The original concept of EAT was first introduced in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines in 2014, and the extra “E” was added in 2022 to create the new acronym E-E-A-T. At WSI Montreal, we use Google E-E-A-T guidelines as part of our SEO services to increase our clients’ website authority and help them rank higher in search results. I think it’s important to share this important concept with you which, in a world disrupted by the arrival and rapid adoption of artificial intelligence, should be an important part of your SEO strategy.
Why Google introduced E-E-A-T?
Google created the E-E-A-T concept to help its quality raters evaluate the content and credibility of websites. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Although E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, it does influence the way Google’s algorithms rank web pages based on the signals they provide. Google wants to provide the most relevant sources of information to its users, and therefore needs to ensure that the websites it displays in its search results are reliable, accurate and useful. By using the E-E-A-T criteria, Google can measure the quality of a website and its content creators, and reward those who meet its high standards.
The Google E-E-A-T concept is especially important for topics that affect people’s health, happiness, safety, or finances, also known as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics.
What are Google E-E-A-T elements?
As mentioned previously, E-E-A-T is an acronym that stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Each of these elements plays a role in the evaluation of a website page. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of each of these elements.
Experience refers to the personal or first-hand experience of the content creator or information source. This includes the sharing of personal thoughts, perceptions and feelings, which enrich the depth of the content. In addition, it’s advantageous for content to be produced by people with substantial experience of the subject, as this adds value by providing first-hand accounts and unique perspectives.
For example, a product review should be written by someone who has used it, and a guide to dental implants should be written by someone who is a dental professional or who has undergone this dental procedure. Experience is valuable for almost any subject, as it shows that the content is based on real knowledge and not just on hearsay.
Expertise refers to the level of knowledge and skill that the content creator or the source of the information has on the topic. Expertise shows that the content is accurate and reliable and is essential for YMYL topics. For example, a medical article should be written by a qualified doctor or a reputable health organization, and a legal advice should be written by a licensed lawyer or a credible law firm.
Authoritativeness is another important element of Google E-E-A-T. It refers to the reputation and credibility of your business and/or the person who is writing the piece of information. In addition, your audience’s engagement with your brand on social media, your brand’s reputation based on customer reviews, links from external websites to yours, and writing on topics close to your field of expertise are all factors contributing to your website’s authority.
For example, a news article written by a journalist who has a proven track record of reporting factual, unbiased information adds authority, as does a case study published by a company that carried out or participated in the project. Authority is important for any subject, as it shows that the content is trustworthy and respected.
Trustworthiness is the most significant element of Google E-E-A-T. It refers to the quality and security of the web page and the website that hosts the content. It is established by adding external links to reputable websites and resources and incorporating on-page elements that are trust signals including pages and functionalities such as:
- About Us page with your company’s history
- Team page with individuals bios
- Contact us page with all contact information
- Blog specific author pages
- Terms of service
- Secure connection (SSL certificate)
- and more
Trustworthiness is crucial for any topic, as it shows that the web page and the website are safe and legitimate.
Why is Google E-E-A-T important for SEO?
Although E-E-A-T is not considered a ranking factor, it is still important for SEO, as it helps Google to deliver relevant, quality results to its users. The content you produce should be relevant, current and original, related to your field of expertise and experience, contain elements of personalization such as personal viewpoints, and most importantly, be written for humans, not search engines. The more you apply E-E-A-T principles to your web pages, the better your chances of positioning yourself in search engines.
Google E-E-A-T is even more important for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) websites. So if your site is built around topics that could potentially impact a person’s finance, health, safety and happiness, it is crucial to put a plan in action to improve and demonstrate your E-E-A-T.
How to improve your website E-E-A-T?
Improving your Google E-E-A-T score can help you to rank higher on Google and to provide better value to your users. Here are some tips on how to improve your E-E-A-T score for SEO:
- Create high-quality content that demonstrates your experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on your topic. You should write content that is accurate, relevant, comprehensive, and up-to-date. You should also use clear and concise language, proper grammar and spelling, and a consistent tone and style.
- Build your online reputation and authority by getting positive feedback from your users and from other reputable sources in your niche. You should encourage your users to leave reviews, ratings, comments, testimonials, or social media mentions about your content. You should also get backlinks, citations, or endorsements from other authoritative websites, publications, or experts in your field.
- Update and maintain your content regularly. Adding, updating and deleting information found on your website are all ways of refreshing your content and ensuring its relevance. This information could be in the form of articles, page content, videos and images. You should also monitor your content performance and user behavior using analytics tools and make adjustments accordingly.
Now that you’re familiar with the concept of E-E-A-T from Google, you can understand the impact it can have on your company’s website performance. A good SEO strategy that incorporates the concept of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) into your website content and structure, especially if you address YMYL topics, can improve your visibility and search engine rankings by enhancing the credibility and value of your content.
WSI is a digital marketing agency in Montreal specializing in SEO and content marketing. Every day, we contribute to the success of YYML and manufacturing businesses through our various digital services and strategies including website and content optimization based on Google E-E-A-T guidelines. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about E-E-A-T and our digital marketing services.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Does E-E-A-T only apply to YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites?
While Google E-E-A-T is particularly crucial for YMYL websites that deal with sensitive topics such as finance or health, it also applies to non-YMYL websites. Google aims to prioritize trustworthy content across all niches, so demonstrating expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is beneficial for all types of websites.
Can social media presence impact E-E-A-T?
While social media presence alone does not directly impact E-E-A-T, it can indirectly influence it. Social signals, such as engagement, shares, and endorsements from reputable individuals or organizations, can contribute to building credibility and authority. Additionally, maintaining an active social media presence can help establish your brand’s expertise and trustworthiness in your industry.
Are there any specific guidelines to follow for E-E-A-T optimization?
Google provides general guidelines on E-E-A-T optimization, but there are no specific step-by-step instructions. It primarily involves creating high-quality content, demonstrating expertise, building authority through reputable backlinks and credentials, and establishing trust with users and search engines. Following Google’s general quality guidelines and staying up-to-date with algorithm changes is crucial for E-E-A-T optimization.
How does E-E-A-T impact rich results and featured snippets?
E-E-A-T plays a significant role in determining eligibility for rich results and featured snippets. Websites with strong E-E-A-T have a higher chance of being featured in these enhanced search results. To optimize for rich results, focus on producing high-quality, authoritative content that aligns with the specific guidelines provided by Google for each type of rich result.