Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Troika Gellido
Ever feel like you’re playing a never-ending game of hide and seek with Google’s algorithm?
We’ve all gotten a handle on the SEO dance–twirling around with keywords, waltzing with backlinks, and tangoing with meta-tags. But just as we’re taking our bows, Google has decided to change the tune. We thought we were leading with E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), but Google has a new step they want us to learn. Prepare your dancing shoes for E-E-A-T!
Remember when you could impress someone at a networking event just by talking about your impressive degrees and qualifications? Well, in the Google gala, that’s not going to cut it anymore. The new kid on the block, ‘Experience,’ has sauntered in, and it wants more than your business card. It wants your stories, your hands-on knowledge, and your tried-and-tested insights. So, let’s gear up to charm this newcomer and make our moves on the digital dance floor.
But First, What Is E-A-T in SEO?
Let’s set the stage – EAT in SEO is like the diet trend for your website’s quality score. It’s Google’s way of sizing up your website’s value proposition. It’s composed of quality rater guidelines demonstrating your site’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Born from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, E-A-T is like the secret handshake of SEO. Get it right, and you’re in the club, get it wrong, and well, you’re left out in the cold of page two (or worse) on the search results. And no one wants that, right?
Just to give you a better concept of how it works— imagine you’re in a massive library full of books on every topic you can think of. But not all books are created equal. Some are written by experts, filled with accurate and helpful information, and have been praised by readers and critics alike. Others, not so much. This is where E-A-T comes in.
So, just like you’d pick the best, most reliable book from a library, Google uses E-A-T to pick the best websites to show you when you search for something. It’s Google’s way of ensuring you get the most relevant and reliable information for your query. And for anyone who owns a website, understanding E-A-T is crucial for better visibility on Google. That’s the role of E-A-T in SEO.
E-A-T vs E-E-A-T: What’s the Difference?
The genesis of E-A-T can be traced to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These guidelines serve as a roadmap for Google’s legion of human quality raters, individuals tasked with evaluating the quality of search results. Their assessments, in turn, help Google refine its algorithm for more effective and accurate search results.
There’s not really much of a difference except for the fact that with the changing digital landscape and user behavior, Google decided to add another quality rater guideline. Now with the double E (E-E-A-T), ‘Experience’ is now crucial to keep your site topping the searches.
Now, what do these E-E-A-T guidelines really mean?
E-E-A-T: Google Adds In ‘Experience’
Google is giving us a fresh perspective on their quality rater guidelines by expanding E-A-T to include a new element – Experience. Hence, the E-E-A-T.
This addition implies that the quality of content isn’t just about expert knowledge or authority on the subject, but also hinges on the personal experience of the content creator with the topic. With the spotlight on “experience,” we’re seeing the content creation sphere evolve in a fascinating way.
What’s at the heart of this E-E-A-T concept? According to Google, it’s “trust”. It stands as the backbone of this quartet, making it the most critical aspect of E-E-A-T.
Google hasn’t stopped there. They’ve done us a solid by providing concrete examples of significant ideas in the realm of E-E-A-T, like:
- How to assess the reputation of websites and those creating the content
- The degree to which E-E-A-T is important and its evaluation
- Identifying harmful content
Google is also taking strides in adopting more inclusive language to resonate with the changing times. There’s a wave of new mentions about social media platforms, influencers, and the various forms content can take – think videos, user-generated content, and social media posts.
This refers to the level of knowledge or skill regarding a specific topic or field. In terms of your website content, it should be evident that it’s created by someone who knows what they’re talking about. For instance, if your website is about health and wellness, content should be created or reviewed by qualified health professionals to demonstrate expertise.
This assesses the credibility or reliability of the website or the content creator. It’s about being recognized as a leader in your field. Authority can be established through credentials, experience, or recognition from peers and industry bodies. For example, a tech review blog would gain authoritativeness by receiving recognition or awards from the tech industry.
This is about the reliability and legitimacy of the website. Elements like site security (HTTPS usage, for instance), transparency about who is behind the website and the content, accuracy of the information, and positive user interactions all contribute to trustworthiness.
In this E-E-A-T era, Google doesn’t shy away from the nitty-gritty. They answer many burning questions on the working of E-E-A-T and its importance for diverse topics. They provide a clear direction on what constitutes harmful content and debate whether lived experience is enough to churn out reliable content.
And these updates are just the tip of the iceberg!
How Google Assesses Your Site For E-E-A-T
Google’s quality rater guidelines use an incredibly intelligent and complex system to sift through billions of web pages, with the aim of providing you with the most reliable and relevant results in a split second. Here’s how they work:
Step 1 – Crawling and Indexing
Google first needs to know what’s out there on the world wide web. It uses automated programs called “bots” or “spiders” to “crawl” websites, similar to how you’d crawl a maze, finding and cataloging what’s there. This cataloging process is called “indexing.” The spiders record all sorts of information about the website and its pages, including the content on the pages, where it’s located, any keywords it uses, and much more.
Step 2 – Analyzing and Ranking:
When you type a query into Google, it scans its vast index to find relevant pages. It then ranks these pages based on over 200 factors, including the E-A-T principles we talked about. Google’s algorithm analyzes the information it gathered during crawling to evaluate each website’s level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Step 3 – E-E-A-T Evaluation:
For Experience, Google adds the website creator’s experience to the content. It helps readers assess the reputation of websites and the people creating the content behind them.
For Expertise, Google looks at content quality. Is the information accurate, detailed, and insightful? Is it clear that the author is knowledgeable in the topic?
For Authoritativeness, Google considers the site’s reputation. Are other respected sites linking to this site (a sign they view it as a trusted source)? Are the authors recognized as experts in their field?
For Trustworthiness, Google examines factors like site security (for example, does it use HTTPS?), the transparency of the organization or individual running the site, and the quality and reliability of the content.
These factors all contribute to a site’s E-E-A-T score, influencing how high the site will rank in the search results for a given query. It’s pretty mind-boggling when you think about it!
17 Ways to Improve E-E-A-T SEO For Your Website
So, how do you get your website to sizzle with E-E-A-T?
Google’s E-E-A-T is a ranking factor that will determine your website’s performance to reach your desired market. Here are some juicy tips:
1. Display Credentials
Make sure to highlight the qualifications and expertise of your content creators, especially in YMYL (Your Money Your Life) fields. For example, a health blog would gain credibility if the articles are written by licensed medical professionals.
2. Generate Quality Content
Commit to producing well-researched, accurate, and comprehensive content. This shows your expertise and provides value to your visitors. As a real-world example, look at the detailed guides and tutorials on HubSpot’s blog, which showcase their expertise in marketing.
3. Post Regular Updates
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date. Regular updates signal to Google that your website is being actively maintained. Consider the New York Times, which is constantly updating their articles with the latest information.
4. Cite Reliable Sources
Back your claims with data from reputable sources. This increases trustworthiness and shows you value accuracy. Wikipedia is a prime example of a site that cites sources extensively.
5. Provide a Positive User Experience
Ensure your site is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and is mobile-friendly. These factors contribute to a positive user experience and are favored by Google. Amazon’s website is an excellent example of user-friendly design.
6. Secure Your Website
Use HTTPS to secure your site. A secure site indicates trustworthiness and protects your users’ information. Major banks like Chase and Wells Fargo use HTTPS to secure their websites.
7. Keep About and Contact Information Clear
Make sure you have a detailed ‘About Us’ section and clear ‘Contact’ details. This transparency builds trust with both Google and its users. Most successful businesses, like Nike or Apple, have clear and comprehensive ‘About Us’ pages.
8. Encourage Reviews
If you’re running a business, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews online. Positive reviews on sites like Google or Yelp can build your site’s authority.
9. Manage Reputation
Address any negative reviews or criticisms professionally and promptly. Your online reputation is an indicator of trustworthiness. Businesses with strong reputations, like Trader Joe’s, actively engage with their customers’ feedback.
10. Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks from authoritative sites can boost your own site’s authority. Guest posting or partnerships can help build these links. Websites like Moz have built authority through quality backlinks.
11. Engage with your audience
Answer comments, engage in social media, and show your site is run by real people. This human touch builds trust. Successful bloggers, like those at ProBlogger, often engage directly with their readers.
12. Highlight Real-world Experience
Showcase the first-hand experiences of your content creators. If you’re a travel blog, share personal travel stories or insider tips. For a cooking website, recount personal cooking adventures or unique recipe development anecdotes. This helps to show your audience (and Google) that you have genuine experience in the topic at hand.
13. User-Generated Content
Encourage your audience to share their experiences. User-generated content, like reviews, testimonials, and user-submitted stories or tips, can add a layer of collective experience to your site.
14. Case Studies and Success Stories
If your website is business-oriented, case studies and customer success stories can be a great way to showcase your experience. It proves that you have not only knowledge but also a successful application of that knowledge.
15. Facilitate Interviews and Collaborations
Collaborate with or interview other experts in your field and make it public through podcast shows. This can both boost your Authoritativeness and showcase the depth of your experience within your industry or niche.
16. Promote Interactive Experiences
Consider ways to create interactive content that provides users with a direct experience. This could be quizzes, online tools, or webinars, depending on your website’s focus.
17. Keep Content Personalized
Tailor your content based on your audience’s needs and preferences. By showing that you understand and can respond to your audience’s unique challenges or desires, you demonstrate a form of experience that’s very valuable: customer experience.
By implementing these strategies, you can boost your site’s E-E-A-T and improve your chances of ranking higher on Google. Remember, building E-E-A-T is an ongoing process, but the effort can pay dividends in the long run. Good luck!
E-E-A-T In A Glance
We’ve journeyed together through the landscape of Google’s evolving approach to content evaluation. From understanding the introduction of ‘Experience’ to our trusted E-A-T trio, to forming the fresh quartet of E-E-A-T, we’ve delved deep into the crux of what makes content valuable in Google’s eyes.
As Google continues to adapt and respond to the ever-changing digital world, it’s vital for us – the SEOs, content creators, and digital marketers – to adapt too. The importance of trust, coupled with expertise, authoritativeness, and now, experience, can’t be underestimated. We’re being nudged towards creating content that doesn’t just sound smart, but comes from a place of personal insight and understanding.
Google’s new guidelines reflect the times we live in – a digital era where content takes many shapes and comes from various platforms. It’s not just about written articles anymore, but videos, social media posts, and user-generated content. The digital realm is evolving, and Google wants us to evolve with it.
Remember, these new guidelines aren’t just a rulebook to follow – they are a compass guiding us toward where Google is heading. So, it’s time to embrace the era of E-E-A-T and navigate the future of SEO with confidence and anticipation.
Let’s help you win E-E-A-T
So, what do you say? Are you ready to serve up some E-E-A-T for your website? It’s a meal plan – oops, I mean a plan that can set your website on the path to the success it deserves.
But while it sounds good and all, keeping up with E-E-A-T isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot of studying, researching, and digging deeper, while you keep an eye on Google’s ever-changing upgrades. Good thing you don’t need to worry about all of these because we can help you cook the best E-E-A-T course for your SEO needs. Talk to us.
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