E-E-A-T, a term coined by Google, is now used by SEOs to indicate the quality of their websites. Numerous SEO professionals use this word, especially when discussing algorithm adjustments. Recently, with Google’s release of the 2022 Helpful Content Update, it has been a trending subject. Late in 2022, Google revealed that E would be added to E-A-T, prompting me to revise this page.
I’m here to explain what E-E-A-T is, why it’s significant, how it relates to algorithm updates, and how you can improve your website’s E-E-A-T.
What Is the E-E-A-T or Double-E-A-T of Google?
The acronym E-E-A-T represents Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust. It is referenced in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRG) as a factor for raters to consider when grading quality and intent. The Search Quality Raters use it, but the Google algorithm does not. So, I refer to it as an adjective in the SEO community. SEOs use it interchangeably with “quality” to describe this guideline and whether or not their website has a high or low level of it.
As stated previously, E-E-A-T is not new. It has existed since 2014 and gained significant popularity following the “Medic” upgrade, when affected sites tried to recover. Case studies about the recovery primarily relied on the SQRG; since then, the buzz surrounding E-E-A-T has increased.
The initial E in E-E-A-T represents Experience.
Experience examines the hands-on or direct experience an author has with a topic. This is to differentiate experts from those who write based on experience.
The second letter of E-A-T represents Expertise.
Expertise refers to the website’s or author’s expertise on a particular subject. Expertise in a topic can be demonstrated by professional degrees, accreditations, or work experience.
The A in E-A-T stands for Authority.
To determine the credibility of an article or website, we must consider its reputation. The frequency with which their respective business acknowledges them confers authority. If you regard someone to be a thought leader in a particular industry, they are very authoritative.
The T in E-A-T stands for reliability.
With security, involvement, and assistance, trust is earned. A reputable eCommerce website will ensure that transactions are secure and customer service is accessible. News organisations or websites of a similar nature shall disclose their sources, techniques, and feedback routes. Ask yourself, “What makes me trust a website?” then integrate the answers on your site.
Is Google’s E-E-A-T a Role in Ranking?
E-E-A-T is not a direct determinant in ranking. It is a method by which we can evaluate the quality of our content. In a Tweet, Google’s Danny Sullivan disclosed how the algorithm doesn’t measure E-E-A-T directly. Google attempts to detect E-E-A-T using other ranking variables, such as reviews, authorship history, and what links say about a business, among others.
Despite the fact that it is not a direct ranking component, it is nevertheless crucial to factor it into your plan.
What Role Does Google’s E-E-A-T Play in SEO?
I’m delighted that the days when keyword stuffing and link density determined a website’s rating are long gone. Currently, Google places great emphasis and priority on the user. Hence, E-E-A-T is essential.
Here are some of the user-centric questions I address:
- What is the user trying to find?
- Will the user enjoy a satisfying experience?
- Will the user find the content useful?
I answer the first question by conducting keyword research and determining the search intent. For the second question, I begin by analysing a website’s Core Web Vitals, but I also consider interstitials, font size, and other factors. The third question is to determine the usefulness of my content. If it matched the search objective, then it served its intended function. But, purpose fulfilment does not end there.
We use E-E-A-T as an idea of the quality of our content. We must guarantee that users view content that not only satisfies their intent, but also gives them confidence that the information they received is authentic.
This notion of quality need not be applicable to all topics. The Search Evaluators also take this into account during their evaluation.
Nonetheless, the veracity of content becomes very critical for YMYL themes, as they can often be harmful to others.
YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) Content
YMYL is an acronym for “Your Money, Your Life,” and it is used to denote material that can effect an individual’s well-being. The health of an individual can be affected by medical, financial, or legal information. YMYL content necessitates greater E-E-A-T than other varieties due to its corrosive nature. Therefore, it is essential for YMYL websites to set E-E-A-T guidelines.
Analyze how a user would evaluate the Expertise, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) of your website, and make it easy for them to conclude that your site is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Seems simple, but it’s a lot of work; thus, let’s discuss how to get started.
Improvements to Your E-E-A-T
E-E-A-T proficiency should be crucial to your Content Strategy and the work of your team. To reach our objective, we must discover how to enhance our E-E-A-T. I’ll give 8 steps to accomplish so.
1. Create Quality Backlinks
Possessing high-quality backlinks is a signal of how authoritative and knowledgeable your firm may be. Collaborate with your SEO, PR staff, or an agency to undertake link-building by promoting content that helps your website become your industry’s thought leader. Authoritativeness is recognised when other professionals or authoritative websites mention your brand. This is determined not by the number of backlinks but by their quality. An example of a high-quality backlink is when an authoritative website cites your website as an authority on its subject matter. Backlinks generated by images or buttons lack authority and are of poor quality. Creating high-quality backlinks is an excellent starting point for establishing a website’s authority.
2. Examine and Upgrade Content
Studies have demonstrated the significance of reviewing and updating your website’s existing content. Examine current information via the prism of E-E-A-T when doing so. Search Raters seek out content that demonstrates time, effort, experience, and talent. Revising material several times to guarantee its accuracy and currency is an excellent best practice, and it may also be a method Google detects time and effort.
To demonstrate “experience” in content updates, I advise authors and writers to highlight their experience. This will go a long way in gaining the trust of your site’s users, whether it’s by adding context to how long they utilised a product or by displaying it in a video.
3. Display positive user feedback and testimonials
To establish credibility, display user reviews or testimonials. Give samples of customer encounters to give prospective users a sense of what to anticipate. But, your staff can also participate in reviews on third-party websites. Reply to both positive and negative reviews to demonstrate to users who are researching your firm that you are receptive to input.
4. Collaborate with Professionals
If the information is not available, neither your site nor its authors may be regarded as experts. Specify how you are an expert. An excellent initial step would be to add any more information about your expertise to the “about us” page of your organisation. Also, cooperate and interact with recognised industry experts so that users can associate you with their expertise.
I frequently encounter websites that publish blog posts with their business name as the author. It’s not ideal, but if a group of authors is writing them, you should give them their names. You can begin by listing the involved teams and their cumulative years of expertise.
5. Include Author and Professional Credentials
To demonstrate competence and authority, author biographies and business information can be one of several steps. A bio for an author should explain why he or she is an expert on the issue or who makes up the author group. The credentials of a firm should include the length of time it has been in operation, the organisations it belongs to, the honours it has earned, and the reason it does what it does.
Reddit is one scenario in which anonymity makes sense. But, anonymity is unacceptable for YMYL themes; the organisation or individual behind the content must be made explicit.
6. Display Assistance and Contact Information
To establish credibility, especially on eCommerce websites, individuals want to know they can obtain support when necessary. This is not exclusive to eCommerce websites; contact information and support articles help customers trust your website. They are aware that assistance is available if they get stuck or if something doesn’t work out on the site.
7. Monitor Your Company’s Reputation
Googling your firm is the most effective technique to discover your business’s web reputation. Consider Wikipedia, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and other review sites as potential resources. Examine what is being said about your company and devise a public relations strategy to resolve issues and reestablish a favourable reputation.
Off-Page SEOs can assist with your online reputation through a variety of techniques, including news outlets reporting on your organisation and podcast contributions.
8. Avoid Clickbait Content
Avoid content designed to induce clicks. It’s horrible and misleading. If you prioritise the user, you won’t make this error. It is much simpler to damage one’s reputation than to improve it.
I firmly believe that content must be useful, therefore please avoid using clickbait. This is a refresher on writing title tags, an important ranking element!
What Does Google’s Change to Helpful Content Imply for E-E-A-T?
Google announced the Helpful Content Update on August 18, 2022 as “part of a larger effort to ensure that more unique, helpful material generated by people for people appears in search results.” It was anticipated to demote websites with an abundance of irrelevant content. Yet, there were few websites with significant up or down shifts. About my clientele, I did not observe any changes. The number of clicks increased during the month, but nothing seemed alarming. Barry Schwartz’s summary of the implementation of the helpful content upgrade appears to have been shared throughout the SEO community.
Even if the Helpful Content Update did not affect a large number of sites, E-E-A-T is still essential for core algorithm upgrades. That will be a priority as we continue to navigate the unprecedented algorithm upgrades.
If you want to learn more about E-E-A-T and its significance for SEO, I strongly advise you to read Lily Ray’s post on the significance of E-A-T. I watched her MozCon presentation, which was great. The article is equally excellent!
SEOs should continue to focus on optimising for the user. If they do so, they will likely perform admirably on the E-E-A-T. There are techniques to increase a website’s E-E-A-T, but it requires significant effort. This investment is worthwhile because Google continues to change its algorithms to enhance the user experience on the web.
If your firm treats its users well, you will forget how it felt to predict the repercussions of an algorithm update on your website. As further updates occur, E-E-A-T will be stated more frequently. Follow the eight tips and be proactive with the next update; you don’t want to have to undo what could have been averted.
RZY Digital enjoys assisting small businesses with their digital marketing.
You can check our digital marketing services if you want a professional to handle your digital marketing plan.