E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is one of the key parameters used by Google to rank blogs and websites. In this blog, you will learn all about Google E-A-T.
What Is E-A-T?
E-A-T is a combination of three ranking parameters used by Google to determine the quality of a website or a webpage. E-A-T- stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
What Is YMYL?
YMYL stands for ‘Your Money or Your Life,’ which applies to a group of websites with content that could perhaps impact the future, happiness, health, or financial stability of the users. The influence on the user’s life can be either positive or negative, depending on the content.
Since the YMYL webpages impact people’s lives, Google has to control what users should find in the Google search engine.
So, what are the different YMYL categories? According to Search Quality Rater Guidelines, the YMYL websites can be from one of the following categories:
- News and current events relating to industry, science, politics, technology, etc.
- Government, law, civic related subjects such as public voting, social activities, legal issues, etc.
- Financial advice like information on tax, retirement, loans, investments, etc.
- Shopping information consisting of online purchases, shopping preferences, etc.
- Medical help such as drug prescriptions, emergencies, etc.
- Information about people, including religious affairs, nationality, etc.
There are so many other categories included under YMYL webpages. So, any YMYL webpage that falls in any of the above categories should adhere to the E-A-T principles.
What Does Google Say About E-A-T?
There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about Google E-A-T. There are no apparent differences between theory and what it is in the Google algorithm, making it difficult to understand the principles. To understand more about E-A-T, here is what Google has to say about it.
1. Characteristics of a high-quality page
According to the guidelines, high-quality content is one that has information that benefits the users. Both the quality and the quantity of the main page should be credible, comprehensive, and truthful. It should be updated regularly, have reviews, and include the last date of modification.
2. Characteristics of a low-quality page
Just like there is high-quality content, there is also a low-quality one. Low-quality webpages are one that an author writes to serve the purpose of benefiting the user but fail to do so. They lack essential dimensions, expertise, and have unsatisfactory main content. They may have inaccurate information written in an unprofessional way.
3. Importance of author E-A-T
Google also states about the author. That mostly applies to brands, websites, and businesses posting content online. According to QRG, the person writing the content should have expertise in the field.
It means that he or she should the best in the field they are writing about. That shows in recognition in the niche of specialization, education, and experience.
Make use of the author’s bio to write more about yourself or the writer. It doesn’t harm to brag as long as the information you give is correct. You can also write an about page. Let Google and the world know why they should trust what is on the webpage.
4. Importance of E-A-T for YMYL sites
YMYL websites are the ones that impact people’s health, financial stability, happiness, and safety. So, what does Google has to say about the site?
According to the guidelines, the site should have high E-A-T levels. That is because people tend to trust the information on the site, which can impact their daily lives. It may shock you to know that even the shopping sites fall in this category since people transact using their credit cards. Any YMYL website that fails to maintain E-A-T standards is automatically considered as low quality.
Is E-A-T a Ranking Factor?
As a webmaster, you may ask yourself this question. Why should you adhere to E-A-T principles? It gives more reasons why it is confusing how Google works. The search engine has over 200 ranking factors, but the webmaster must also follow the E-A-T elements provided in the guidelines.
As the notion goes, ranking factors are somewhat tangible. It can include having backlinks to pages, adding keywords in taglines, updating content more often, etc. However, they all have to do with E-A-T. You may have all these factors in place, but what if you fail to prove expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. That leads to Google perceiving your site to be of low quality. In short, Google E-A-T is an indirect ranking factor. It helps to put away low-quality, untrustworthy sites on the Google search engine.
E-A-T asks you to produce content from an expert in the field, who commands authority and is reliable. It increases the credibility of your site. Users reach your site as a trustworthy source, thereby improving your traffic and reducing the bounce rate. In short, whether a website adheres to the other 200 ranking factors or not, E-A-T principles are always predominant when it comes to ranking.
How Is E-A-T Evaluated?
The QRG mentions E-A-T very clearly. It means that both raters and webmasters have to be keen with the elements, but how do they do so? Though 3 different words fall in the same acronym, they are not identical. You can evaluate them separately as follows.
As said earlier, the website owner has to show a high level of knowledge or skills in the particular niche they are posting about. It indicates that the person has required expertise, and hence the information on the site is correct and truthful.
Expertise mostly applies to YMYL websites. Imagine having a health and fitness blog written by someone with no medical experience? People probably won’t trust the site, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean that one should have some formal education on the field. The person has to be an expert on the website’s topics.
Authoritativeness means the reputation an author, brand, or marketer has, among other experts in the field. Do people see your website as a “go-to place” when they need information? If that is so, it means people trust what is on your site, which is authority.
Don’t confuse this with hundreds of followers on a social page. It means whether or not you command attention in specific fields.
A webpage has to prove to quality raters that people can trust the content in it. It is the webmaster’s work to establish the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of a website and content in it. That applies in both the YMYL and non-YMYL websites.
How to Improve E-A-T?
Achieving the E-A-T standards, as the QRG states, is not a one-time job. As a webmaster, it is not something you can plaster on your site and expects results tomorrow. It involves many steps towards making your website as helpful as possible.
1. Build more links
Not only do links help crawlers in crawling your website, but they also help in E-A-T SEO. Quality backlinks and inbound links help build confidence between websites. The more the links, the more you increase E-A-T, traffic, and visibility. That, in turn, shows authority and trust.
You can have backlinks on your website and outside it. Share the links in other forums, websites, and discussions. While doing so, make sure the content is high-quality, relevant, accurate, and meets all different link building dimensions.
2. Get good reviews
According to QRG, quality raters look for reviews and discussions about a website from reputable sources or forums. Depending on what people say about your website, they use the information to either rate a website low or of high quality.
It means that webmasters should strive to get reviews. It is not just about the reviews, content in the review matters too. The reviews should be positive as it shows people are contented with what a webmaster has on the website.
3. Update your content regularly
Many people strive to have new content on webpages and forget about the old ones. Here, what they don’t know is updating old content is as important as uploading a new one. It applies in both the YMYL and none YMYL websites. Updating content helps improve E-A-T.
4. Get a Wikipedia page
Getting a Wikipedia page is not easy but it can be highly rewarding. Only brands with authority in the industry and some coverage on independent sources can somehow manage to get their page on Wikipedia. Does that mean you should give up? Of course, no. If you are not an influencer in the industry, still starting small but want to improve E-A-T, you can get cited on an existing Wikipedia. That can go a long way in enhancing your E-A-T.
5. Get mentions on forums and authoritative websites
Like mentioned before, quality raters skim in websites to see what others are talking about your brand in forums and discussions. As a webmaster, it is your chance to command authority by getting mentioned in such places.
Positive mentions on known websites and forums help people know you and your website. Perhaps, they might start following your content by gaining confidence in your website. It might be challenging, but you can start by publishing unique content and data that others can refer to. Join the forum discussions by either asking thoughtful questions or answering that of others.
6. Highlight your credentials
Many people don’t do this on their website. Probably because they think it’s bragging, but it is not. Credentials, prestigious awards, and education levels let the world and Google know how much you know about a particular niche.
You can start with the author’s bio section. Try to present what makes you an expert on the topics on the website. You can also do it on the about or team’s page. Credentials show expertise, command authority is a specific field, and most certainly make people trust your content.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the answers to some of the key questions on Google E-A-T.
E-A-T stands for Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness. It is a set of standards set by Google for website owners, online marketers, and authors. Websites that stick to E-A-T guidelines have a better chance of ranking high on Google search engine results page.
2. Do websites have an E-A-T score?
There is no defined standard to measure the Google E-A-T score. Nevertheless, Google might have different algorithms to assess E-A-T for every website.
3. How do I improve my E-A-T?
There is no shortcut to improve your E-A-T score. However, you can demonstrate your expertise and become an authority in your domain by creating high-quality content for a sustained period of time. You can boost your trustworthiness by being transparent with your audience, getting backlinks from trusted sources, and sharing your contact details.
4. What is a YMYL site?
YMYL stands for ‘Your Money or Your Life.’ Google uses this acronym to categorize websites that have a decisive (positive or negative) impact on a user’s overall life. Any webpage with content relating to finance, happiness, social life, or health is a YMYL page.
5. Why is E-A-T important for SEO?
E-A-T is important for SEO because it is a key parameter in Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines. A webpage with these three elements gets ranked for offering a high-quality user experience.
Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are among the most important factors that influence the quality rating of a website or a webpage. A good E-A-T score can not only improve your website quality but also boost your Google SERP rankings. You can achieve this by publishing original content, getting links and mentions from authoritative sources, and highlighting your credentials.