Ah, another good old acronym in the world of SEO. Whilst our favourite version of ‘EAT’ is the shoving a burger in your face kind, E-A-T in SEO means something somewhat different. The term has been kicking around for quite some time now (it really picked up in 2018) and whilst it underpins a lot of what SEO is, not everyone fully utilises it.
What is E-A-T?
So what is E-A-T? Simply put, it stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. It stems from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines and it became a lot more talked about following the release of the Medic Update in August 2018. E-A-T is a key factor that Google uses to assess the overall quality and value of a page.
The expertise part of E-A-T means probably just what you think it does, to be an expert (have a high knowledge and understanding) on a particular subject. Expertise is really judged at the ground level, meaning your written content will be the biggest influencer.
Google really wants to see that your website is a brilliant source of information for users and that you are the boss at what you do. It wants to see that you are answering peoples questions, providing solutions and offering invaluable advice. This can be formal expertise (for YMYL topics) or non-formal expertise (topics that are more personal and every day). Content needs to be written by people who know what they are talking about, not just any Tom Dick or Harry.
Having authority is about having a reputation (a good one, at that). Similar to expertise, it is showing that your website has a strong background and holds a value that makes it worthy of having influence.
When we search the internet, we are looking for information that we can trust, right? We want useful information that answers our questions but also has backup. Google judges websites not only for the quality of their content but for the proof that it has authority and authoritative content available. This can be achieved in several ways including reviews, recommendations, news articles and information provided by others, about you.
We all have a certain level of trust issues, and Google is no different. Google trusts websites largely based on the links it holds from other domains on the internet. It’s a bit of a like for like – the higher the trust of the website linking to you, the more your websites trustworthiness will improve. Just as trust takes time and effort to build for us humans, the same can be said for Googles relationships with websites. Trust can’t be built overnight and has to be worked on, nurtured and developed.
Why is E-A-T Important?
If websites don’t excel in being expert, authoritative and trustworthy, Google will look to websites that do. Without holding influence in each of these factors, your chances of success in SEO will be restricted.
Google’s algorithms are becoming more advanced by the day and with that, websites need to advance too. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and random link building – Google sees way beyond that and is searching for websites that hold real value, influence and credibility. User needs are a top priority for Google – if you aren’t meeting them, you will be taken over by others who are.
How E-A-T Links with SEO
It is clear to see that the trend in Googles most recent algorithm updates centres around user experience. E-A-T links directly to this. Whilst there is no specific scoring tool for E-A-T to be measured by, in essence, it is a ranking factor because when done well your website will see results.
There are many everyday SEO tasks that will help to improve your E-A-T, including:
- Creating accurate, informative and expert content (with authors)
- Regularly updating your website
- Promoting your brand
- Gaining reviews
- Acquiring trustworthy mentions from other sources
- Building relevant backlinks
- Having high website security
- Ensuring contact and location information is easily accessible
Whenever you are working on your website think, what is the purpose of this? What value does it hold? How will I help others? Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help to keep the concepts of E-A-T at the forefront of your mind. Essentially, Google needs to see that you are covering all of your bases and that you are a competent, reliable and secure source of information.
To find out more about boosting your SEO with E-A-T, get in touch with one of our experts today and start your journey into powering up the online presence of your website.