What is E-A-T?
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness and was introduced by Google in 2018. Google discusses these three signals in-depth in its Quality Raters’ Guidelines. A document designed to help webmasters understand how Google rates websites and best practices for SEO, design, content, and much more.
A big misconception in the SEO community is that E-A-T is an influential ranking factor that Google directly uses to score sites. But SEO strategist, Wes Turner, believes E-A-T is better described as an SEO recipe to follow when creating and sustaining a website. Google has stated that a site that contains the three elements of E-A-T tends to provide quality content that users approve and value. While a website found lacking in E-A-T is a “sufficient reason to give a page a low-quality rating.”
E-A-T consists of three ideals that Google prefers highly ranked content to have. Those three ideals are:
- Expertise – The author of the content should be an expert in their field. This doesn’t always mean you must have specific credentials (though it certainly helps) to be considered an expert. Expertise can also come from direct experience on the topic accompanied by thorough content.
- Authoritativeness – The author or website should have credibility in its respected industry or profession. Authority can come from awards, credentials, reviews, consistent creation of similar content, and much more. For example, if you own a healthcare website and have certified and distinguished staff, ask for their insight on a topic being written about. You can use their thoughts as a quote, or even have them help write the content and be listed as the author or co-author, highlighting their credibility.
- Trustworthiness – Give Google reasons to trust your site through the on-page content you create and the off-page reputation that you’ve built. Google will review websites as a whole and focus on locating privacy policies, security updates, and more that ensure the user will feel safe trusting this site. Reputation will always be one of the best ways to build trust in any business. When building an online reputation, it’s essential to have healthy and organic backlinks from others in your industry. This shows Google that others have found your content valuable and have recommended it to others. A strong backlink profile is crucial for Google to deem your site trustworthy.
In the most recent revision of the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, Google lumps the three core pillars of E-A-T into the “page quality” category. Google’s goal is to provide the highest quality content that gives the best online experience for every search query. They do this through a constantly updated search algorithm that crawls web pages and determines the best pages to present.
5 Ways to Improve Your E-A-T
Much like SEO, improving the E-A-T of your website is a long term goal. While there’s plenty that you can do to improve your site immediately, it’s essential to construct and implement a digital strategy with E-A-T in mind moving forward. So, what can you do today to begin improving your E-A-T?
1. Review and Refresh Content
Refreshing old content is an effective and efficient digital strategy. Rather than going back to the drawing board for a brand new piece of content, continue to improve an older yet still relevant blog. Updating information on past blogs is often overlooked but can yield noticeable growth. Remember, your website’s E-A-T isn’t defined by a few pages, it’s vital to take a holistic approach and improve the overall quality and experience.
2. What Are Others Saying About You?
How others talk about your or your business online speaks volumes about who you are and what you do. Google relies heavily on brand mentions and backlinks to your site when determining where your site should rank. They use these metrics as signals that tell them how many people are talking about you and how many are recommending your information, products, services, etc.
3. Build a 10x Content Strategy
Suppose you have a blog currently ranking on page 2 of Google. Going from page 2 to page 1 of Google is often challenging, especially if your content is just like everyone else. The idea of 10x content is to make your content ten times better than your competitors. Google values high quality, fact-driven content, and we’ve seen firsthand how Google rewards those who go the extra mile. Some great ways to 10x your content are infographics, refreshing content, and videos to improve the customer journey and experience.
4. Onsite Promotion
It’s crucial to let others know who you are and why they should trust you when on your website. Optimizing your on-page SEO is a great place to start. If you’re an expert in your field, then tell users why. A great way to illustrate this is through a well-optimized and easily locatable “About Us/Me” page. If you have a team of noteworthy and intelligent employees, put the spotlight on them and their accomplishments. There’s nothing wrong with a little bragging, which helps users trust the information that much more.
5. Improve Your Reputation
As more and more people view and value your high-quality content, the better your brand awareness becomes. Through consistent and helpful information is how you become an authority in your space. When others value your information, it’s much more likely to be shared and recommended to others. The value of quality and industry-relevant backlinks cannot be overstated.
You Are What You E-A-T!
Now that you’ve learned what E-A-T is, it’s time to start improving your site. Start building your expertise, authority, and trust today to begin becoming the go-to source for information in your space and dominating the search engine results.