SEO: You Are What You E-A-T
It’s not an unreasonable request: Google wants you to demonstrate that you’re an expert people can trust
Now more than ever, you are what you eat – except in this case, “eat” is an acronym. The search giant Google takes credit for EAT, which it prefers to see written as E-A-T. You want to comply with Google’s E-A-T, because it’s important for your SEO.
E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.” These are the three elements Google rates to determine how it will rank your website or content on your website. Want to show up in more searches? Be all about E-A-T. Here’s a deeper dive into how to make it work for you.
E-A-T leads to more-relevant content
We’re not talking about breaking news. Google introduced E-A-T in 2016. According to SEMrush, E-A-T has helped Google’s ranking evaluators do a better job of offering searchers relevant content.
In their breakdown of E-A-T, SEMrush notes that for Google to deem content as high quality, websites and content need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. Here’s more on how they evaluate sites in each category.
Google hasn’t reached the point of demanding credentials yet, but it does favor content authored by subject-matter experts. In most cases, Google looks at how relevant and detailed the information is.
Presently, Google has only a short list of topics that must be authored by an accredited, qualified expert:
- Financial advice
- Medical information
- Advice or information on a topic that could have a potential negative effect on someone’s happiness, health, or wealth
- High-quality hobbies
Other types of content can be written by unaccredited or non-subject-matter experts – but all content has to score high on the E-A-T level.
How do you demonstrate this? Google says it’s easy. Show that you are an authority, or make sure the authoritativeness of the author of the main content is obvious. We’ll take a stab at interpreting this.
Write with confidence. And as content creation professionals, we’ll testify that you can’t write about a subject with confidence unless you are an authority. So, Google is just reminding you to back up what you say with appropriate explanations and citations.
Much of what’s online is user-generated content. In this case, Google is looking to associate relevant personal experience. It’s going to assign a higher rank to a review of a Japanese restaurant by someone who used to live in Japan than it would to someone who fails to demonstrate that they have any appreciation for the cuisine.
Google wants you to prove that visitors can trust the creator of the main content they’re recommending in a search. This really does come down to credentials. And in this case, Google gets some help from another of its products, the most popular web browser in the world. Starting in the summer of 2018, with the release of Chrome 68, when you visit a website not using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), your browser throws up a “Not Secure” message.
Simply arranging for your site to have an SSL certificate – so you serve an encrypted HTTPS version of your website – is often enough to demonstrate to Google that you are trustworthy and deserve to be suggested in searches. There’s more to the benefit of SSL, and Neil Patel does an excellent job of explaining it in this article.
Be an expert, or hire one
Google’s insistence on E-A-T is a way to help it push back against useless content. Think about it: How long would it retain dominance if it provided useless or irrelevant results? What this means is that your content has to be E-A-T-able. Google has made it your responsibility to ensure that your website and its content is created by experts.
You don’t have to comply, of course. But don’t expect Google to give you any attention. You can SEO yourself into a stupor, but it will be for nothing if you fail to comply with E-A-T. And it’s not difficult to accomplish as long as you understand that quality content isn’t a commodity. You get what you pay for. Authoritative, expert, trustworthy content is an investment. In this case, the return on investment is obvious. Skip it and Google will look elsewhere.
Outsourcing your content might be the best way to get into Google’s E-A-T groove. A reputable content-creation company will find and engage subject-matter experts who will ensure you hit the mark for E-A-T. The added benefit – and it’s massive – is that a content-creation company worth its salt will see to it that your content is optimized to be discovered.
Learn more about how we can help you create content that oozes with expertise, authoritativeness, and trust.
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