If you’re completely new to the search industry, you might not have heard about E-A-T. The concept has actually been around since 2014 but it has gained a lot of momentum in recent years and has become one of the most important parts of SEO (search engine optimisation). However, it can also be one of the most confusing, even for those who are familiar with it. So, what is Google E-A-T? Find out what it is, why it matters, and how it can affect your SEO in this article.
What does E-A-T stand for and what exactly is it?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with food in this context. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness and it comes from Google’s Search Quality Evaluator guidelines. The guidelines are laid out in a 168-page document used by human quality raters to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results.
E-A-T became better known after the famous Medic Update in August 2018 and is a key factor Google uses to look at the overall quality of a web page, whether the content is valuable to readers, and whether it should rank well.
Whilst in the past it hasn’t been very clear exactly what Google considers to be high-quality content, thanks to E-A-T we can now get a better insight into it. The guidelines inform real human reviewers who assess hundreds of websites, what Google is looking for in high-quality content. According to the guidelines, the most important factors used by the search engine to determine the overall quality of a web page are:
- The purpose of the page (does it have a beneficial purpose?)
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
- The amount of content and quality of the main content
- Details about the website or the main creator of the content
- Reputation of the website or the author of the main content
So, the more a page shows E-A-T, the higher it should rank in search results. Equally, any pages that spread hate, cause inform, misinform, or lie to users will likely get a lower E-A-T rating from search evaluators and rank low or not rank at all. This is why E-A-T and SEO are so intrinsically linked, you can’t be successful with an SEO campaign without good content that demonstrates E-A-T to Google.
How important is E-A-T?
Google knows that a user might make a life-changing decision based on what they read online, that’s how powerful the internet is in the world we live in today. Therefore, a bad source of information in Google search results could have real-world consequences and Google is meticulous in not allowing that to happen.
This makes E-A-T extremely important in online searching, if you want to get your content in front of your target audience, you have to go through Google first and adhere to their guidelines on what your content should be.
The most important category of E-A-T SEO to Google is Your Money or Your Life (YMYL). YMYL is the guiding principle Google uses to classify pages that affect your finances, health, safety, and/or happiness. These websites are held to the highest E-A-T standard because of the subject matter they cover and what it would mean for the user if that information was misrepresented. Pages most often considered to be YMYL include:
- News and current affairs- topics that cover things like international events, business, politics, science, and technology.
- Civics, government, and law- dissemination of information relating to voting, government agencies, public institutions, social services, or legal advice.
- Finance- financial advice or information covering investments, taxes, retirement planning, loans, banking, or insurance.
- Shopping- e-commerce content that includes product research or researching of goods and services that involve a purchase.
- Health and safety- content that includes or provides information/advice about health and medical issues, including hospitals and pharmacies, or drugs.
- Groups of people- information or claims about people based on their ethnicity, race or nationality, religion, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
If your web pages or content come under any of the YMYL categories, you must be very careful. The better you are at following and applying Google’s E-A-T standards to your content, the greater your chance will be for clear organic search engine visibility and ranking success.
How does E-A-T impact SEO?
If you’re aware of Google’s algorithm updates over recent years, you might have noticed a recurring theme: they’re constantly trying to make user experience better. For example, Google started adding penalties to instances of keyword stuffing a while ago because it adversely affected the reading experience for users.
Also, they made responsiveness on mobile a ranking factor when most people started using their phones to search the internet. It prioritised HTTPS over HTTP to ensure increased security for users and created Core Web Vitals to quantify a fast, seamless user experience.
E-A-T is just the same, it’s another way for Google to give users what they want. It looks for credibility and is the basis of evaluation when it comes to deciding page quality and whether a website gives real value to the user.
Google wants to show the pages with the most value in relation to the user’s search query because it wants people to keep coming back. If SEO is a big part of your digital strategy, then E-A-T marketing should be at the forefront of your mind to ensure your success.
Google E-A-T is an important part of the guidelines relating to how the search engine identifies good quality and useful content to display in its search results. This makes it a key consideration for any business who writes content and uses SEO as part of their marketing. Accommodating E-A-T in your content will help improve your rankings in the search results and appear more reliable to users which will ultimately help increase the amount of traffic coming to your website and conversions into customers.
If you need professional and high-quality digital marketing services, contact the team at Deliver. As an experienced content marketing and SEO agency Wirral, we can help businesses grow their organic traffic, improve their ranking in search results for relevant keywords, boost brand awareness, write quality content, and convert leads into customers. Want to see how your digital marketing is currently performing? Request a free audit from us today.