear evidence of their experience, such as testimonials, reviews, credentials, awards, etc.
How Does E-E-A-T Factor Into Algorithm Updates?
Google E-E-A-T is part of Google’s algorithm and baked into Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These are the guidelines that Google uses to instruct its quality raters to evaluate the performance of its various search ranking systems.
Quality raters are human evaluators who manually review a sample of web pages and provide feedback to Google. They do not directly influence rankings, but they help Google measure how well its algorithm is doing and identify areas for improvement.
Google E-E-A-T factors into algorithm updates because it reflects Google’s vision of what constitutes high-quality content and what users expect from it. Google constantly updates its algorithm to align with its quality standards and user needs. Therefore, following the E-E-A-T guidelines can help you create content that meets Google’s expectations and satisfies your audience.
How does this affect YMYL?
YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. It refers to topics that can affect a person’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability. Examples of YMYL topics include:
- Health and wellness
- Finance and banking
- Legal and government
- News and current events
- Shopping and e-commerce
- Education and careers
Google E-E-A-T affects YMYL topics more than others because these are topics that require a high level of trust and accuracy. Users rely on these topics to make important decisions or take actions that can have significant consequences for their lives. Therefore, Google wants to ensure that the content on these topics comes from trustworthy sources with relevant experience and expertise.
Google E-E-A-T affects YMYL topics by raising the bar for quality and credibility. Content creators who write about YMYL topics need to demonstrate their experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness more than ever. They also need to back up their claims with reliable sources, such as scientific studies, official statistics, reputable organizations, etc.
Tips to Improve Your E-E-A-T
Improving your E-E-A-T is not a quick fix or a one-time effort. It requires a long-term commitment and a holistic approach to your website and content strategy. Here are some tips to help you improve your E-E-A-T:
- Choose topics that you have firsthand or life experience in. If you don’t have enough experience, consider hiring or collaborating with someone who does.
- Showcase your credentials and achievements on your website and content. Include your bio, education, awards, certifications, publications, etc.
- Build your online reputation and authority by getting positive reviews, testimonials, ratings, social media followers, mentions, backlinks, etc.
- Update your content regularly and keep it accurate and relevant. Remove outdated or inaccurate information and add new data or insights.
- Provide clear references and citations for your information and sources. Link to reputable and authoritative websites and avoid low-quality or spammy ones.
- Engage with your audience and provide value. Answer their questions, address their concerns, solve their problems, etc.
- Follow Google’s guidelines and best practices for web design, usability, security, accessibility, etc. Make sure your website is fast, mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, secure, etc.
- For more helpful ideas try our blog posts: The Essential Guide to Landing Page Optimization Best Practices
Improving your E-E-A-T can help you create high-quality content that Google and your users will love. It can also help you rank higher, drive more traffic, and increase conversions. However, it takes time and effort to build and maintain your E-E-A-T, so be patient and consistent.
🚀 E-E-A-T Action Guide for Small Business Owners
1. 🧠 Grasp E-E-A-T
Definition: Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness, and Experience.
Why It Matters: Google's benchmark for content quality.
🛠️ Action: Review content. Showcase your business expertise and experience.
2. 📖 Highlight Real Experience
Insight: Google values firsthand content.
🛠️ Action: Feature case studies, testimonials, or real-life product/service examples.
3. 🔍 Boost Your SEO with E-E-A-T
Insight: Quality content from credible sources gets Google's nod.
🛠️ Action: Add a 'Meet the Team' page. Spotlight qualifications, experiences, and reviews.
4. 💼 Addressing YMYL for Businesses
Definition: Topics impacting well-being or finances.
Insight: E-E-A-T is vital for sectors like health, finance, or safety.
🛠️ Action: Use disclaimers, cite sources, and back claims with evidence.
5. 📈 Elevate E-E-A-T on Your Site
Insight: E-E-A-T is both a concept and a practice.
- 🛠️ a. Display certifications on the homepage.
- 🛠️ b. Showcase and engage with customer reviews.
- 🛠️ c. Keep content fresh and updated.
- 🛠️ d. Collaborate with industry leaders for guest posts or webinars.
🔗 Related Read: The Essential Guide to Landing Page Optimization Best Practices