What is E-A-T and Why It’s Important for SEO in 2021

What is E-A-T and Why It’s Important for SEO in 2021?

With the increasing popularity, it’s getting harder to keep up with all the new SEO trends and maintain the ranking of your page. However, some steps are required to take into consideration in order to ensure the growth of your webpage or business. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is one of the newly introduced standards in the Google search engine. Let us understand in-depth what is E-A-T and why it’s important.

What is E-A-T
What is E-A-T

What is E-A-T and How it is evaluated?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a quality check for your page that relates to how Google ranks web pages in the SEO (Search Engine Result Page). E-A-T is a measure for the search quality rating guidelines of Google which is designed to establish the ‘quality check boxes’ for a page to rank high. Google is constantly working towards improving to ensure the best experience for their users and E-A-T is one of the ways to increase the safety and security online. Let us understand the components of E-A-T deeply.

Expertise

Expertise refers to the credibility of the author or the business. A content creator without backed-up qualifications related to the content they are making is unlikely to rank high above a qualified content creator in their domain. It is essential to verify if the writer holds the expertise of the subject in question as misinformation about sensitive topics like health, law, and finance, etc can lead to serious consequences for the reader.

For example, an unqualified blogger making health-related content will not rank high on the Search Engine Research Page. Expertise is what makes you stand out from your competitors. The websites fall under the same scrutiny. Expertise and qualification are directly related to a higher rank on the Google search engine page.

 Authoritativeness

It refers to the general recognition of your website and content. It’s all about having authority in your area as in holding a good position in your industry. If people accept you as a good source of information, vouch for your background, the search engine will start recognizing you as trustworthy. For instance, if you provide online nutritionist services, other health bloggers and vloggers mentioning your brand will increase the authority of your webpage and help you to rank high. 

Trustworthiness

It’s basically all about how reliable your page and content are. Google measures trustworthiness through many factors like backlinks, customer reviews, etc. Legitimacy and transparency are one of the most important factors to build the goodwill of the brand. Citing trustworthy sources will help you rank up in the Search Engine Research Page.

Just creating a lot of content does not make a website trustworthy. As we know, Google has improved its algorithm a lot in the last five to ten years. It examines the websites same as how you would examine a real person before trusting them. So in order to be recognized as trustworthy, the content of your page needs to be honest and truthful.

How important is E-A-T in SEO?

How many times have you come across a shady site while searching and scrolling on the internet? Or how many times did you see the misinformation circulating everywhere? With the ocean of information out there, it’s not easy to determine what to trust and what not to trust. E-A-T is important to increase the health and safety of users online. It’s Google’s way of protecting users from low-quality content and wrong information. Now you may think, why would health and safety even be a concern as the majority of the searches are casual and harmless but misinformation about important and sensitive topics like health, law, finances, etc can result in serious consequences. 

For example, medical information from an unqualified blogger can be a serious safety concern in so many cases, wrong financial advice can lead to financial instability, misinformation about law and order can lead to undesired complications, and many more. E-A-T is unequivocally very important. Given the nature of the topic, lack of E-A-T can be life-threatening, let alone inconvenient. 

The standard practices like E-A-T and YMYL in SEO are only going to be growing in the coming future as Google is constantly working towards improving the safety and health of its users online. It is important for the brands and web pages to abide by the new guidelines in order to ensure the growth of their business. Making your website compliant to E-A-T will not only help you rank high on the Google search engine page but will also help you to build the goodwill of your page and gain the trust of your readers which ultimately will benefit the site.

Importance of E-A-T in SEO
Importance of E-A-T in SEO

Page Quality Rating: Most Important Factors by google!

Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting an overall Page Quality rating:

  • The Purpose of the Page
  • Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness: This is an important quality characteristic. Use your research on the additional factors below to inform your rating.
  • Main Content Quality and Amount: The rating should be based on the landing page of the task URL. 
  • Website Information/information about who is responsible for the Main Content: Find information about the website as well as the creator of the Main Content.
  • Website Reputation/reputation about who is responsible for the Main Content: Links to help with reputation research will be provided. 

How to improve your website’s E-A-T? 

Improving Expertise

The first and foremost step is to make sure your qualifications back your content. Google will only give you a higher rank if you hold the expertise to make high-quality content. Targeting and ensuring your audience’s needs and providing relevant quality content in accordance with that will help your webpage grow on the Search Engine Research Page. As an expert, you can also answer the most searched queries related to your topic to increase the appearance of your page. 

Improving Authoritativeness 

Building and positioning your brand will help you increase your authority in the given industry. Strategies like link building and utilizing social media platforms can be helpful for your site in the long run. For example, mentions and recommendations from the relevant sites in the same industry will increase the authority of your page. Being consistent and interactive on social media will position your page as trustworthy on the Google search engine. 

You can also increase your authority by increasing your social media presence. For instance, if you own a hiring company and provide related human resource content, you can use multiple social media channels to increase your authority. For example activities like being active on Linkedin and other social media platforms, answering the most asked queries, connecting to your customers and hires, and asking them to review your services will help google recognize your authority and boost your rank.

Improving Trustworthiness

A business can take many measures to increase the authority of their brand but in the end, it’s all about if the users find your page reliable. In order to gain the trust of the users, you have to identify their needs and address their issues. Following are the few tips you can adopt to improve the trust of your audience:

  • Refrain from using clickbaits to drive people to your site. It only decreases the reliability of your page and loses the interest of the viewers. 
  • Make sure your domain is safe.
  • Encourage users to leave reviews. Google won’t know how happy your customers are from your services without the reviews. Web pages with good reviews tend to rank high in the Google search engine page.
  • Address the negative reviews firmly and positively. Let them know that you understand the inconvenience they had to face and will take necessary measures to rectify them.
  • Post your credentials on the page. Proudly showcase your qualifications and previous relevant achievements relating to your content and area of expertise. Google ranks high the pages it considers professional and expert.
How to improve E-A-T?
How to improve E-A-T?

YMYL AND E-A-T

YMYL stands for ‘Your Money Your Life.’ Websites that provide information or services that can directly impact the viewer’s health, safety, and financial stability are categorized as ‘YMYL’ by Google. The stakes are high with YMYL content as they hold the potential to affect people’s livelihood. News and current events, government and law, Finance, Health, and safety, etc fall under the YMYL category.

Google uses quality evaluators to determine whether the page qualifies as YMYL content or not. The YMYL pages need to contain the highest level of E-A-T as quality and accuracy are essential with these kinds of topics. Non YMYL pages do not require the same level of rigidity as YMYL pages, however, Google uses the same E-A-T standards to rank the websites.

YMYL content
YMYL content

How to make YMYL sites E-A-T compliant?

A 2018 survey states that Google pulled down websites with low EAT quality and gave a gentle push in the rankings of the ones that followed it. Quality content is the only way to maintain your ranking on the Google search engine research page. 

If you are sharing or making content that qualifies as YMYL, you need to have proven Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness for Google to recommend your page. Make sure your content is accurate and truthful, always check the facts before posting.

Add author’s bio and relevant background of the qualifications. Also, add the credentials that demonstrate the author’s expertise. It has been seen that with the quality content, the expertise of the author is another factor that boosts the rank of the website.

Add accurate information on your about, customer service, and contact. Provide all the necessary information on the website as a fully developed website is one of the important factors for Google to recognize the pages as trustworthy.

Remove or edit low-quality E-A-T content. The old content which does not meet the current quality and standard of your website will only bring down your rank on the search engine result page. Opt to either revise or remove the content altogether.

Regularly review and update your website in accordance with E-A-T standards. As Google keeps changing the standard norms and practices, it is important to keep your website up to date to ensure the growth of your page.

Is Google E-A-T a ranking algorithm? 

There is a lot of myth and confusion going around the internet that E-A-T is a ranking algorithm. E-A-T only works as an indirect ranking factor in SEO. There is nothing like the E-A-T score or YMYL score. In an interview in 2019, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that Google does not have an internal E-A-T score, resulting in which, many sources later claimed E-A-T irrelevant but that is not true.  E-A-T is conceptualized by several algorithms. Google uses it as a benchmark to rank the quality pages.

Gary Illys also confirmed that Google algorithms create entities for reputable authors which means it gives space and rank to the authors with the relevant qualifications and credentials. Standard practices like providing qualifications that demonstrate the relevant skills and knowledge in the author’s bio can help to position your page as an expert and professional on the search engine research page. In the coming future, Google is only going to push down more and more sites that do not meet the standards of E-A-T. 

Page Quality Checklist
Page Quality Checklist

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimisation is a highly fluctuating area as it keeps changing as more and more trends and standards keep introducing and abolishing in the market but with all the backlash from aware users and to improve their product, Google is constantly working towards increasing the safety and security of their users online.

Not all trends are helpful to all kinds of web pages but whether we agree or not, the websites need to abide by the standards established by Google.  There are times when a web page hits the rock bottom one day and recovers with a bang after a few months. It’s highly difficult to predict what new SEO trends will prevail in the future but the standards need to be followed regardless.

E-A-T and YMYL are not just the new SEO trend, they are the standard practices introduced to improve the quality of the content and ensure user’s health and safety online. E-A-T is only going to be constantly growing in the coming future as quality and safety concerns are at an all-time high. Therefore, the content creators should focus on improving the quality of their content, website and work towards providing an overall good experience to their users through the best SEO practices.

Related frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is E-A-T for SEO?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is a measure for the search quality rating guidelines to rank the web pages that meet the standard quality established by Google. E-A-T is the SEO practice introduced to improve the security and safety of users online.

What is YMYL SEO? 

YMYL stands for ‘Your Money Your Life.’ Websites that provide information or services that can directly impact the viewer’s health, safety, and financial stability are categorized as ‘YMYL’ by Google. The stakes are high with YMYL content as they hold the potential to affect people’s livelihood. News and current events, government and law, Finance, Health, and safety, etc fall under the YMYL category. 

Why is E-A-T important?

E-A-T is important to increase the health and safety of users online. It’s Google’s way of protecting users from low-quality content and wrong information. Misinformation about sensitive topics like health, law, finances, etc can result in serious consequences. 

Is E-A-T a ranking factor?

In an interview in 2019, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that Google does not have an internal E-A-T score. E-A-T is conceptualized by several algorithms. Google uses it as a benchmark to rank the quality of the pages.