February 4, 2021

Google’s E-A-T: Why Does It Matter In Online Content?

 If you want to increase your Google ranking, you need to understand what the search giant wants. Google is serious about its mission of delivering reliable information to the world. As such, they do not want to serve links to pages that misinform, miseducate, or are potentially fraudulent. Google wants people to be sure that they are getting recommendations that display expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, or E-A-T. The company values this acronym so much that they incorporated it into their Search Quality Rater Guidelines. If your business involves health, happiness, or wealth, E-A-T is an important consideration for you.


What Is Not E-A-T?

Many people misunderstand how E-A-T works. To make it clear, it could be helpful to consider first what it is not. First of all, E-A-T is not explicitly a ranking factor. Google has no algorithm set for evaluating your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Instead, each of these have an indirect effect on your rankings. Also, monitoring and improving your E-A-T rating is not a replacement for implementing sound technical SEO practices. You have to optimize your pages and keywords, implement systems that Google does state as best practices for webmasters, and keep measuring your rankings. Finally, E-A-T is not a quick fix. As with most things in life, it takes time for Google to see you as a reliable source of information. There are no hacks for your E-A-T; you have to put in the work if you want to boost your rankings.

Is E-A-T Important For Businesses?

While E‑A-T matters for all types of queries, it is especially so for companies in the health and wellness industry. If you are searching for side effects of the drugs you want to take, you wouldn't want to get your information from a website that pulls its evidence from unverified or controversial sources. For people searching medical content, it is not just inconvenient if they get guidance from misleading websites; it could be downright dangerous.

E‑A-T also matters in searches related to personal finance. Queries like "how to secure a mortgage loan" need thorough research and vetting of sources, especially since the procedure for loan approvals is different for each state or country. Google calls these YMYL or 'Your Money or Your Life' topics. They are ones that could have lasting effects on a person's future stability, safety, and health. Though not a direct ranking factor, E-A-T matters for businesses in health and wellness, finance, and personal development because they can compromise people's quality of life otherwise. 

Other kinds of websites that should demonstrate E-A-T are ones in the automotive industry, home remodeling, parenting, and media, especially news and current events. Websites in these industries need factual posts written by experts. They should also have regular updates and follow the basics of journalistic integrity. If your products or services revolve around YMYL topics, your website needs to demonstrate E-A-T. Let us take a closer look at each of these components.


Expertise

People who are highly skilled or have much experience in an area can be called an expert. If you spend 40 hours a week fixing staircase treads, customizing storage, or repairing baseboards and cornices, it is safe to say that you are an expert in carpentry. When you write a blog post about maintaining your home's wood furnishings, people are likely to believe what you say because working with wood is part of your job. High-quality, unique content makes it likely for you to increase your Google ranking.

However, it's not enough to be an expert. You need to communicate your expertise engagingly. You have to know how to deliver information in a way that makes people want to go to the next sentence, paragraph, and page. Often, that means not just meeting people's needs but exceeding them and providing their wants.

Besides knowing user intent and responding with relevant content, you have to understand what stage the searcher is in their customer journey. Some search terms are for people who are just digging into the topics, while others are for people who have a little more technical knowledge. It is vital to strike a balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness. After all, a true expert should find it easy to condense a topic to its essential points and make an article that suits a specific audience.


Authority

Conveying your expertise through informative, engaging content is only the first step. You should also have authority. When influencers and other experts cite you as a source, you rise beyond expertise, and you achieve authoritativeness. Obtaining links from relevant, authoritative websites is an indispensable part of becoming successful in your SEO campaign. You can use tools like Moz's Domain Authority checker to understand how Google sees your website's reliability and which websites currently link to you.


Trustworthiness

When you have proof of expertise and links proving your authority, you signal to Google your trustworthiness. 'E' and 'A' are vital in getting your SEO efforts off the ground, but 'T' sustains it. It is easy for your rankings to tank on Google if you don't know how to promote your website's trustworthiness. You can build Google's trust in your website in several ways. First, include clear instructions for how people can contact you on your website. Also, you must associate your physical location (if you have one) with your website. It is also crucial that you have a Terms and Conditions page that users can access from the footer or another distinct part of your website.

The backend matters just as much in determining your trustworthiness. Ensure that you implement HTTPS, have a privacy policy that people can access, and establish your refunds and returns policies. If you sell products, you should have detailed specifications, safety advice, and clear pictures of your catalog's products. If you are a site that publishes informative articles, you could include an author biography at the end of each post and cite relevant external sources.


Conclusion

When you follow E-A-T as your business' online marketing framework, you are sure that you're delivering content relevant to your target market. SEO and content marketing is not about quick wins. There are no shortcuts to expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. However, when you achieve these, it will strengthen your foothold in your industry's digital landscape. Partnering with SEO experts will also help.

Get clear on your business' messaging and increase your Google ranking when you partner with Ranked. Our data-driven SEO solutions provide a strong foundation for your business’ digital presence. Get in touch with us or activate your account today!




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