Google is constantly rolling out updates to their SEO algorithms. One consistent way that you might have heard in order to maintain SEO success in the long run is through utilizing the E-A-T principle. E-A-T is fairly divisive in the SEO community. There are those who say it’s an SEO fundamental, and then there are those who say it really doesn’t matter for your rankings at all. Let’s take a look into what E-A-T does and what Google has to say about whether or not it really matters for the SEO rankings of your website.
What Is E-A-T?
Sometimes known as page quality, E-A-T is what Google says that every page needs in order to be high quality, and is what human evaluators use in order to determine how relevant a page is to the search results for its keywords. Basically, E-A-T is what Google uses in order to determine just how legitimate the information on your site is, by ensuring that all of the content on it is made with expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
It mostly applies to websites that fall into the “Your Money, Your Life” (YMYL) category, aka “future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety,” as Google defines it. So essentially, sites that are medical, legal, financial, that give advice about important topics, and likely sites that sell products. If people need to be able to trust you and know that the information on your site matches what your site is about, you need to ensure you take E-A-T into consideration in order to be a high-quality site. After all, you wouldn’t trust information about medications on a clothing site, would you?
How Is E-A-T Evaluated?
While expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness may sound like interchangeable terms, the differences are important.
E = Expertise
Expertise means that you have a high level of knowledge and skill in a certain field, that you are an expert in it. When people search for content with expertise, they’re looking for content that was made by an expert in that field. For some websites, this is more important than others. For example, when it comes to the medical, legal, or financial fields, you’ll want that information to come from a certified professional. Some websites are able to have their content written by someone who is not an expert in the field, so long as it is approved and verified to be true and accurate by someone who is.
In some cases, expertise isn’t defined by the amount of formal education that someone has had in a field, but rather their life experiences. One such instance of this would be someone writing about what it’s like to live with a disease, or someone writing about something that they have a lot of experience with, which isn’t in the medical, legal, or financial fields.
A = Authoritativeness
Authoritativeness refers to your reputation and how likely people are to use you as a source of information. You may claim that you are an expert in your field, but Google needs to be able to back this up. It does this by looking to see your rating, how often people go to you for information, how trustworthy said information it is, and making sure that it’s not just you claiming you have authority on a certain topic, but that other people agree with that statement and utilize you as a source of information. For example, if exterior authoritative sites link out to yours, this tells Google that you’re a reputable source of information, and they’ll rank your site higher.
T = Trustworthiness
This refers to just how trustworthy your entire website is from who is writing the content to the content itself to the site as a whole. You want your site to be legit, accurate, and transparent. You need your information to be fact-based, not opinion-based, and to cite other established trustworthy sites within your content. Linking out to a .gov or .org or brand site is a great way to do this. If you mention dental work, linking to the ADA (American Dental Association) tells people that they can trust what you said.
Is E-A-T Actually Important?
It is important, especially when it comes to information that impacts people’s lives. You want your content to be accurate and true to avoid misleading people and resulting in real-life consequences. While E-A-T isn’t something that can be directly measured, like say, how many times keywords pop up in your website content, it is utilized to promote high quality, original content.
If you’ve worked in SEO, chances are that you’ve heard the phrase: “Content is king.” This means that creating high quality content is essential in order for your website to rank better, as if your site just repeats what others say, if it has information that doesn’t match what the site is about, if it isn’t trustworthy and people don’t go to you for information, your website won’t rank well. E-A-T is a guideline that gives insight into what high quality content means.
So, while E-A-T isn’t something that can be directly measured, it can impact your SEO ranking. E-A-T provides SEO professionals with a way to inform their content making process in order to ensure that the content they make is high quality that people will be able to turn to and trust, and ergo can potentially boost your SEO rankings.
Do You Need Help With High Quality Content For SEO?
Performance Driven Marketing makes a point of crafting beautiful websites with top quality content. We use CopyScape in order to ensure that the content we make is original, and know how to optimize your content for SEO. We value transparency, honesty, and legitimacy. If you need help with the content or SEO ranking of your website, we offer professional SEO and content writing services. Contact us today to learn more!