E-A-T is not a ranking factor, but it is mostly found in the Google Search Quality Assessment Guide. These are the people who evaluate the quality of the page to keep up to date with algorithm updates, and therefore their guides give us an insight into what Google considers to be the best user experience.
This is especially important in the content of Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), so-called for the serious implications it can have on the existence of a search engine. Medical advice, action recommendations, and mortgages are just a few examples of YMYL topics.
What is Google E-A-T, really?
Google wants to reward sites that produce high-quality content because these are the best answers to relevant questions. The search engine also wants to make sure that sites that publish poor-quality content get less visibility.
Now, let’s look at each of these factors that make up the E-A-T principle.
Demonstrating your expertise is especially important in certain niches (e.g. legal, financial, medical)
The people at Google want the content on these sites to be written by experts in the field (SMEs) – people who have the knowledge and understanding needed to speak deeply about a particular topic.
This knowledge can be general or highly specialized.
Google also accepts what it calls “daily expertise.”
Here’s how the company explains this concept in the Search Quality Review Guide:
“Some subjects require less formal expertise. Many people write extremely detailed and useful reviews about products or restaurants. Many people share tips and life experiences on forums, blogs, etc.
These ordinary people can be considered experts in subjects in which they have life experience.
People come to your site to find answers to important questions. Therefore, it is natural that providing inaccurate, useless, or outdated content would be a recipe for SEO disaster.
Google does not want to send its users to incorrect content or websites that deliberately mislead users.
So make sure that the people who create your content are experienced and have sources on board to do the research and verify the facts.
When Google talks about authority, it talks about reputation. The stronger your reputation as a source of knowledge in your circle of industry experts, the greater your authority.
When Google establishes its evaluators on your website, they will search the internet for signals of your authority in your specific field. They will search for news articles, reviews, references, and even Wikipedia articles.
You want people to trust your brand or business and be willing to support or buy from you.
As in the “real world”, you have to work hard to gain the trust of internet users and search engines.
One way to increase your confidence is by highlighting the credentials of the content creators and the site. Think of awards, testimonials, endorsements, and other trust factors.
People need to feel that they can trust all the information they find on your site.
Google also wants to rank websites and content they can trust. In 2018, Google made an update called by some in the industry as Medical Update, which prioritized well-researched, well-researched content. This update told marketers how much emphasis Google placed on E-A-T.
Trust is also linked to Google’s YMYL concept.
What is YMYL?
Websites that sell products or provide services or information that may affect the happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users are classified by Google as YMYL – which means “Your money or your life”.
John Mueller from Google shared some information about the importance of E-A-T for YMYL websites in a March 2021 hangout, Google Search Central SEO
The bottom line when it comes to YMYL is simple: make sure that any content on your website will help them, not hurt those who consume it.
Make your users feel safe.
Take great care of your users, and Google should take great care of you.
Why is E-A-T important for SEO?
For as long as I can remember, Google has been telling us to create great content. And great content is what appears at the top of Google search results.
So in a way, Google considers E-A-T when it returns search results, so should you.
Keep in mind that E-A-T applies to all types of sites, including gossip, fashion, humor, forums, and questions and answers.
This means that E-A-T applies to your site.
What is high-quality content?
Any content you create must have a purpose. Your content should benefit your customers, clients, users or readers.
Common features of high-quality pages
According to the Rules for evaluating search quality, high-quality pages are those that have:
- High levels of expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T).
- A satisfactory amount of high-quality main content, including a descriptive or useful title.
- Satisfactory website information and information about who is responsible for the website (for shopping pages or those that allow financial transactions, this includes satisfactory customer service information).
- A positive reputation as a website that is responsible for the main content of the page.
- A positive reputation for the creator of the main content, if it is different from that of the site
Common features of a low-quality page
Here are the features of a low-quality page, according to Google guidelines:
- The page has an inadequate level of expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T).
- The quality of the main content (MC) is low.
- There is an unsatisfactory amount of MCs at the end of the page.
- The title of the MC is exaggerated or shocking
- Ads or secondary content (SC) distracts from MC.
There is an unsatisfactory amount of information about the website or information about the creator of the MC for the purpose of the page (no good reason for anonymity).
The MC website or creator has a slightly negative reputation based on extensive reputation research
Is E-A-T a ranking factor?
That, in our opinion, is the wrong question to ask. Let’s forget about ranking factors for a moment and think about your audience instead.
If you do everything described in the Google E-A-T guide, then create informative, useful, high-quality content that your audience wants and help them accomplish a task (e.g., acquiring knowledge, purchasing a product).
In other words, provide a satisfying user experience.
Anything good for users is good to help you position yourself on Google – and to drive the traffic and conversions you really want.
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