E-A-T, or “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness,” is a group of factors that Google uses to measure your website’s quality. To learn more about how EAT originated, check out Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines.
The number of factors that contribute to the overall E-A-T includes:
1) Expertise: Are you an expert in your field?
2) Authority: Do people know and trust what you say?
3) Trustworthiness: Is everything on your site trustworthy for readers?
4) Relevance of content to the audience;
5) Freshness of information;
6) Design quality;
7) Site speed;
8 ) Content quality,
9 ) User-friendliness; and more.
The top three factors are what we will examine. Back in 2018, Google rolled out the Medic Update. Websites that lacked medical authority suffered greatly with a dip in rankings and traffic. The update targeted YMYL websites which stand for Your Money, Your Life. In other words, it focuses on websites that contain sensitive information like health care and law.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This concept became famous after Google’s August 2018 Medic Update, which angered many in the SEO community. Many sites with quality content suffered considerable dips in traffic and rankings because they lacked medical authority. E-A-T is a key factor that the search engine uses to evaluate and rank the overall content of a web page. This means page quality is key to ranking high in Google’s organic SERPs.
Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines
In these guidelines, Google stated what was most important when determining a web page’s quality. These key factors are:
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Purpose of the Page
Content Quality and Amount
Information about the website
The reputation of the website or the author
So, all in all, your website content should exude expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to earn high rankings in the SERPs.
The Google Search Quality Rater guidelines from which E-A-T emerged upped the game in the hopes of improving content across the board, putting emphasis on authoritative and quality content, especially in regards to YMYL websites.
What does YMYL stand for?
YMYL stands for “Your Money, Your Life.”
YMYL websites contain sensitive information like health care and law – the most important of all categories, so you know this is where SEO needs to be at its best. YMYL sites also need E-A-T because these pages impact people’s lives so much more than, say, a blog about politics.
YMYL sites carry more risk than other site types because of their potential impact on people’s lives, making it imperative that these pages and their content meet a certain quality standard (i.e., E-A-T). If you do not prioritize your website’s page quality – meaning having trustworthiness, being relevant to your audience, and being up-to-date – you won’t rank as high in the SERPs.
Google’s reason for emphasizing the importance of E-A-T standards on YMYL websites is that Google wants to prevent low-quality YMYL webpages from negatively impacting people’s health, safety, finances, and happiness by giving erroneous or untrustworthy information.
Why E-A-T Is Essential for Your SEO Strategy
Search engine rankings reflect your website’s quality. If you want to rank high in the SERPs, then each page must have E-A-T. Otherwise, you will be at risk of getting hit with penalties like the Medic Update!
So what does this all mean? High-quality content
Tips for Improving Your Website’s E-A-T
Here are some tips for improving your website’s E-A-T:
Get an Authoritative Backlink Profile – Having a solid backlink profile is one of the best ways to improve your site’s reputation. However, you also want to make sure that the sites linking in are authoritative and trustworthy themselves. A study by Moz showed that links from sites with high domain authority and page authority significantly impacted rankings.
Focus on Quality Content – Make sure your content is relevant, up-to-date, user-friendly, well researched, informative, and error-free. Also, make sure your website is mobile responsive and looks good across all devices.
Include a Site Quality Page – Create a page on your website that explains exactly what you do, providing contact information for users who need them, as well as describing the services offered by your business. This establishes trust with visitors and shows Google you are transparent about your business.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly – Google has clarified that mobile is essential for all businesses. You can use a free website auditor to get a full report on how well optimized your site currently is for search engines or contact our marketing team at Viviscape. We can help you detect problems in your website and help you optimize it.
Build a List of High-Quality Backlinks – Link building is still an important part of ranking highly in the SERPs. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to backlinks, and don’t buy links or use link farms, as this can get you penalized by Google.
E-A-T is important for any website that has the potential to impact people’s lives and can influence their decisions (i.e., YMYL websites). Google wants to make sure these sites provide trustworthy information, so users don’t receive bad advice or incorrect facts.
High-quality content, a relevant backlink profile, quality over quantity when it comes to links, a mobile-friendly website, and building a list of high-quality backlinks can help improve your site’s E-A-T and give you an edge in the SERPs.
Do you need help analyzing your website? At Viviscape, we analyze our clients’ sites thoroughly, looking for gaps to fill and ways to improve SEO performance and ranking. Contact us today, and we can help boost your website’s E-A-T score.