As an expert in science and technological development who writes a blog on technological development around the world, Google uses E-A-T formulas on my website to find out how knowledgeable, authoritative, and trustworthy my contents are in relation to this field.
So as to deliver the best customer experience, Google only promotes brands and websites that it can fully trust. If it finds my website contents trustworthy, Google promotes and projects it to its users, thereby gaining more ranking, traffic, and revenue.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T is a Google algorithm that measures how knowledgeable, authoritative, and trustworthy your website contents are, including images, videos, and many more things that are available on your website.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are essential factors that Google utilizes in knowing the quality of a brand or website, and measuring their trustworthiness.
Expertise: It is really important for you to be an expert in your chosen field. Expertise means you have to show proliferated knowledge of the contents you are putting out.
The issue of being an expert in a field is less essential for websites whose contents are gossip and fun related. In contrast, expertise is very important for engineering, medical, agricultural, and financial websites.
Your style of writing and the manner in which your contents are presented affects your ranking position in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). It is necessary to write content that is informative, relevant, and of good quality for your users.
Any website can show considerable expertise in an area if the contents are truthful and useful to users. Quality rater guideline tells us that if a content creator has a considerable amount of life experience to make him/her an expert on a topic, it is highly valued and such individuals won’t be penalized for not having formal education or training in the field.
Authoritativeness: according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, authoritativeness is defined as possessing recognized authority, clearly accurate or knowledgeable. You can only be an authority if you are well versed in your niche, which also aligns with having expertise.
Being authoritative also refers to the accuracy and reliability of your sources. There are numerous ways by which one can obtain authority. It can be obtained by building your link profile and getting backlinks from high-quality websites, positive reviews, and consistency in writing fresh and high-quality content.
Google uses different tools to measure the authoritativeness of a brand or website, including backlinks, content quality, internal linking, social shares, brand signals, click-through rate, etc.
Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness simply means the ability to be depended on as honest and truthful. Imagine trying to get clothing from a store, and the store only possesses two brands of clothing, which are Polo and Skink. I bet 90% would go for Polo because of its reliability, thereby making it trustworthy.
Trustworthiness is very essential for eCommerce websites that ask users for credit card details. Your website should provide a feeling of safety to users when they visit.
Google evaluates the trustworthiness of a brand or website based on the number of quality backlinks it gets from other domains, content quality, website security, etc.
How does Google treat E-A-T?
Google contracts with many search quality raters worldwide to check the quality of the search results. Google gives raters real searches to execute that are generated from actual searches on Google. You can find their guidelines here.
Following this, they conduct their rating based upon the quality of pages that shows in the top results, thereby getting the name “quality rater”.
It has been stated that quality raters have no relevance to the rankings of the websites rated by them. A quality rater ranked website score would not reflect in the real live Google search results.
The data gotten by quality raters is utilized in developing and making Google’s search algorithm better. They are in place to ensure that code changes made by engineers in the search engine and algorithm engineering team works as intended.
Search quality raters make use of a set of guidelines called the “quality rater guidelines”, which guides them on how to assess website quality and explains the full requirements and tasks of a quality rater.
Google quality rater guidelines consist of discussions that have to do with Expertise, Authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). Quality rater guidelines help content creators to get a picture of what Google wants to see on a website in terms of quality.
Quality rater guidelines outline the level of expertise required on different E-A-T topics. While most require formal expertise, some topics such as gossip, humor, etc. require less formal expertise. E-A-T is critically essential for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) websites.
It is very important to have a high E-A-T if your website is a financial, legal, news, medical or scientific related website. It is stated in the quality rater guidelines that your site may be categorized as a YMYL if it offers advice to users that aids them in making important decisions such as tax advice, home remodeling, parenting issues, hobbies, etc.
For websites that sell products, they can also be categorized as YMYL due to the level of trust required for credit card transactions to be carried out by users.
It is highlighted in quality rater guidelines that any YMYL website that lacks E-A-T should be treated as a low-quality website. It also indicates that if a content creator lacks expertise on the topic put out, the page should be rated as low quality.
If you are looking for medical advice related content, would you rather prefer to read a content put out by an engineer or n experienced medical practitioner?
Of course, you want to read content that is put out by someone with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in that field.
Characteristics of high low-quality pages
- A satisfying amount of high-quality Main Content (MC)
For the main content to be rated as high quality, it has to be uniquely written with a proper description of the page as well as a good title, and a proper display of expertise on the topic.
Proper implementation of important keywords would also help the page’s ranking and garner a higher Google E-A-T score.
- Positive website reputation
A highly positive reputation can be gotten by positive reviews from users. For a website to have the highest quality of reputation, it is suggested by Google that it must have won awards or received a recommendation from experts in the field or professional societies.
A website’s reputation is considered when quality raters are vacillating on rating a page highly or giving it a low E-A-T score. A page with a negative reputation can’t possibly get a high rating.
- A high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
This is necessary for getting a page to be rated high. For example, an ‘about us’ page on a lounge website is rated highly if it provides necessary information about it, including the date it opened, what potential customers can expect from it, address, events, reservations, other contact details, etc. The lounge’s website is considered highly authoritative because it is about itself.
- Satisfying website information
The website information should not leave the smallest of detail out about the motive and functioning of a particular website. For an eCommerce site, it is important that proper customer service information is implemented within.
Characteristics of low-quality pages
- Lacking E-A-T
If a content creator doesn’t show adequate expertise in the topic of the main content, the page would be rated poorly and eventually get a bad Google E-A-T score.
For example, legal advice given by someone who has never handled a legal related issue would be rated low.
- Misleading page title
A content that has very little or no connection to the title of the main content would be considered irrelevant and misleading, thereby giving it a low E-A-T score. Your main content must align with the title.
- Low-quality Main Content (MC)
Content is referred to as low quality if it is developed with a deficiency of time, effort, expertise, or skill. Content is also considered low quality if it is unprofessional, including many grammar and punctuation errors.
- Negative reputation
It is important to note that for YMYL sites, having a mixed reputation is likely to give you a low Google E-A-T score. A negative reputation should be avoided at all costs.
For reputation management tips, check out this blog post: Online Reputation Management Guide.
- Distracting Ads
The content of ads that pops out on a page may be considered distracting by users such as porn ads, sexually manipulative images, gambling ads, etc. This can eventually give a page a low rating.
How to improve E-A-T score
Improving your Google E-A-T score will no doubt increase your chances of getting a better ranking in the search results. Below are some of the ways in which you can improve your Google E-A-T score.
- NAP citations
NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone number. Consistent NAP citations both online and offline can help improve the Google E-A-T score. A brand’s name and contact information are important for quality rating.
YMYL contents must be created by people who possess expertise and authority in that field. For a product page or eCommerce page, customer support and contact information should be included and made easy to find for the user.
For articles and blog posts, information containing the background and necessary experience of the author should be included at the bottom of each post, so as to access if he/she is an expert in that field.
- Provide good content
Don’t stop trying to improve the quality of your content. Quality content in terms of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are necessary in getting a good Google E-A-T score.
If you don’t have enough time to research and write for yourself, you can hire expert researchers, writers, and editors in particular fields to provide you with high-quality content.
All you have to do is validate and sign off on the contents.
It is important to know what people think and says about your brand or website both online and offline. This can be carried out by compelling your customers to take a short survey or giving them a call for feedback on their experience on your site.
It is important to ask yourself and answer these questions regarding your brand or website. Does it highlight professionalism? Does it exert authority and expertise on the contents it puts out? Is it trustworthy? Answering this question will aid you in proper branding.
Social media can be an essential tool in branding. You should create a great picture of your brand on social media, and engage your followers with events and activities they can participate in. For example, organizations organize competitions, which in turn attracts customers.
Quality raters rate contents based on the reputation information supplied by third parties rather than focusing on the content created by the brand or author. This concludes that a positive personal brand can considerably increase the Google E-A-T score of your page.
- Site Audit
Do your current and existing content reflect your current level of expertise and authority? There is some existing content that won’t reflect your current level of expertise. You have to check your site for these contents.
Revise and take out some of these contents. Having a low E-A-T content on one page of a website can affect the overall reputation of the website negatively. In E-A-T, quality is better than quantity. Therefore, pages with low E-A-T content should be revised and taken out if need be.
Consider using tools like SEOPressor and Grammarly to ensure your content is perfect.
This has to do with the trustworthiness part of E-A-T. This is essential for most websites, especially for eCommerce sites that accept credit card information for payment.
The latest updates made to Google quality rater guidelines tell us the essential roles played by expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in Google rankings.
Apart from increasing your rankings, E-A-T can help increase traffic and generate more revenue. The importance of E-A-T cannot be overemphasized in our present world.
Updated: 10 December 2020