In August 2018, we started hearing about Google’s E-A-T, and since then, it has been a constant theme in the world of SEO. Its origin is in the Guidelines for Search Quality Assessors published by Google in 2013. But what does this E-A-T mean, and how important is it for website ranking?
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Google’s E-A-T.
Let’s get started!
¿What is E-A-T?
Let’s first look at the basics. The acronym E-A-T stands for:
We can find these three factors in:
- The creator of the main content of the site.
- The site’s content.
- The Website itself.
Some people think it is not a classification factor, and some say it is. What is clear is that this is an important trend in SEO that we can’t lose sight of.
Why is it important for SEO?
Above all, E-A-T is an element that acquires particular importance in some queries (note: in some, not in all).
Let’s see an example. Let’s imagine that we’re looking for images of ‘beautiful hairstyles.’ This is a subject where the opinion of a professional hairdresser is very personal. Even if you are a great hairdresser who knows perfectly well how to do your job, your opinion about a beautiful hairstyle can vary significantly from what another professional colleague thinks about it.
As we see, experience, authority, and reliability would not be such essential elements here.
But let’s suppose that we are looking for information on treatments to stop significant hair loss. Here it is clear that E-A-T is relevant since this is a type of consultation where it’s fundamental that the content is written by someone who understands the subject, in a reliable site, and with sufficient authority in their field.
E-A-T is also essential in queries related to economic issues. In general, it influences all those topics that Google classifies as YMYL (your money or your life).
These pages can affect fundamental aspects of a person’s life, such as their financial stability, safety, or health. Well, on websites that deal with these issues, it is essential to demonstrate E-A-T. This does not mean that E-A-T affects only YMYL issues, but it’s vital for them.
Put merely, E-A-T can be reduced to a matter of pure logic: in technical and indisputable subjects, you must take into account the E-A-T, while in the rest, it is not decisive.
How Google measures E-A-T
As we have already said, E-A-T is defined as experience, reliability, and authority. Three concepts that, although related, mean different things.
Let’s see what exactly Google looks at when it measures each of these elements:
Yes! I’m sure you’ve got it right. Experience means having knowledge or skills related to the subject matter of the content.
Experience is measured by who creates the content of the site. If we are talking about YMYL topics, it needs to be content created by a person with formal experience (which will be demonstrated by their preparation and credentials). For example, an allergy website must contain information given by an allergist that meets the required experience.
In topics that do not belong to the YMYL, it is a matter of demonstrating a daily experience. For example, the best person to tell how it feels to live with fibromyalgia is someone who has the disease, not the doctor qualified to diagnose it.
There are also cases in which YMYL issues can be addressed from the perspective of that daily experience. This is the case, for example, of forums for people who have a health problem in common, who can give each other advice. The difference with the example of the person with fibromyalgia is that here they are not limited to telling what they feel, but what can be done about it.
Authority refers to the reputation of the content creator, especially among other experts in the same field or influencers. If other individuals engaged in the same field, see someone as a reliable source of information, they have authority.
It is vital to analyze the content creator’s reputation. Check the users’ and experts’ opinion about a website. You can do this research by looking for references, recommendations from experts, news, etc.
We talk about trust to refer to the site’s legitimacy: the information it offers should be correct and accurate. One way to analyze a website’s reliability is to see if it indicates who created the content (which should be someone with authority, whether formal or not, depending on the subject).
When it comes to YMYL issues, the level of reliability required is higher. These sites should have contact information, just as an eCommerce.
How to improve E-A-T
There are several guidelines to follow to improve the E-A-T of a website:
Update your content
Especially when talking about YMYL queries, the content must be kept up to date to demonstrate the site’s E-A-T. For example, think of legal issues, which are subject to constant reform, and health issues, where progress is continually made.
In the case of topics that are not part of the YMYL, this may not be crucial, but it is still vital to have the information updated.
Although links are not mentioned in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, a Google Webmaster Trends analyst named Gary Illyes has pointed out that E-A-T is mostly based on links and mentioning authorized sites.
Count on experts
That an expert writes the content is practically obligatory when we talk about YMYL topics. On other subjects, someone who has a proven experience in the subject can also bring value to your content.
When it comes to demonstrating E-A-T, one should not be modest, but rather the opposite. The more merits you can show about who has generated the content, the better (studies, recognitions, awards, etc.).
Check the data
News articles and also those with scientific content must be accurate. In the rest of the subjects, you should pay attention to the integrity of the information.
Online reviews are used by Quality Evaluators as a source of information about the reputation of a business, relating these to the trustworthiness and authority of the site.
Provide contact information
If a business does not offer enough information to contact it, it may not seem very reliable. This primarily affects sites dealing with YMYL issues, where the user expects to find information about the author and a way to contact them in case of doubts.
Get a page on Wikipedia
Having a page in Wikipedia is not exactly an easy task. Still, if there are possibilities, it is essential to achieve it because Quality Evaluators look at Wikipedia to evaluate a site’s reputation.
Get more mentions
One way to improve authority is to get mentions in well-known sites within the sector. Again, Quality Evaluations look for these citations when analyzing a site’s reputation and who has created its content.
In the end, E-A-T is simple. It is based on whether the users can trust that they are reading content written by someone who knows what he is talking about. We can summarize something so complex into such a simple thing as this.
You get what you pay for, and in SEO, it’s also like that. That’s why it’s worth hiring an expert in the field when dealing with a given topic.