In ranking content and enhancing the performance of websites and content, Google uses various indexes. One of these measures is E-A-T, which simply stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust.
These three factors form part of what Google might look for in any given content and even the publisher of the content. It is, however, important to note that E-A-T on its own is not part of the algorithm used by Google, neither is it a score.
In other words, your E-A-T performance, though profoundly important is not necessarily scored. This notwithstanding, E-A-T forms an important signal that is well captured by Google crawlers.
This, therefore, underlines the importance of maintaining a significantly high EAT standard, even if Google doesn’t necessarily give it a score.
Why Is E-A-T Important For SEO?
The Background of EAT
Unlike most SEO lingo that is created by the general public and mostly by content creators and marketers, the acronym EAT came from Google. It was formulated for its human evaluators who practically lookout for various elements that help websites rank appropriately. The assessment of these evaluators and their finds help Google engineers to align and update ranking algorithms.
A document released by Google back in 2015 gives a good insight into the origins of EAT.
The Search Quality Evaluator Guideline for the first time highlighted what ranked as either a high/low-quality website. These guidelines were extremely impactful in content creation and marketing given that they came from none other than Google.
This document was further updated in 2018 and the human evaluators were now tasked with evaluating a website’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trust and at the same time include the EAT of the content creators. In other words, the credentials of a content creator together with the content created gained prominence.
Lets now explore these three elements: Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
The generally agreed definition of being an expert is an exhibition of deep and useful knowledge in a given subject or field. In the case of Google and searchers, this expertise is evaluated first by the kind of content you are able to shun out about a given subject. It also means that your expertise will be helpful in creating content that is useful to people searching for related information. Such expertise may further be divided into formal expertise and everyday expertise.
Professionals who have verification from formal organizations or even learning institutions fall into the category of formal expertise. In other words, there is a known verification process to attain this kind of expertise.
Everyday expertise, on the other hand, demonstrates their skills and ability by what they do continuously. These may be life experiences or circumstances surrounding what they do on a daily basis.
An important point to underline is that expertise can be developed over time through both formal and informal mechanisms. As a business owner, your expertise over a period of time is measured by daily practical steps through which you gain knowledge that is useful to your business and to others.
More than anything else, authority is about reputation. It is about how experts and influencers in your industry or circle perceive and view your knowledge. Perhaps the easiest way to describe an authority is that go-to resource person who can handle simple and complex stuff and offer the desired solutions and help your SEO ranking.
Seeking authoritativeness should give you a good reason to work towards ranking high on Google. Generally, websites with low-quality content won’t gather the appropriate quality to help them rank appropriately. This means they lack the authority to influence.
A unique approach to creating the appropriate authority is ensuring building the right reputation around your network. This applies specifically to your peers, industry players, and customers. Positive reviews and user experience from such individuals go a long way in building your reputation.
Building authority online is a process that takes time and resources. Your website or brand must be viewed as helpful and seen to solve various problems online. You will also need to build the relevant keywords, pages, and generally come out as a reliable source of information.
A formidable approach that could push your level of authority high is creating a Wikipedia page for the company and your team. However, getting a Wikipedia page is an uphill task unless and until you are a recognized brand. Therefore, it is something that anyone wants to build regardless of the constrain that comes with it.
To get a better outlook of how important it is for anyone to be authoritative, think of the influence proclaimed by former athletes in areas such as sports management or doping. These are challenges they went through and they can authoritatively state what ought to be done differently.
In whatever field, you must strive to gain such a level of authoritativeness.
An important aspect of online survival is gaining a high level of trustworthiness. This kind of trust allows you to easily gain more business and establish partnerships with like-minded individuals. At the same time, there existence basic information will help your audience to build a high level of trust online.
The following are some of the resources that will affirm your trustworthiness and that of your business:
- Contact information, including physical address
- Contact information, including physical address
- Photos of team members
- Links to and from authoritative and credible websites
- Ease of online accessibility and open channels of communication
Online survival and success is primarily a combination of factors that must consistently play a role in enhancing your visibility. A factor that easily erodes credibility and harms your trust is a consistent negative review, particularly from clients.
On the other hand, positive reviews on social media and other important mentions online play a key role in uplifting your credibility and trust.
The concept of EAT forms a significant matrix of online success. It is perhaps the best combination of factors that any brand looking to make an impact online should strive to achieve. Admittedly, it takes time to reach a high level of authority online but it is a struggle that is truly necessary to foster.
CEO, Digital Marketing/SEO
Joel House is the CEO and founder of Joel House Brisbane SEO, a well established digital marketing Company. He has helped many small business owners to grow their revenues through organic traffic. His passion for Organic SEO, Local SEO, and Google Adwords make him more special.