Is this content useful?
For a moment, imagine how Google will rate this particular post if a quality tester (a human being) was assigned this page out of millions of other pages covering the same topic.
Google is all about simplifying the web and rewarding websites and content that provide the most relevant and helpful information.
So in 2018, Google introduced E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
While E-A-T is particularly used to assessing content covering sensitive Your Money Your Life (YMYL) topics like finances and personal health, you can benefit from it regardless of your industry.
What is Google E-A-T?
Google has updated its quality rater guidelines, which will require you to learn more about E-A-T, and leverage the opportunity to improve your organic visibility even if you’re not in the YMYL niche.
E-A-T determines how trustworthy a webpage is.
It’s designed to make sure users find content that is created by experts and trusted sites.
This is especially helpful for content related to theYMYL theme, which focuses on health and race issues, as well as issues related to gender, money, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Despite the name, Google’s goal is to provide users with accurate information that will be of interest and value.
Google’s Mission Statement simplifies it even further.
While E-A-T is not a direct Google ranking factor, it’s one of the most important signals Google evaluates when determining where a particular page should rank.
For instance, a website that offers a wealth of information on investing will be higher ranked than a website that covers a tiny aspect of investing, occasionally.
By using the E-A-T algorithm, people can be assured that their search results are not biased and will be accurate.
4 effective ways to increase your E-A-T Score
Let’s discuss some of the most effective ways to boost your E-A-T score:
1. Get mentions from trusted websites and sources
Getting mentions from trusted websites can improve your Google E-A-T score. The more mentions you can get, the higher your score will be.
Target authoritative websites and blogs in and outside of your industry.
This is especially important if you have an eCommerce website. A ‘mention’ can be a citation without a clickable link.
A mention of your name, product, or brand within relevant content can make a huge difference in your E-A-T score.
A good example of website mentions is how GetResponse mentions MindValley in a recent post. There wasn’t a link, but this mention is equally important for E-A-T.
Throughout this post, we have mentioned a lot of brands and entrepreneurs (hint: just before the above image).
Besides getting links from trusted sites, getting mentions from trustworthy websites can help your SEO.
This is a great way to increase your traffic and boost your Domain Authority, and in turn, your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
2. Leverage online reviews to boost your E-A-T score
It’s relatively easy to improve your E-A-T score by getting and using some positive reviews from real customers on your website.
Why does Google track reviews about your products, brand, and even ‘you?’ Here’s a shocking answer – “Almost everyone reads reviews.”
Although bad reviews can lower your brand’s overall ranking, they’re important to the target audience for making well-informed decisions.
Aside from putting in some extra work, you can publish positive reviews on your website and leverage them to create engaging content for industry websites as guest posts.
Just a handful of negative reviews can mar your sales by up to 70%.
Make sure to deal with any negative reviews as soon as possible. You can always try to make a good impression by answering any questions that are raised by your customers. In general, honest reviews can improve your credibility online.
Despite the popularity of this metric, it’s still not a direct ranking factor for your website.
Instead, Google looks at other measurable factors such as the number of visitors to your website, and it could use the number of positive reviews to determine how to rank your website.
Google has even made it clear that too many bad reviews are an indicator of poor quality.
3. Get experts to create your content
Expert content is highly valued by Google, and marketers are embracing this trend to boost sales.
Having a strong reputation and expertise in a niche makes your content more likely to convert. The Motley Fool hires mostly certified personnel with proven track records as writers.
What’s more, Google loves the content created by experts. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in your field to be considered an expert in your niche.
Here are some tips to make your articles stand out.
First, Google looks for the level of expertise in the content. It takes into account the level of care and skill required to create a piece of content. It also considers context.
In addition to the type of page, the general level of expertise in a particular subject area matters.
In short, Google prefers content written by experts.
Healthline, a trusted health website hires practicing medical doctors and health professionals to create content with accurate information. Healthline, as a publishing company, has a strict editorial process you can rely on.
Essentially, you’ll need to choose your content carefully. While expert content is more expensive, it’s worth the investment.
People with a degree won’t write for free. These writers have strong ideas and can impress Google with their knowledge.
4. Proof your expertise with a Wikipedia page
Getting a Wikipedia page will dramatically improve your E-A-T score.
It makes sense to get your name out there, especially on a web 2.0 platform that’s trusted by millions of people.
No, you don’t have to be a celebrity, a politician, or appear on the Forbe’s Billionaire List to have your page.
A small business owner or even a marketer can secure a page easily. Here’s a Wikipedia page for John Rampton, an online entrepreneur.
Creating a Wikipedia page with content about your achievements and business can make a huge difference in your online reputation.
Creating a Wikipedia page is easy. You can find the step-by-step guide on Wikipedia here.
Make sure your page contains all the information about you that your audience will need to know. Be sure to include your contact information and a link to your website on the page.
You can also create a “talk page” to ask other people to edit your page.
Second, make sure you write a Wikipedia article about your business and your product.
This is a good way to increase your authority, as Google’s guidelines state that raters look for specific awards on a Wikipedia page.
You can also use this page to promote your business. Be careful with your self-promotion — don’t overdo it.
Keep your articles as brief and concise as possible.
Is Google E-A-T a ranking factor?
The most widely-known Google ranking factors are Content, Backlinks, and User Intent.
Note: There is no concrete evidence from Google to support or refute the validity of any particular ranking factor, so it is difficult to draw firm conclusions.
However, we can say that the E-A-T score is an essential component of Google’s ranking algorithm.
“E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor. It’s a framework,” says Miranda Miller, a contributor at Search Engine Journal.
Google hasn’t publicly disclosed the exact details of its algorithm. Although it’s a framework that uses signals to evaluate your content, it’s not a measurable metric.
Nevertheless, many people are beginning to wonder if it is important to rank high for specific terms.
While E-A-T is not a ranking factor, Google uses it to determine how well a website performs for a particular keyword especially in the YMYL niches (such as Health & Finance).
While this is a metric that many SEO experts believe is important, there are no clear-cut answers.
Although some search engines rank websites based on content quality, the E-A-T may not affect your rankings.
Some sources claim that the E-A-T algorithm has been deemed irrelevant by Google, but Gary Illyes insists that it’s still important.
For instance, a website that offers a wealth of information on investing will be higher ranked than a website that occasionally covers a new trend in the finance industry.
By using the E-A-T algorithm, searchers (mostly customers and those searching for information) can be assured that their search results are not biased and will be accurate.
How to leverage Google E-A-T in YMYL websites
Using Google’s E-A-T in your YMYL website is essential.
According to a Google report, E-A-T is significantly applicable for content that can influence people’s lives (health, finance, relationships).
Make sure you and your writers/authors have a proven track record of expertise.
Your author bios are rich with links to your relevant external content, social profiles, and citations in industry publications.
Google is placing such an emphasis on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Above all, you need to ensure that your content is well-written and informative.
Improving Google Rankings with E-A-T: In summary
Google has made huge changes to its Quality Rater Guidelines and subsequent core algorithm updates.
There’s a strong correlation between your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness and where you end up in the Google organic search results.
Use the 4 strategies in this post to design a winning content and SEO strategy, so that you can secure top positions in the search results.