E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google is putting much weight on whether or not you deliver on these characteristics. Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing and winning in search results. But it would seem like the days of simply optimizing your website are also gone.
What do we mean by that? Well, Google is finding ways to quantify the quality of a webpage’s content beyond identifying keyword stuffing. That means that you can’t just create any content that’s beautifully and tactfully designed for SEO. It has to be quality content, and you’ll need to prove your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness across your entire site.
Another significant implication of E-A-T is that ranking on Google takes a great deal of time. You won’t suddenly appear in results overnight after publishing new content or optimizing for new keywords. Instead, you need to start building a relationship with readers and proving yourself to Google.
As search algorithms become more advanced, Google is striving to do more than just produce relevant results on the page. Instead, it seeks to present the correct information to searchers based on deeper AI understanding of what they’re really looking for.
Reviewing your website in light of E-A-T
In addition to looking at the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your website, Google also wants to see that you’re serving the website visitor’s needs. Part of this process includes evaluating the following on your site:
- Purpose of the page: decide whether or not your page has a legitimate purpose and what that purpose is. It must benefit the consumer in some way.
- Expertise: your pages must showcase expertise.
- YMYL content: depending on the industry or type of content you provide, Google will put even more weight on the E-A-T of your website. These topics include health, financial matters, shopping information, news, current events, government-related sites, and more. Google calls these topics YMYL, or “your money, your life content.”
Google is looking for your website to display some sort of expertise in the content you’re offering. You can back up your claims and information with credentials or some other way of proving that expertise. You want that expertise to be readily available for users to read about on your website.
If your content does not fall under the YMYL content vertical, Google will also accept what it calls “everyday expertise.” This everyday expertise can come from relevant life experiences and does not have to be any sort of formal training or have certifications to back it up.
Of course, everyday expertise is a little bit more challenging to quantify. Google’s guidelines state: “The standard for expertise depends on the topic of the page.” Because of this new guideline for expertise, you should make it clear who is writing your content and why the author is qualified to write on the topic.
When other people within your field view you as a leader or see you as a positive influence on the industry, you’re considered authoritative. These individuals look at you as a good source of quality and reliable information. Likewise, that’s what Google is looking for.
And that’s where backlinks from other reputable websites can help Google determine just how authoritative you are in your space. When others in your industry link to your content, they make it clear that you know what you’re talking about and that you offer valuable information.
Before referring people to your website, Google wants to know that the content and information you provide is trustworthy. Many sites contain misinformation or scams that trap people, and it’s in Google’s best interest to ensure that this doesn’t happen to its users.
The best way to showcase your trustworthiness is by providing truthful and quality content regularly. You should also consider the security of your website and what you’re doing to ensure the digital safety of your visitors.
Practical ways to improve your website’s E-A-T
Now that you know what E-A-T is and why Google puts so much weight on it, you need to take the necessary next steps in ensuring your website is optimized in light of the new guidelines. Here are practical ways to update your website to improve your SEO.
- Include author names and biographies within editorial content. This will show that your authors have the necessary credentials to be seen as real experts. And for non-editorial content, it means making it simple for users to get in touch or learn more. On product pages, including customer service information to start a conversation with customers. Remember, Google wants user-focused content and providing customer support certainly qualifies as being user-focused.
- Review your content and remove low-scoring pages. Pages that perform poorly in light of E-A-T guidelines can drag down the effectiveness of your entire website. If you have pages that perform poorly in light of the E-A-T guidelines, remove or edit those pages. Take time to improve your webpage and showcase your expertise and authoritativeness. And consider whether or not a real expert on the topic should back YMYL issues you’ve covered. Get guest writers or individuals with credentials to review the content and put their name and expertise behind that content.
- Invest in your website’s security. A factor of being trustworthy is ensuring you keep your customer data secure. This is especially important on webpages that accept or transfer customer data to or from them, such as a shopping cart or check out page. Include verified badges and certificates to showcase your trustworthiness, such as a logo from the Better Business Bureau.
- Give more time and attention to reputation management. Because Google is looking for more authoritative and expert content, it’s also pulling together many data points. Your reviews on various websites could come into play. And, if you allow for comments or “user-generated content” on your website, make sure you’re moderating those comments carefully. Although this is not content, you are broadcasting yourself, if it’s on your website and if it is not from a reputable source, it could hurt your rankings in light of E-A-T.
SEO is an ever-changing strategy. For expertise, you can count on, contact us. Our team of SEO professionals stay up to date on all SEO trends and offer you the insights you need to improve your ranking.
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