E-A-T was first introduced as a factor in Google’s search algorithm in 2014 and became a buzzword since the major Google Algorithm update in 2018. So, why are we talking about it now? Because E-A-T has become one of the most talked-about SEO concepts among the digital marketing consultant today and hundreds of SEO articles mention it.
E-A-T at a Glance
E-A-T is an acronym that refers to “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.” These are the three factors that help Google’s quality reviewers assess how much trust it should place on a website or a brand. This is done because Google wants to give its users the most relevant results and the best experience possible. E-A-T helps Google assure that only high-quality websites are ranked higher than low-quality, less trustworthy sites.
Expertise – You should have comprehensive knowledge in your field. Your content must bespeak your experience, expertise, and knowledge. It should also be unique, true to life, and useful for the users.
Authoritativeness – You need to demonstrate that you are the authority of the main content. You can get this by displaying the author’s credentials, relevant experience, and expertise. You can also get it from quality conversions and positive reviews.
Trustworthy – Creating trust is the most important factor. You can create a lot of content on the internet, but it needs to be trustworthy to get ranked. You need to instil the confidence among your users that the content they’re viewing is safe.
Is E-A-T a Ranking Factor?
This is one of the questions creating a great deal of interest in the SEO industry and among the digital marketing consultants.
It’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question. But, one thing is for sure that E-A-T is essential to improve your page quality and it’s not a direct ranking factor.
Why is E-A-T So Important?
E-A-T determines a website’s quality. Google’s human quality raters use E-A-T as signals to determine how good a website or a page provides what the user’s needs and satisfy them. If your website fails to provide the best customer experience, Google will simply disregard your site. In simple words, Google finds another website or page that provides better customer experience & has a higher E-A-T.
Thus, ensure that your content meets the standards and your users feel comfortable reading and sharing the content, which increases your site’s E-A-T. E-A-T becomes the reason why the users would click on your site over your competitors’.
If you fail to update yourself with E-A-T, it could have a direct impact on your site resulting in the low ranking, low traffic, and ultimately low revenue.
E-A-T and YMYL Sites
E-A-T has a greater impact on Your Money Your Life sites. Google has stated that YMYL sites should have a higher page quality as it has the potential to create a bigger impact on the user’s life. Google defines YMYL sites as the ones that could impact the future health, happiness, financial stability, or safety of users. A few typical examples of YMYL sites are listed below
* Shopping and financial transaction sites
* Financial information sites
* Medical information sites
* Legal information sites
* Official information or news sites
If your website doesn’t fall under any of this category, do not think that E-A-T is not important for you. YMYL is a broad umbrella and it includes everything from blogs to content about child adoption. Google has also stated that E-A-T applies to any website that it crawls. So, ensure that all your author is an expert in your field, and the content is accurate and properly cited.
Optimizing For E-A-T
Now, that you understand that E-A-T is an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm, it’s time to optimize your website for E-A-T. You need to follow an E-A-T SEO Audit Checklist to increase the quality of your website. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your E-A-T
1. Keep Your Content Updated
Chances are that low-quality contents can pull your whole website down. Review your old blog posts or articles and remove any information that is irrelevant or inaccurate. If you have no time to do that, hire an expert writer or editor or a digital marketing consultant to do that for you. By doing so, you can improve your content’s validity to your target audience and the search engine.
2. Links and Mentions
Though link building is an old-time SEO technique, it plays a crucial role in improving E-A-T. Google measures trust in a website based upon the backlinks and mentions it detects from authoritative and relevant websites. Added to this, you can also provide outbound links to social media profiles and websites where you contribute your writing so that more trust is built up.
3. Get Good Reviews
Google’s quality raters check your online reviews on various sites to decide about the authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your website. Thus, to improve your page quality and E-A-T focus on getting good reviews on reputed sites. Even if you receive a bad review, handle it properly by offering a proper solution to the users.
4. Invest in Site’s Security
Ensure that your site is secure. In 2015, Google stated that secured websites rank higher in search engines than non-secure ones. Make sure that your website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This gives an assurance to your visitors that any personal data they share with you will be safe. You will be greatly rewarded for it.
5. Optimize About and Author Pages
For any website, these pages are crucial for E-A-T as it helps understand the expertise and authority. The pages should clearly explain the expertise and credentials of the author. You can also link the social media pages of the author and your website. Google considers all these factors when deciding how to rank your site.
6. Make Contact Us Page More Visible
You should make it easy for visitors to contact you. It’s all about transparency and trustworthiness. If you fail to provide your visitors with proper contact information and customer support, you are discerned to be untrustworthy. Therefore, have a dedicated contact us page on your website and have a live chat plug-in to let your users contact you.
While being mentioned 134 times in the updated search quality rating guidelines, it’s time to take E-A-T seriously. Improving your site’s E-A-T doesn’t happen overnight, it takes some time and effort. Keep updating your website with the latest information, demonstrate your values, and expertise to Google. It will bring you success.