Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines are how the search engine evaluates if content is helpful, accurate, and can be trusted. Formerly known as E-A-T , Google recently introduced another E to the acronym. Experience is the new addition to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). If you’re unfamiliar with Google E-E-A-T, let’s break it down.
Experience: The old saying “show, don’t tell” goes a long way. Websites with first-hand client or customer reviews, feedback, and experience improve a business’s credibility. Reviews from customers who have paid for products or services add validity to the benefits highlighted by the brand or business.
Expertise: In short, this is a reminder to stay in your lane. Create and share content about your expertise and industry. Just because someone works in the content writing field doesn’t mean they’re an expert on every topic they produce for. At BlackTruck, we specialize in SEO, so writing a blog about E-E-A-T is right in our wheelhouse.
Authoritativeness: Take credit for your work. Has your brand won industry awards? Is your client a thought leader or subject matter expert? It’s okay to brag a little. Include backlinks on your web pages to accreditations or industry-affiliated organizations to build your credibility and earn people’s trust.
Trustworthiness: Be honest. Your brand, content, and authors of said content should provide truthful information. Make sure to fact-check your research, cite sources, and update any outdated content.
Who Does E-E-A-T Impact?
Google E-E-A-T impacts all industries, but it’s especially important for websites that fall under Your Money, Your Life, or YMYL. A business falls into this category if misinformation on its website could harm people’s health, finances, happiness, and safety. The following is a list of topics that YMYL websites cover:
News & Current Events: Local/state/government news topics, including politics, business, science, health, or technology.
Civics, Government, & Law: voting, policies, legal issues, etc.
Finance: banking, loans, mortgages, taxes, retirement plans, investments, 401k, Roth IRAs, credit cards, insurance, college, housing, etc.
Shopping: online sales and purchases.
Health & Safety: emergencies, nutrition, hospitals, medical issues, fitness, prescriptions, COVID-19, travel, etc.
Groups of People: race, religion, gender, disability, age, students, families, nationality, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
How Does E-E-A-T Impact SEO?
We’ve all been told not to believe everything we read on the internet. Luckily with E-E-A-T, Google is helping the internet become a more reliable space. E-E-A-T was first introduced when Google rolled out its 2014 Search Quality Guidelines. Since then, it’s been updated, most recently in December 2022. In a nutshell, E-E-A-T is Google’s way of evaluating the quality of a webpage.
In addition to Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, Google identifies the following as website and webpage quality determinants:
- Purpose of a web page
- Amount of content and the quality of it
- Available information about a website/author
Web pages that are user-centered and keep E-E-A-T at the forefront of content inform Google that a page can be trusted. This improves Google’s search ranking systems but doesn’t directly lead to higher rankings.
Optimizing Content For E-E-A-T
Now that you understand E-E-A-T standards, here’s how you can optimize content to align with more impact:
Your SEO strategy should include external backlinks to high-ranking domain sites. If you’re not using quality, relevant links, that could be the difference between your website ranking on the first page or tenth page of search results. Always be sure to cite your sources and link to any references used in your content.
On the flip side, being featured on trustworthy sites is a great way to improve your authority. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. Speaking at conferences, appearing as a podcast guest, and pitching media to secure interviews or article features are a few ways to secure a mention on an authoritative site.
Put in the time to create content users search for and want to read, then publish it consistently. Irregularly posting blogs or articles just for the sake of posting will not help you. Once you’re ready to publish your content, be sure to promote it and cross-post it on other platforms like your social media accounts, newsletter, or Google My Business listing.
Your content should also be up to date with the latest information. Unless your content is evergreen, we recommend performing a content audit to see what information on your site can be updated, deleted, or condensed with other relevant content.
Crediting the author of content on your website is another helpful way to build authority. Including the author of a blog or study presents credibility and gives you an opportunity to show your audience that your content was developed by an expert on the subject.
Case Studies & Client Testimonials
With the new addition of Experience to E-A-T, it’s crucial to showcase client reviews, testimonials, and case studies on your website. This transparency allows users to hear unbiased opinions from real customers or clients.
If your website doesn’t already have a designated space for testimonials, this is your sign to make some changes. Testimonials and reviews should be integrated into relevant service or product pages, while case studies can live on their own page. Adding internal links to case studies on relevant pages is a great way to showcase your work and praise from customers.
If you have experience managing website content, this won’t be a surprise, but you need to include an About page on your website with, you guessed it, accurate and up-to-date information.
The About page on your website is an opportunity to prove to your audience that you are an expert in your field. Helpful information to include on this page would be education backgrounds, certifications, awards, and speaking opportunities you or your team were featured at.
If you don’t already have team member bios on your website, this is a great place to add them. By including credentials about your team, especially those with designations or accreditations (i.e. Dr, SLP, CPA, CFP, etc.), you can build credibility with your audience.
A contact page is an essential part of any website. Make it clear how your target audience can get in touch with you. Include your location, phone number, email address, and links to all of your social media accounts.
This is also a great place to include product or service reviews and ratings to showcase testimonials you’ve received and demonstrate trustworthiness.
If your brand is already practicing healthy E-E-A-T tactics, your SEO efforts are in good hands. If you’re overwhelmed by E-E-A-T, that’s okay too; leave the SEO to us. Reach out to our team today to discuss how we can help.
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