Expertise Authority Trust (E-A-T)

A Guide to E-A-T in SEO

Are you interested to know more about E-A-T? Do you want to know what it is and how it can help with the desired exposure? If yes, you are in the right place. You might have come across E-A-T. It has been around since 2014. However, it has started receiving recognition recently. Yes, it took a bit long to win the trust due to its perplexing nature. Even SEO experts find this concept a bit confusing. But we will make it easier for you. You can keep reading to know more about E-A-T and how it helps with better exposure. 

expertise authority trust

E-A-T & SEO

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Yes, the term has come from Google Search Quality Rater guidelines. But it was not a proven strategy for many before the August 18 media update. In brief, we can say that Google uses these three factors to measure the credibility and quality of web pages.

You might be aware that the page quality will decide your ranking in the organic search results of Google. As stated by Google, it focuses on the following factors to rank a web page.

  • The objective of a page
  • Quality and quantity of main content
  • Transparency of the website owner
  • E-A-T
  • Reputation and reliability of the website

When a web page demonstrates all the above qualities, it ranks high on a search engine.

What Makes E-A-T Important?

E-A-T plays a vital role in determining the trustworthiness of a website. It helps Google to know if the website uses credible sources or not.

What Does Google Consider to Measure E-A-T?

When it comes to Google, it considers the following three factors to evaluate the E-A-T of a website.

  • The expertise of the content creator
  • The authoritativeness of the main content and website creator
  • The trustworthiness of the main content and website

These factors ensure the truthfulness, accuracy, and effectiveness of your website.

In brief, Google uses E-A-T to ensure relevant, unique, and accurate content delivery. Currently, we all can create a website. We do not need a medical degree to write on health. Also, we do not need to join a law school to share information on the law. We have the freedom to create a website without specific skills. However, Google will have to ensure that people find the right content. Hence, it focuses on E-A-T to determine the credibility of a website.

Google uses E-A-T determining factors to evaluate the reliability of a page, website, content, and its creator. Google will emphasize more on a medical article when delivered by a medical professional.

Expertise in E-A-T

E-A-T will not be the same for all websites. When it comes to expertise, one can know a particular subject without formal training. Expertise on a news site will vary from the expertise on a gossip site. In addition to this, Google considers YMYL.

What Is Your Money or Your Life?

Your Money or Your Life or YMYL is an acronym that Google uses as a guiding principle to classify those websites that relate to your health, happiness, safety, or finances. These websites will have to maintain the highest E-A-T standard. They deliver information on the health, financial, and satisfaction of visitors. Incorrect information can affect adversely. Hence, these websites will have to maintain expertise and trustworthiness to rank high on search engines.

 How to Distinguish YMYL Websites

 Here are a few things that bring websites into the category of YMYL.

  • Current Topics & News: Websites that cover international business, politics, technology, science, and events will be considered YMYL websites. However, sports and entertainment news and events will not come in the YMYL category.
  • Finance: The financial sites related to taxes, investments, loans, retirement planning, insurance, or loans will come within YMYL.
  • Health & Safety: Any content that addresses health issues will fall in this category. It will include hospitals, medical issues, drugs, and pharmacies.
  • Law, Government, & Civic: Any topic related to government agencies, social services, legal suggestions, public institutions, and voting will bring the website into the YMYL category.
  • Group: When it comes to a group, it will include all the groups based on race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and veteran status.
  • Shopping: Any website that says about products and goods and influences the buying decision of visitors will have to maintain the highest E-A-T standard.

These are a few topics that bring a website into the YMYL category. The list will have more subjects based on the way of presenting. It might be about parenting, housing, educational information, fitness, weight loss, or nutrition.

What Is the Importance of E-A-T in SEO?

Currently, we all use Google to research health, education, and other things. Google knows that any wrong information can impact visitors adversely. If your content falls under the YMYL category, you will have to ensure accuracy. Yes, all the content needs to be accurate and authorized. By following the highest stands of E-A-T, your web page can come in the organic search results of Google. Hence, you can expect a better ranking.

Does E-A-T Help in Ranking?

If you check the measurable metrics, you might not find E-A-T a direct ranking factor. It is worth mentioning that Google uses some signals to determine the authority of a website. Those signals help to decide the expertise and reliability of your webpage. Yes, these signals are Google ranking factors.

You can check the white paper released by Google in February 2019. The white paper says how Google fights disinformation. Also, it focuses on the E-A-T importance to get a high ranking. Besides, in the current version of Google’s search quality guidelines, you will find the term E-A-T 137 times. It shows how Google uses these three things to assess the quality of a website.

We can say that Google does not have any metric to evaluate E-A-T score. Instead, it considers other factors to know the quality of web pages, brands, authors, and websites. 

In brief, search quality raters evaluate websites and their credibility. Yes, they give feedback to the Google algorithm. The algorithm can assess those signals and relate them with E-A-T factors.

Why Should You Add E-A-T to Your SEO Strategy?

Have you checked Google search core algorithm updates? If not yet, you can keep checking. In recent updates, you will understand how to improve user experience consistently. It will help you to know how to rank high on Google.

You might be aware that Google penalizes for keyword stuffing. Also, it gives a high ranking to those websites with mobile responsiveness. In brief, Google wants visitors to access data through their available devices. Also, it emphasizes HTTP and HTTPS to boost the security of visitors. Apart from all these, it has Core Web Vitals that helps with an enhanced user experience.

E-A-T is another way Google considers delivering quality content to users.

Additionally, E-A-T can help to evaluate the credibility of a website. It enables Google to know a site is helpful for users or not. The objective of Google is to help visitors with the most relevant and accurate information for their queries. With enhanced satisfaction, they can keep visiting.

We all know that SEO can help any website with a high ranking on search engines. However, you can add E-A-T to SEO and get more benefits. 

Proven Ways to Boost E-A-T SEO

Now, we know what E-A-T is and why you need to combine it with SEO. Next, we will cover some best E-A-T SEO practices.

The good news is that you will have many ways to improve your website’s content quality and send the right signals to Google. However, if your website falls under the YMYL category, you will have to maintain the highest E-A-T standards. Otherwise, you might not get the desired benefits.

Many websites use backlinks. However, they do not focus on reliability. You will have to get backlinks from high-authority, reputed, and relevant domains. It will help you to prove your credibility in your industry. For example, if your website is about health and you use backlinks from a finance blog, it will not help you much. Also, worse can happen, and you can end up giving a manual action penalty. If you have hundreds of low-quality, it will impact your visibility. It might affect ranking adversely. 

What about off-page SEO, and how you can achieve this. You might not find off-page SEO easy. You will have to try hard and create high-quality, unique, and valuable content to make it right. You can research and invest in your resources to stand top of the competition. Once you have your brand identity, you can reach out to the influencers and publishers to create high-value backlinks and off-page SEO.

2. Get Mentions from Reliable Sources

You can research the trusted sources of your industry and get mentions from them. It will help to improve the E-A-T of your website. If Google finds more authoritative sources on your website, it will find your pages worth visiting.

As stated in Google Patent 8,682,892, implied links are a type of backlink. Also, the patent takes any incoming link as the implied link, express link, or both. All these links can be plain texts or actual links. In brief, we can say that all the links from reputed websites are either implied or express links. They will help to evaluate the quality of a web page. Gary Illyes of Google has made it clear that mentions from reliable websites will help to rank high on search engines.

So, mentions from authorized sources can help to get high rankings. Now, we will know how to get mentions from reliable sources. You can implement many proven strategies for having more mentions. Here are a few. 

  • Make benefits from interviews
  • Write guest posts on reliable websites
  • Arrange events & Use podcasts
  • Work with influencers
  • Find high-value resources
  • Attend Events and sponsor a few
  • Focus on innovations

3. Use Fresh and Relevant Content

You will have to use fresh content on your website. Make sure that there is no obsolete data on any page. 

In addition to fresh content, you will have to consider the accuracy and uniqueness of content. It is a must if you offer time-sensitive data that includes news. The same is about medical and educational topics. You will have to use the latest and updated content to rank high on Google.

4. Welcome Reviews

You can inspire your users to write reviews and feedback. Also, you will have to respond to them whenever needed. The reviews will help to improve the E-A-T of your site. Google will rank you high if you have many positive reviews. Yes, you can welcome user reviews on all the possible platforms. That included Facebook, Google, and Trustpilot. These reviews will reveal that your website is reliable and trustworthy.

Also, you will have to address negative reviews. If you do so, your users will find you responsible. For more details, you can check the recent product reviews update of Google. As mentioned in the update, Google will rank reviews with beyond and above templated information. Hence, you can focus on genuine reviews to attract more visitors and rank high on Google.

5. Hire Writing Experts

If you lack writing experience, you can hire experts. As we know, Google focuses on quality and genuine content. Hence, you will have to ensure that your website has fresh and relevant content. If you cannot deliver those, you can consider hiring experts. Experienced and skilled writers can write genuine content. You will have to focus more on relevant content if your website comes in the YMYL category. It is worth mentioning that leading websites hire skilled content writers to write content for their websites. We can take the example of Verywell and Healthline. They work with writers and medical professionals to write genuine and powerful content for their websites.

You can follow the same strategy and work with skilled and experienced professionals. With their help, you can expand your reach and rank high on search engines. While hiring writers, you will have to consider two factors. These are the knowledge on the topic and real-world experience.

6. Add Credentials

All the websites can say that they have highly skilled writers to deliver quality and genuine content. Can they prove their claim? They will have to if they want to create a trustworthy environment. You cannot say that you have experienced professionals. Instead, you will have to check the credentials before hiring any expert. Besides, you will have to flash those credentials on your website. You can link the content to the website and social handles of the author. Google will get the signal and rank you high.

In addition to this, you can list experts on your website page. You can write about contributors, teams, and other things. Also, you will have to add the credentials of your writer. You can think a step ahead as well. If your copywriter has degrees and accreditations, you can add them with the year. You can add anything that you find relevant for the page, Google, and visitors. Here are a few things you can consider adding.

  • Certifications & education
  • Books authored
  • Awards and conference panel mentions
  • Event participations

7. Focus on Transparency

You will find many websites without any contact information. However, if you want enhanced visibility and high search engine ranking, you can add your contact information to your website. Your visitors will have a name and face. Hence, they will find you trustworthy.

You can add your contact information and enable your visitors to reach out to you whenever they want. If you do not share your contact details, your visitors will feel that you do not care about your targets.

8. Create Your Wikipedia Page

You might not know that a Wikipedia page can help you with the desired exposure. You can consider creating a Wikipedia page to boost SEO. The page will help with two benefits. First, it will have editorial access. Hence, you can have a backlink from this domain and win the trust of people and Google.

Secondly, a Wikipedia page will enable you to create your brand identity and dominate your competitors. You can add your accomplishments and publication links. Also, the presence of Wikipedia page will send positive signals to Google.

9. Evaluate Your Brand

Apart from all these, you will have to evaluate your brand. Know your industry, competition, and your position. It will help you to find improvement areas. Also, you will have to check your online presence.

Is your website available on Google? Can you find it on the first page? Are you active on social media? Go through all these and check E-A-T to know how Google ranks your website. If you find any gap, you can work on it to get better exposure. The objective is to focus on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. All will help to achieve enhanced user satisfaction and high search engine ranking.

10. Consider Content Audit

You might have a fair amount of content on your website. The content will include blog posts, reports, articles, datasheets, case studies, and whitepapers. You need to audit all the existing contents. Make sure that they meet E-A-T standards. You can consider any of these three things for every page.

  • Delete content
  • Update it
  • Merge it with other relevant pages

We can take a simple example. You have blog posts of five years ago. If you find the content outdated, you will have to update it. If the content is irrelevant now, you can delete it. If the content of any page is less but worth reading, you can merge it with other relevant pages. However, you will have to use the correct 301 redirects while combining pages or deleting content.

11. Have a Content Creation Framework

You can create fresh and relevant content consistently to build your authority. It does not matter you are podcasting or blogging. Powerful and unique content can help you to get the desired exposure. However, you will have to work regularly to deliver fresh content. Therefore, you can create a content creation framework. It will help you to create high-value and unique content every time. Make sure that the contention creation framework has the following.

  • Content calendar & content type
  • Target keywords & required resources
  • Publishing tempo & target audience
  • Content objective & responsible bodies
  • Each step of content creation

When it comes to steps, it will include all the steps. In brief, it will cover everything from the briefing to publishing. Once you have a framework, it will be easier to create quality content.

12. Choose Ads Intelligently

You can have some ads on your website. But if you have too many ads, you cannot expect the desired benefits. The same is about negative ads. Negative ads will create a negative impression.

If you add too many ads, your website will appear untrustworthy or biased to your visitors. As a result, they might not find your website worth visiting.

13. Promote Your Website

The powerful and relevant content can enable you to reach your target. However, you will have to ensure that your target can access your content. Yes, here marketing strategies come in. You will have to promote your content in all the possible places.

How?

Expand your reach and cover social media, email marketing, blog posts, and your partners.

Future of E-A-T & SEO

The future of E-A-T will witness more improvements. It will deliver deeper, broader, and robust applications to recognize brands, websites, and authors. In 2020, Google impressed its users with the Speaker Identification patent. It can identify speakers through speech recognition technology. Youtube videos, interviews, and webinar recordings will use this feature. It is just the beginning!

Also, the search algorithm will evolve consistently with micro-adjustments and core updates. But the objective of Google will remain the same. It will keep delivering the most relevant and fresh content to website users.

The E-A-T will ensure a proper alignment to achieve the result.

If you can deliver desired content in an expert, authoritative, and trustworthy manner, you can win enhanced user satisfaction and inspire Google. When you combine SEO with E-A-T, you can expect the best of both worlds.

How to Write your Author Bio

Have you ever wondered how to write an author bio? Well, wonder no more! This blog post will walk you through the process step-by-step. I’ll cover everything from what to include in your e-a-t (expertise, authority, trust) and tips for optimizing your SEO (search engine optimization) to outstanding examples of author bios that are out there. So whether you’re a beginning writer or trying to make some changes to your existing bio, this blog post has something for everyone!

First, let’s get a few questions out of the way!

Where does it state that Google wants authorship?

As stated in section 6.6 of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (MC = main content):

“We expect some form of website information for many or most websites. We expect clear information about who (e.g., what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) created the MC, unless there is good reason for anonymity. A long-standing Internet alias or username can also serve the same function as identifying the MC creator.”

This means that Google wants some reference to who or why the article was written.

To add to this, Google has also stated it prefers the usage of author URL schema.

August 6: Added a new recommended author.url property to the Article structured data documentation. The url property helps Google disambiguate the correct author of the article.”

How might Google check for Authorship?

Using the Agent Rank Patent, Google could be including quality scores using authorship and E-A-T.

Abstract

The present invention provides methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing techniques for searching and ranking linked information sources. The techniques include receiving multiple content items from a corpus of content items; receiving digital signatures each made by one of multiple agents, each digital signature associating one of the agents with one or more of the content items; and assigning a score to a first agent of the multiple agents, wherein the score is based upon the content items associated with the first agent by the digital signatures.

You can read more about the Agent Patent here.

How to boost your E-A-T using Authorship

  1. Add an Author page

    You need to Create an Author page silo’d under the about us page. (e.g., /about/first-last-name/)

    The h1 tag should be their full name.

    Write a captivating Bio for the Author page.

    You can create a bio written using this template:

    [Your Name] is [Your Role] with [Your Company] where [he/she] [information on job function].
    [Interesting facts about your history that add credibility to your authority on your subject.]
    [Your Name] [Include/mention and link if possible to professional achievement related to your subject].
    [Fun fact with personality related to your subject].

    It is important to include a call to action and always write in the third person.

    Include a link to the Author page (e.g., domain.com/author/isaac/) from the Bio page (e.g., domain.com/about/isaac-adams-hands/). This enables the reader to view all of the author’s posts after reading their biography.

    You will also need a short blurb on the About us page, listing all of your authors, linking to their individual pages.

  2. Add Schema

    Add and fill out the sameAS and “Person” schema on the Author’s bio page.

    sameAs schema is used to indicate what a web page is about unambiguously. (e.g., an author’s Wikipedia page).

    Person schema is information about a person that is alive, dead, undead, or fictional. This includes their Name, Address, Phone number, and date of birth and any information Google might require.

    This schema will allow Google to cross-reference the authorship and create a knowledge panel for them.

    If you don’t know how to generate your own Schema, I highly recommend using the Schema.Press Plugin.

  3. Perform a Quality Assurance check

    Author archives

    Check author footer bio + author pages for any errors, broken bio images, or misspellings. You can find the author article pages under e.g., domain.com/author/writers-name/

    Then ensure that the author is listed in sitemap.xml. This is a vital step because Google wants authors to be indexable.

    You want to make sure it’s easy for readers to find everything they can on your author.

If E-A-T is not a ranking factor, why should I care?

Although Google has confirmed that they do not rank websites based on author reputation, Google mentions E-A-T 137 times in the current iteration of its 167-page search quality raters guidelines.

Some SEO pros have put forward convincing studies that not demonstrating E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) in a site’s content can be a demolishing factor for its search engine visibility.

Takeaways

If you run into any issues, please let me know; I’d love to help improve your E-A-T.

FAQ

  • What is EAT in SEO?

Published on: 2021-10-02
Updated on: 2022-10-28

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.