Google’s search quality rating guidelines use E-A-T to measure how relevant a site is to a searcher’s query by looking at factors like backlinks, domain authority, and page content. The idea behind this algorithm change is that it will provide more accurate results for searchers. This guide will explain why a website and its creator’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trust are essential.
What is E-A-T?
Google’s E-A-T is not part of its algorithm. Instead, it’s a guideline given to the raters that manually review and rate pages for their purpose, quality, and reputation.
It is an acronym for the following:
Expertise – How much experience does the webmaster have in their field? Do they know what questions people ask about your topic?
Authority – How the website and its creator are viewed for their topic.
Trustworthiness – Is the website secure? Does it contain malware or viruses? Are there any hidden links on the page that could lead to other sites with malicious intent?
If you’re creating a blog post about something you’ve studied extensively, then you probably have some degree of expertise in the subject matter. You may be able to answer questions about the topic better than someone who has never researched it before.
If you’re writing a book about a topic you’ve been studying for years, then you have expertise. However, if you’re starting as a blogger or writer, you don’t need to worry too much about having expertise.
It’s important to understand that Google doesn’t care whether you know everything about a topic; all they want to see is well-written content by someone with experience.
The YMYL (Your Money Or Your Life) topics are perfect examples of when to focus on building up your expertise. Most people are interested in these topics, but few study deeply enough to become experts in them. For example, “How To Invest” is one of these topics. It’s easy to find information online about investing, but unless you’re already an expert in the topic, you won’t be able to add anything new to the conversation.
However, even if you don’t have any particular expertise in a specific niche, you can still build up knowledge through reading books, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. In addition, you’ll learn things that you can apply to your own work.
If the topic is considered risky by Google, something that could affect someone’s finances or well-being, then Google will want to see a proven expert with a discoverable reputation on the topic writing the content.
Essentially, authority is determined by the website and the website creator’s reputation, especially when based on the opinions, mentions, or links from other experts in the industry.
The most common form of proven reputation is through backlinks, mentions with links back to a website creator’s page.
Quality raters are told to look for reputation signals from 3rd party websites such as news stories, biographies, reviews, ratings, Wikipedia, and so forth.
Google wants to know that the publisher has credibility. Credibility can be tricky because it’s hard to prove. There are many ways to fake credibility, including buying links, publishing low-quality content, and paying influencers to promote your site.
In YMYL niches, such as finances, medical, or other advice websites, Google looks for a proven reputation in that specific area.
For example, if you were writing a financial article, you would need to show that you had done extensive research into the topic, have a track record of success in this field, and have a good reputation among your peers.
In sharing a personal experience, Google doesn’t require as much of a reputation as long as the author isn’t giving advice.
Trust comes in to determine the safety of the website for the user. If it’s an e-commerce website, the security of the user’s financial information and encrypted data is essential. News websites must be posting accurate data to earn trust. Any website posting facts must be accurate and use sources. The website’s creator should be prominent and more important when related to YMYL categories that Google believes are riskier to the user.
These include health, finance, legal, insurance, education, etc.
Why E-A-T is Important
First off, let’s look at why Google E-A- T SEO is so important. When we talk about Google E-A-T, we are talking about two things:
How good your website is, and how good the content on your site is.
If Google decides that your content is low-quality, it will not rank highly for your keywords. It may not even appear in search results at all.
Google intends to keep the user safe and return the best result for their query. It does this by ranking high-quality sites higher than low-quality sites.
If you want to get ranked high in Google, you need to ensure that your website is high quality. In addition, if you’re building a website for a new business, you need to focus on making sure that your website is built correctly and contains great content.
How does Google calculate E-A-T scores?
The manual process of assessing websites based on the three E-A-T criteria involves several steps. These are described in detail in the Google Quality Rater Handbook.
First, the quality rater visits the website and reads the meta description and title tags. Next, they study the page’s content and look for signs of spammy behavior such as keyword stuffing or cloaking. Finally, they research the website creators’ reputation.
Once they’ve finished reading through the pages, the quality raters enter their assessment score. They then submit their report to Google, which uses the information to assess the website.
How To Improve Your E-A-T Scores.
There are many ways to improve your E-A-T score. Here are some tips from the experts.
1. Make Sure That You Have Good Content.
Content is king! Good content applies to both the text on your website and the images used.
Make sure that your content is well written, relevant, interesting, engaging, and informative. Understand the purpose of your page and how it matches the user’s intent.
2. Build Your Reputation
You can build your reputation online by creating a blog, writing articles, publishing books, and other forms of media. Gain backlinks from other authority websites in your niche. Become a source for reporters from HARO that might help build your credibility.
3. Display your contact information prominently
Accurate contact information in a footer, an about page, or a contact page is essential. In addition, create an author byline where the user can learn more about you as the author.
4. Use a professional domain name with your company name.
If your domain name can be linked to you as the creator, it helps build trust. A branded domain name is a plus. Brands have an easier time earning a good E-A-T score than an unknown creator.
5. Create a strong brand identity.
Your brand should be consistent across all channels – web, mobile apps, email, etc.
7. Be transparent.
Be clear about what you do with the data that you collect. For example, is it sold, given away, or kept private?
8. Don’t use deceptive practices.
Don’t trick users into clicking on links that take them to another website. Don’t use popups, flashing ads, or misleading headlines.
10. Avoid link farms.
Link farms are sites that contain large numbers of low-quality links pointing to one site. They often appear to be legitimate but aren’t.
11. Provide useful resources.
Provide helpful resources like tutorials, videos, guides, and support materials. Helping others will increase your E-A-T scores.
12. Keep your content fresh.
Google states that news articles and YMYL pages specifically should be kept updated
13. Bring in Experts
Bring in real people who know what they’re talking about. If you want to get better at something, find someone who knows more than you do and ask for advice. Include their author byline.
14. Get 3rd Party Reviews
Ask trusted friends, family members, colleagues, and customers to review your work. Ask them to leave a comment on your website or social profile. Collecting reviews on Google is an intelligent concept.
15. Build a Trustworthy Website
Get your SSL certificate, encrypt private data, use privacy policies, protect it from hackers.
While E-A-T is not part of Google’s algorithm, it is essential in earning a high-quality rating from Google’s quality evaluators.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust prove a website has topical relevance, a good reputation, and is safe for the user.
You can improve your E-A-T score by building your brand reputation, securing your website, providing policies and contact information, and earning backlinks from other authoritative websites in your niche.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.