E-A-T is an extremely significant parameter of Google search engine optimization where the three alphabets denote “Expertise”, “Authoritativeness”, and “Trustworthiness”. Though “E-A-T” was initially brought out in the year 2014, it was just around four years back that this concept started to gain prominence. Now, it’s primarily based on the guidelines coming under “E-A-T” that Google assesses the quality of websites and web pages.
E-A-T- Complete details
The quality raters appointed by Google are the professionals carrying out the evaluation of online content based on the E-A-T norms.
- Expertise: The raters review the credentials and qualifications of the author of any given content. It is ascertained whether the creator actually possesses the knowledge required for penning down the specific content. With regard to a few subjects, Google gives a decent level of importance even to profiles that have only “everyday expertise”. Here, the authors need not hold any related academic qualifications. Let us see an example to have a clearer understanding.
- We have forums where people of non-medical background suffering from serious ailments describe their experiences by making a mention of corresponding medical terms. The content of these forums can be rated as “everyday expertise,” as it speaks of the first-hand experiences. But if the same individuals write about things like treatment to be followed, we can’t call that “expertise.” But obviously, if a medical professional writes about aspects such as treatment options, it falls under “expert content.”
- Authoritativeness: When a website has several backlinks from other sites, it is an indicator that a good job is being done with respect to developing authoritativeness. However, backlinks must not be the sole yardstick. In fact, a website is really considered to be an authority when its content is referred to and recommended even by other experts.
- Trustworthiness: Quality raters give tremendous importance to the element of trustworthiness while conducting the evaluation of a site.
These are a few pivotal things that the raters check:
- Is the site providing accurate information about the content creator?
- Does the website promptly edit content to make it factual?
- Are ads being used to conceal the content?
- Does the site take care of the safety of users visiting the site by going with an SSL certification?
Importance of Google E-A-T
The “E-A-T” approach is much superior to the traditional method of evaluating online content. Here, we are referring to the format Google used to follow in the past, where ranking was based only on keywords.
- Then, there was literally no restraint over the presence of content lacking E-A-T on numerous websites. The emphasis was on popular keywords! But, the present E-A-T norms have eliminated this big flaw; users now have access predominantly to the most accurate information.
- E-A-T standards have ensured that the majority of sites providing crucial information are updated quite frequently.
- Websites are making sure that the content they provide is created by people having expertise in the concerned subjects.
- Content that serves no purpose and which could potentially risk people is given extremely low ratings by Google.
- One of the primary objectives of Google E-A-T is to make each and every search query yield only the most appropriate and factual content.
E-A-T and YMYL topics
Google is more stringent in applying E-A-T guidelines while assessing topics related to health, safety, finances, and the overall well-being of people. These topics are categorized as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) Content, considering the immense value that they carry.
This includes websites such as the ones that provide details of medical conditions & treatment advice and tips on financial investments. These are the things that are highly decisive, and erroneous information here could gravely jeopardize people seeking guidance from online sources.
There are purely general subjects having no direct connection to the safety and well-being of people, too. Google adopts a relatively flexible E-A-T approach in the evaluation of sites consisting of such casual details. For instance, news of sporting events, details about award winners, and the geography of a given zone cannot be called YMYL topics. So, sites having details of these non- YMYL topics are not that impacted by the Google E-A-T rankings.
E-A-T as ranking factor
Many website owners, administrators, and content creators wonder whether E-A-T is a ranking factor, and what their implications are. There is a fair bit of confusion in this regard. Hence, it will be of great help to mention some corresponding, relevant points.
- The E-A-T assessment is not given any official ranking score to websites. Google does not allow any numerical score to sites and labels it “rank.”
- The term “rank” according to E-A-T guidelines only means a ranking of sites in relation to appearance in search results. This is evaluated based entirely on factors like the author’s expertise, website reputation, and the accuracy of the content.
- Though no official E-A-T rank is given, this pattern of ranking impacts websites in a big way. Sites that do not match the E-A-T standards get pushed to a lower level in the Google search results.
- If the content of a website is too substandard and doesn’t even conform to the minimum requirements, it could be altogether eliminated from the Internet!
How to demonstrate E-A-T in writing?
Website owners and writers are advised to make a careful note of these salient points. Scrupulous adherence to these guidelines definitely improves the E-A-T rankings of sites.
- The site must provide exhaustive and unambiguous details about itself and its team under “About us”. This helps Google in ascertaining the credibility of the website. Here, complete contact details have to be included, as well.
- Websites have to make sure that the content is written either by experts, or at least folks having “everyday expertise”.
- If sources already having a lot of renown speak favorably about your websites and experts, it would be immensely useful. Google gives tremendous weight to this facet.
- It’s indispensable that the content is updated on a regular basis. If details no longer relevant are allowed to be there, the E-A-T ranking will be badly hit.
- The website is necessitated to promptly respond to user reviews/ comments. And, the response to negative reviews is of utmost significance, in this context. This interactive approach towards users surely pushes the site upwards in E-A-T rankings.
- Remember, all the aforementioned aspects attain much more relevance for websites that publish YMYL content.