If you are a website owner or a content creator, you might have heard of the term E-A-T. It stands for "Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness" and was first introduced by Google in March 2014. In 2022, they expanded this to include "Experience," thus the term E-E-A-T.
E-E-A-T is a concept that Google uses to evaluate the quality and credibility of web pages and their authors. It is part of Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines, a set of criteria used by Google to train human quality raters. E-E-A-T is one of the many factors influencing quality raters' view of a page, and Google considers the feedback gathered for future algorithm updates.
Let's define E-E-A-T to help you better understand its significance in your SEO strategy.
Quality raters examine the extent to which you, as creator, have first-hand experience regarding the subject matter. When a website is created by people with substantial personal experience on the topic, it usually increases their trustworthiness and thereby gets a better score from human quality raters.
Expertise means that you have the knowledge and skills to write about your topic. You can demonstrate your expertise by providing relevant information, using appropriate language and terminology, and citing reliable sources. Having the proper credentials also helps; as such, search quality raters will value content about reproductive health from a licensed obstetrician higher than a general practitioner.
Authoritativeness means you have the reputation and recognition to be a leader in your field. Positive reviews, testimonials, awards, endorsements, or mentions from other experts or organizations are proof of your authoritativeness in your subject matter. For example, if you write about travel topics, positive ratings and feedback from your readers, travel awards, recognition from travel magazines, or getting quoted by other travel experts or influencers are evidence of your authority on travel and are plus points in the view of quality raters.
Trustworthiness means you have the honesty and integrity to provide accurate and helpful information to your audience. You can demonstrate your trustworthiness by having a clear and transparent website, disclosing conflicts of interest or affiliations, and providing contact information and customer support. For example, if you write about financial topics, you should have a secure and professional website, disclose any commissions or partnerships with financial products or services, and provide your contact details and customer service options.
E-E-A-T is especially crucial for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites, which have the potential to impact users' well-being, happiness, safety, or financial security. YMYL websites cover health, money, the law, news, and shopping topics.
How do you factor in E-E-A-T in your SEO strategy?
You can demonstrate your experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to Google and your users in several ways. Here are some of the best practices:
1. Display your credentials and qualifications
Introduce yourself and your team in an About Us page. Include your name, bio, photo, education, awards, certifications, and affiliations. If you have guest authors or contributors, ensure they have clear bios and credentials.
2. Create high-quality content
Always serve accurate, relevant, and helpful information for your audience. Use clear language and avoid spelling and grammar errors. Provide credible sources and references for your claims and data. If your content is of high quality, you might even attract other experts and earn links and mentions from reputable and relevant websites in your niche or industry.
3. Update your content
Keep your content fresh and accurate by updating regularly, especially when relevant related data or information updates exist. Update statistics and best practices every few years, and check for dead links.
4. Build your online reputation and authority
Getting positive reviews, ratings, testimonials, and feedback from your customers and users helps build your online reputation. Encourage customers to leave comments on your website or social media platforms. Reply to their questions and concerns in a timely and professional manner. Remember to respond to negative reviews, too.
5. Secure your website with HTTPS and SSL certificates
Doing this ensures your website is safe and encrypted for your users and protects their personal and financial information. Display trust badges and seals from third-party organizations that verify your website's security and credibility.
The main goal of Google’s E-E-A-T concept is to ensure searchers receive high-quality content. While E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, it still influences how Google assesses other signals, such as content relevance, user satisfaction, and link popularity.
E-E-A-T is not a fixed or static metric you can easily measure or manipulate. It is a dynamic and holistic concept that reflects how Google perceives your website and its content. Improving your E-E-A-T can help boost your SEO performance and enhance your brand image and customer loyalty. The steps mentioned above can help you in formulating your SEO strategy.
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