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E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy.
This abbreviation first appears on Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guideline. Where they are highlighted as important factors to evaluate the quality of a website.
E-A-T also stretches to include the content and the creator, not only the website itself.
The content creator needs to be knowledgeable or qualified, or simply an expert in the field for the topic they’re writing about.
The website, the content creator and the content itself needs to be an authoritative figure in their own niche.
The information and data presented in the website, the content creator and the content itself should be accurate and can be trusted.
We all know that Content is King while quality content is one of the keys to getting you ranked high on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Google have human evaluator that rates the pages on the SERP that is ranked by the algorithm, and they have made the Guideline for those evaluators public to us all.
One important thing to note about this guideline is this.
The guideline is for human evaluators, they represent how a real, human visitor of your website will assess how helpful (or unhelpful) your website is.
This is not an algorithm that changes every few days that is made up of rows and rows of formulas that we cannot understand. It’s a guideline on how to fulfill the basic, simple human need, which is what the search engine giant aims for.
Which makes it all the more important. Want to know how to be create something that is high quality for your visitors?
Here’s a list of how the Google Evaluator Guideline defines a quality web page:
As you can see, a quality web page needs to be user-friendly, informative and trustworthy. With E-A-T being the first on the list, it is not hard to tell that it’s an important aspect to nail if you want your content to rank high.
Expertise content is created by experts, you need to be an expert in the topic you’re writing in to qualify for the E in E-A-T.
We can all agree that people like Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, and Rand Fishkin are experts in SEO because, well, they are SEOs all successful and outspoken SEOs themselves.
For more examples.
An entrepreneur would be a great fit to create a content regarding how to manage a company because he has the related experience which makes him an expert in the field.
While medical advice should be written by those with appropriate medical expertise and kept up-to-date with the latest medical practice.
But what about user-based communities? Do they have the expertise factor going on?
Well, it really depends. Take review sites for an example, users publishing a detailed and helpful review on a product, or personal stories and experience is also viewed as a content with high expertise. Because there really is no way to put an expert label on everyday experience.
It goes like this.
You can only be an authority on something if you know your stuff, which aligns with having expertise.
Like expertise, authority can be built.
What you need to get authority is by stacking up quality contents, on quality content, on quality contents, on… ok, you probably got that.
Having fresh content consistently won’t hurt in your lead generation too, Hubspot reported that companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get nearly 3.5x more traffic than those that publish 0-4 monthly.
When you are linked by another website, that shows a thumbs up in the search engine’s point of view. The more links you got, the more thumbs up you’re getting. The more authority you have gained in Google’s book.
Now, how can you gain more links? Well, this actually goes hand in hand with creating quality content.
You see, when you have some kick ass content that people are just dying to share, you will be linked again and again by anyone who reads it.
Reputation is mentioned multiple times in the document as an important part to consider when rating the quality of a website.
Reputation is closely linked to both authority and trustworthiness. Your reputation will be good only when people are talking good things about you.
When you have a high amount of authority, there will be more people who will be talking about you. And only when you are trustworthy that people will say good things about you.
As opposed to original, quality content that brings value to the visitors, thin content or plagiarized content is a big no-no that will bring negative effect to the content writer and the web page.
One thing to take note though, Google does not consider syndicated content to be plagiarized content. The fact that they are hosting syndicated content like press release will not hurt your E-A-T. Though that may bring up a canonical problem, that is another topic for another day.
However, the site that hosts the content, syndicated or not, is responsible for the quality of the piece. So if the content has a low E-A-T, that will hurt the E-A-T of your website too.
This is especially important for YMYL websites.
YMYL refers to Your Money Your Life. A term used in the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to group all the websites that involve any kind of information regarding medical, financial, money transactions, and any kind of important event that can have a life-altering effect.
Essentially, if the information on the web page is bad, and you listened to it, there will be a negative impact on your life quality.
That’s why Google puts the utmost importance and scrutinize the websites giving these kinds of information.
Letting your visitors know excatly who you are and how to reach you is one important box to tick if you want to be running a quality YMYL website that can be trusted.
Likewise, for any written content clearly showcasing who wrote it and what credentials they have also earned you points in the trustworthy department.
Are the data you’re quoting come from a reliable site? Is the information you’re providing accurate and up to date? You want to make sure that whatever information you’re sharing, they are correct and can be trusted.
Make sure you have your SSL certificate installed and had made the prompt migration from http to https.
This is especially important if your website involves any commercial transaction or stores any amount of personal information from your visitors.
If you run ads on your website, make sure they adhere to the better ads standard or risk the trustworthiness of your website.
The guideline specifically mentions interstitial webpage ( a full page that appears to show you an ad before you can reach the content you want to read) and difficult to close ads that follow a page scroll as examples of a distracting advertisement that disrupts user experience thus lower the quality of a web page.
“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”
Quality over everything. Keep E-A-T in mind when you’re creating contents or building your website. With a good amount of E-A-T, your website will be dominating the SERP of your targeted keywords.
Updated: 16 February 2019