Everyone has to eat. Would you believe that making sure your website eats is also important? Figuring out a way to boost traffic to your website is an extensive step in planning success for your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a leading factor in gaining traffic and attention. Google has many ways of evaluating content to rank it on their search results page, and E-A-T is a guideline in their ranking system.

According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator, a characteristic of high-quality pages is that it has a high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, otherwise known as E-A-T. As an example, Google says that “High E-A-T advice pages on topics such as home remodeling (which can cost thousands of dollars and impact your living situation) or advice on parenting issues (which can impact the future happiness of a family) should also come from “expert” or experienced sources that users can trust.”

Google E-A-T Explained

E-A-T isn’t an update nor an algorithm, and there isn’t an internal score system. It is more of a principle. Depending on who you talk to, some believe E-A-T is crucial to sites and their ranking factor. E-A-T is a form of guidelines that helps Google determine if the content is of value to the readers. Google wouldn’t want to boost a link on their search page that contains information that isn’t full of facts, doesn’t come from a trustful source, and lacks authority. So, let’s look at what exactly E-A-T stands for.

The expertise of the content’s creator

The authoritativeness of the content, creator, and website

The trustworthiness of the content, creator, and website

Google E-A-T is all about the quality of your content and your ability to answer the reader’s question without further investigation.

Is E-A-T a Ranking System?

The short answer: not entirely. But is it still significant? Absolutely. According to a 2019 interview with Gary Illyes from Google, there isn’t an internal score for E-A-T. Illyes further shares that several algorithms that help judge ranking use the concept of E-A-T. The E-A-T concept has a more indirect way of helping rank factors as it helps determine a website’s value. While E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor alone, it can impact your rank. Covering these three pillars in your content is helpful because the value of your website matters when raters decide to share or recommend your site.

Consider E-A-T the reason why people should choose your website over your competition. E-A-T could directly impact how Google perceives and indexes your website. So, while it isn’t an individual ranking system, it can and sometimes does indirectly contribute to your rank. Google wants to rid the Internet of misconceptions and false information on its platform. It wouldn’t be a shock if E-A-T becomes more necessary in future updates.

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Why E-A-T?

E-A-T can help you grow your brand and build a positive and helpful presence online. When evaluating E-A-T and your website, you should understand that people are coming to you for information. There has to be some way of organizing the information so that the most accurate and most helpful information is easily accessible.

Say you want to look up the safe amount of aspirin a child can have or how to file your taxes. You wouldn’t want the answers from someone with little knowledge of the subject. Google refers to these subjects as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) and revolves around a person’s safety, health, or financial stability. E-A-T is valuable to understand and implement if your page contains YMYL topics. Other examples include housing information, goods/services, and emergency preparedness.

However, E-A-T is not limited to YMYL websites. Expertise is valuable for all topics. Some topics, though, require less formal expertise. Evaluating your content and determining an appropriate expertise level is the name of the game. Medical professionals can share medical information, but fashion blogs do not require the same expertise.

Also, keep in mind that E-A-T has everything to do with credibility! So regardless of Google and its idea of importance, you should want to produce credible and helpful information to consumers and your potential customers. 

How Can I Improve My Website’s E-A-T?

Controlling and strengthening your E-A-T is entirely in your hands. You are responsible for showing your expertise and authority in your content and proving that you are a trustworthy source. Here are six ways to maximize your content and improve your E-A-T.

Include Outside Links to Higher Sources

A great way to increase your authority and trustworthiness is to cite all of your sources and include links to some of those sources. This practice not only shows who you got your information from, but it also shows the proof behind your content. Including links can also help you appear as an expert as well. There are many sources to include, from professional studies and research to official documents from companies or the government.

Update and Check Content Regularly

As time goes on, information can change, and developments occur. You want to be sure your content stays up-to-date and doesn’t fall behind in providing accurate information. 

Another part of your content that needs to be factual is the links in your articles. Sometimes, sources will take down their articles or content, and it causes the link in your content to go to an error page. Make sure that you check these links often to see if the content is still there.

Check the Facts

Much like when you write essays and papers in school, it is crucial to check your facts. It isn’t helpful to have misinformation in your content, and it can result in consumers losing trust in you and your company. Correct facts can help you stand out and show that you are a reliable source. To avoid misinformation, check your facts against other credible sources and make sure to cite them. Checking your facts is vital for YMYL topics but can be applied to various subjects. Google doesn’t want to promote sites with unverified facts and weak sources.

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Create Unique Content

With so many different websites out there, unique content is beneficial. Find a way to stand out from the other sites that produce content similar to yours. Share the insight and experience that you have personally acquired. Be vigilant that your content fits your audience and represents your brand and its purpose. This type of information should be unique to your brand, and if your content reflects that, you might have a better chance of expanding your reach.

Moderate User-Generated Content

User-generated content is great for your SEO and is an important marketing tool. Hearing people’s thoughts and feedback and having that available for other consumers to see encourages people to interact with your content. While it is typically a positive thing, it does come with some risks worth monitoring. 

Spam is a risk that comes with having comments and other user-generated content. Try to use a spam filter so that the comments don’t become flooded with spam. It also would help to go through and block trolls/spam bots from interacting with your content altogether. Doing this will help increase your authority and professionalism.

Mind Your Reputation

Everything you say or do on the Internet will be out there indefinitely. Even if you delete something, some part remains somewhere on the World Wide Web. With this in mind, it is super important to consider you and your brand’s reputation. One way to keep your reputation in mind is by looking out for negative reviews and press and having plans to respond to any crisis.

Eating is a form of survival for both you and your website. Remember that E-A-T isn’t necessarily a ranking factor but a guideline that determines the quality of your content. A vital part of E-A-T is that you can use it to reevaluate your content and work on producing content that Google would possibly rank higher. Having high-quality content is essential to succeed and thrive. E-A-T helps you build credibility and strength between you and your audience. Next time you generate content for your website, think about how to ensure it eats!

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