E-A-T in SEO indicates Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
E-A-T is an important element in Google’s search algorithm. It has become a major ingredient in determining where your brand or website should rank in Google search ranks. Although it is not a direct ranking factor, it is a crucial ranking signal for Google.
Google is constantly improving and it is trying its best to give the best possible experience to its customers. In doing so, it prefers to promote websites that it trusts.
A study revealed there are currently over 4.4 billion websites in the world. A huge portion of such websites are not active; have poor quality, and are not trustable as well. To provide quality search results, Google has to identify trustworthy websites from outdated ones, cause misinform users, or deceive people.
To give Google users a better experience, Google constantly brings new updates and changes to its search algorithm.
Google rolls out thousands of minor updates every year with a few major ones occasionally. An example of a major update is the Core Update that Google rolled out in January 2020. The major updates can make or break your website and business on the search engine.
With updates in the algorithm, Google has become better and better in distinguishing quality websites from the poor ones. So, it moves the websites it can trust upward and drags down the poor quality websites in the search engine ranking.
In Google Search Quality Guidelines, Google mentions it pays special attention to E-A-T of domains and businesses while ranking them.
E-A-T is important in all kinds of content. But, it can be the most influential signal in ranking content that can impact on people’s health, finance, safety, and future. Such content is categorized as YMYL “Your Money or Your Life”.
Let’s discuss a little about each element of E-A-T.
Google wants the expertise of both – the website and the author in the topic the content or website is about.
Expertise refers to expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.
Google looks after the credentials that a website or the business has before giving it a rating. If it finds relevant credentials, it gives the website a good rating and moves it upward in the Google ranking. For example, in a search query related to home remodeling, Google prefers to rank the content produced by a certified professional contractor or business rather than a content produced by a new blogger.
If your website has gained external recognition in the particular field, it will help your business rank better in the search engine.
Likewise, Google equally pays attention to the author of the content. For example, Google values content in the medical field written by a doctor rather than the one written by some unknown author. It’s the same case in other fields.
So, if you are a certified professional of a certain field, you have a huge advantage over others when it comes to ranking your website or content in Google. As you will be cited by other authoritative businesses and third-parties which happens to be a big advantage over your competitors.
Having the weight of authority, or able to be trusted as being accurate comes under authoritativeness.
Google artificial intelligence and algorithm do their best to measure the authoritativeness of the website and author. It somehow relies on the mentions, referrals, or backlinks on other websites. If big and trusted websites have mentioned you and your website, Google certainly takes that as a positive sign.
Popular metrics like high Domain Authority and high Domain rating indicate a website has authoritativeness. Forbes can be taken as not just an expert, but as an authority in news niche.
Users don’t just want to find the content of an expert; they want to see from the best one – the authority.
If you are an author, Google considers the citations you have, the websites you are mentioned at, and the type and quality of content you have produced before. If you have produced the quality content, are cited from authoritative and big businesses and websites, and helped people find what they were looking for, you will certainly cut above the rest when it comes to ranking your content.
Trustworthiness – the ability to be trusted as honest and reliable! To get a better ranking in Google, you have to make Google trust you.
If you own a business website, the website should reveal information like the business location, contact information, team members, terms and conditions, and other such information. It may hurt your ranking in Google if you don’t reveal the information about your author and website.
Google also considers organic positive reviews, the security of your website, and the performance of your website to measure the trustworthiness of your website or business.
If your website has been a go-to resource for getting reliable information, Google certainly keeps track of that and it will rank your new content quicker and higher in the search results.
How to Make your E-A-T score better?
So now you know what EAT in SEO is and how it can hurt your website and business if you have a low EAT score. If you want to perform well in the Google search ranking, you should start improving your E-A-T rating. And how do you do that? Read on.
Include Author name and Details in Editorial Contents
If you have not done started crediting the author of your post, it’s time to do so. Your readers should know who has written the content and is s/he the expert one in the topic. Readers should know whether the content and the content creator is trustworthy or not.
If someone is searching for a symptom of a certain disease, s/he would prefer to see the content created by a certified medical professional or medical agency. So, you should provide the name, details, and credentials of the author which will let Google and the readers evaluate the trustworthiness of you and the information you provide.
However, this may not be the case with product pages and landing pages. For such pages, you should provide easy access to contact information or the customer support page.
Invest in Reputation and Personal Branding
You should start building your personal branding in your business field to increase the reputation of you and your business. Big businesses and organizations’ websites tend to perform better as they are well-known and have a reputation in the field.
If your content lacks the quality or spreads misinformation, it will hurt your SEO more than ever before. So, regardless of the size of your website or business, make sure you provide the quality and useful information to your visitors.
If you lack a reputation in your industry, you will most likely be outperformed by an influencer with a positive reputation.
So, how can you invest in personal branding and increase your reputation?
- Reveal your social media profiles and interact with influencers, your audiences, and customers
- Reach out to trusted platforms and build the relationship
- Win the trust of your customers with helpful interaction
Edit or Get Rid of Low-Quality Content
Every page of your website must serve a purpose. If it does not, it’s not worth staying there. Make sure all your editorial content and commercial content pages are user-centric and benefit the user.
You should also avoid using any clickbait headlines or copy. If your content intends to deceive users, Google will catch you sooner or later and take an action against your website.
If you have created content just for the sake of creating more content, it’s time to stop doing it and focus more on creating strong, comprehensive, correct, and well-crafted content. If you have thin or duplicate content, you can either eliminate them or merge them to build a comprehensive and detail-oriented content page with high EAT.
In addition, make sure your headlines and metadata are intended to help users rather than raising urgency. Stop using phrases like “Offer Ends Soon” and “Limited Time Offer”.
- Delete poor or thin content that offers little to no value
- Don’t try deceiving your customers with click-bait topics
- Create comprehensive, factually-correct, and detail-oriented content
Don’t Hide the Identity of Your Website
Your website visitors and customers should have access to information about your business. They should have access to easily discover who are the people behind it and from where the business or website is run.
Therefore, build strong and well-optimized About Us and Contact Pages on your website. And remember, they should be easily accessible. It’s better if you include reviews, testimonials, and ratings that third-parties have provided to your website.
Moreover, detailed information about your company’s history (and certification if any) enhances the EAT of your website further.
Likewise, your Contact Page should offer clear contact information about your business. Put contact email, phone numbers, or any other contact details through which your users can easily connect with you. Also, provide the physical location of your business too.
- Build detailed-oriented About Us and Contact pages with correct information
- Provide as much information as you can about your business
Improve Technical Security of Your Website
To improve your EAT rating, you should also make sure that your website is secured. If your website is on (HTTP), your web browser will show a tag ‘Not Secure’ and the majority of your web visitors move away. So, you should install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate which encrypts the connection between a web browser and the server. It gives users a secure connection and protects the personal data they share with your website.
Google acts strongly against insecure connections when it comes to transactions. If a shopping checkout page of an e-commerce website shows an insecure connection, that e-commerce website will certainly get a low EAT rating. So, make sure your website is secured and is hosted in a secured hosting to improve your EAT rating.
If you use WordPress to build your website, make sure you update the WordPress version and also the plugins you have installed on your website. As this helps in the protection of your website, Google notices that and gives you a positive rating to increase your EAT.
- Install an SSL certificate on your website to secure your website
- Update your website
To Sum Up,
Google has been improving and so should business and website owners like you.
Although improving your website’s EAT score seems intimidating sometimes, it’s all about being more trustworthy, reliable, and honest towards your visitors and customers. It’s about creating more value for your customers.
Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines say the EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) plays an important role in the search rankings and its algorithm updates have been proving it time and again.
So, have a goal to build a brand, not just a website. Build a brand with a high level of expertise in your industry, gain the trust of your customers, and become a go-to resource for people about the topic. And see how Google brings your brand on the top of every search results you want.