It’s been some time since E-A-T has become the real buzz in Google’s SEO world. The term or rather an acronym, E-A-T is now a prominent word in the dictionary of many SEOs. This happened after the major Google algorithm update (aka “the medic update”) in August 2018. Post the event, Google’s E-A-T has garnered a lot of attention and is going steady with most SEOs.
Gone are the days when you could appear on Google just like that overnight. To make your strong presence felt on the mega search engine, you ought to take good care of your brand and foster it perfectly. For this, you need to focus on building three things such as expertise, authority, and of course, trustworthiness. That’s exactly what E-A-T is all about!
Now in this post, I would like to discuss the three fundamental aspects of E-A-T and how to make good use of them by incorporating them into your strategy for proper content creation. These tips will enable you to garner optimal search term ranking for your specific industry.
To begin with…
The major Google algorithm update that we spoke about just now, hit tons of websites to provide them with health and medical advice than any other source. This is why it was termed as “the medic update” by renowned search engine marketing journalist Barry Schwartz.
Interestingly, it was not just the medical websites that were hit with this update. Other websites that Google has categorized as YMYL sites, also got significantly impacted.
It is common for digital marketers to use jargon and tons of acronyms. However, this time Google themselves took the effort to add the so-called E-A-T and YMYL (by the way, the acronym YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life”) to the ever-growing stack of highly puzzling insiders lingo.
YMYL is Google’s quality rating for good content that stands literally for “Your Money or Your Life”. Google does care about delivering both relevant and correct information to its users. Certain types of searches lead to a great chance of negative impact on the users’ happiness, health, or even wealth. In other words, the low quality of the webpages might have the potential for creating a bad effect on the user’s wellbeing. Therefore Google is thoughtful enough not to serve or add up links to pages that might share negative opinions, fake information, uneducated advice, and most importantly dishonest websites. So in this context, Google always prefers to be as authentic as it can be and only recommends sites that provide an optimal level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness aka E-A-T. Therefore its Google’s way or rather a commitment for safeguarding users from low-quality content that might prove to be harmful to them. E-A-T can relate to you very well when your business concern comes under the spectrum of happiness, health, or wealth. So happy reading ahead!
Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
Both the concepts, E-A-T and YMYL were derived from a crucial Google document termed “Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines”. Google released the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines officially in 2015. Since then we have a proper concept of how a high (and low) quality website should be according to Google’s perspective.
It might be pretty useful for you to check out the article “30+ Important Takeaways from Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guideline” that appeared on Moz blog in 2015. You will get a better insight into the subject and why we should be seriously following these guidelines for better SEO practices. The article was written specifically for the human rating team. It is the human rating team of Google that constantly performs critical web searches and evaluates websites that comes at top rankings for these specific searches. Google has employed almost 10,000 people for carrying out these quick checks to evaluate the credibility of the ranking effectiveness and to rightly analyze the web page quality. The learnings and findings made by the quality rating team are then shared with Google’s engineers and they will proceed further to enhance the ranking algorithm. As the guys from Google remind us with their frequent updates, the ranking algorithm is always undergoing a continual improvement process.
2018 update regarding guidelines
A week later to the July 2018 guidelines update announcement, Google made some add-ons that could cause a significant effect. Going forward the quality evaluation team will be reviewing not just a particular website’s E-A-T but the E-A-T of the content creators too. This was big-time news. So Google now prefers to identify and understand the credentials of the author related to the subject matter of a web page, especially if it’s connected to the YMYL subject. This calls for building up both website E-A-T and author E-A-T. Some of these criteria are being met by maintaining author boxes. These boxes will have links to profiles of the authors elsewhere online using the author schema mark-up. Author schema mark-up is structured data where Google can know in detail about the author. This makes it easier for Google to get connected with the author using other relevant authority signals like author profiles found on social media profiles and authority sites.
The Oxford dictionary defines an expert as a person who is very skillful in a specific area. But this knowledge or expertise will not suffice in garnering a great volume of web traffic from Google to your website. It is imperative to understand how well you will be able to render this knowledge in such a way you can capture the maximum attention of your target audience or customers. So for this, you need to specifically understand what they require and how well you can deliver it.
“How can my website increase the rankings?” This is a common question that ponders the minds of a large number of Googlers. The immediate and befitting answer will be “Create quality content your audience will love to see”. Easier said than done, it is exactly the whole point of our topic that we have got here.
Now let’s see how to deal with it and get what we want. The best thing to do is to understand what your target audience is looking for. This will enable you to meet their requirements. Proper keyword research is the best thing, to begin with. Always put your effort to get a better understanding of the searcher’s intent behind terms that you find during your keyword research. You should be able to do the keyword research that compliments the perspective of the user. There are chances that your target audient or the user might be new to the subject matter, so it is highly recommended that you avoid using so many jargon or gloss-over points that a newbie is least likely to comprehend.
Try to find and create the right balance in being inclusive and keeping it simple. For this, you can go for formatting the text with the help of visual aids or use audio, video media to make it more digestible rather than making it complicated. Being proactive can help a lot. Always be prepared to answer or address the queries that may arise. So you need to prepare content accordingly. Adding supplementary content with easy-to-access internal links will prove to be very supportive.
Being an expert is a great option, of course at the beginning of your journey. But once your brand becomes identical with the related topics you are the authority, way above being just an expert. The following facets will tell you more regarding some important KPIs to judge your authoritativeness.
- The links that you add from relevant and credible websites are great beneficial factors that can contribute to better website rankings, and no successful SEO frameworks are devoid of this.
Kindly remember that when we are talking about links, it must be useful to build the authority of your domain. This requires cooperation from other relevant websites who are already an authority in the space and they should be willing to endorse us. Getting a proper endorsement from another leading and credible website can help you in a great way to reach out to your target customers very effectively.
- Apart from the links, getting your brand mentioned in other popular and authoritative websites or the news media can also help to boost your credentials and authority in Google’s eye. Therefore mentions can also help you in a great way.
- It will be highly advantageous when you make use of the “Moz Domain Authority score”. This way you can check out your authority score for yourself and take adequate steps to increase it.
- “Majestic trust ratio score” is another trustworthy authority gauge that you can use. Things are very much in your favor if you can get an authority score of 1.0
- Getting your content shared successfully and widely across different social media platforms is an obvious sign of your authority.
- Building and sustaining a brand is one of the topmost signs of having a successful SEO authority. You will be able to analyze how well your brand is doing with the help of branded search volume. More the people search for your brand, the higher will be your brand measure.
- Maintaining a dedicated Wikipedia page for the people of your company and especially your brand is a clear signal that can indicate your prime authority.
Your proven trustworthiness is another crucial factor. Same like the way your expertise and authority determine your Google rankings, trustworthiness also will help you to go a long way. You should always ensure that there are minimal to nil negatives about your brand and website and should be able to win the complete trust of your customers. And maintain it using all the perfect measures. Make sure you can garner maximum positive reviews on various social media platforms. This is a clear sign of your trustworthiness and high acceptability among people. The facets mentioned below will help to boost your trustworthiness.
- Always maintain a clear way for making contact with website owners.
- Make sure you are maintaining a valid office or store address at easily accessible location.
- The T&C page of your website must be simple, straight, and easily understandable for your customers.
- Always ensure that the domain of your website is secured. Google is very particular about the proper implementation of HTTPS. This will make sure the data input made by your users will not be intercepted by anonymous 3rd party entities.
- You should always maintain and adhere to your Cashback or Refund policies if you are accepting payments from your customers.
- Always try to incorporate inclusive specifications regarding your products and safety advice that can be relevant.
- Try to include the Author Biography and cite external sources when you are sharing general information.
- Always maintain credible E-A-T when you are sharing information related to medical and financial matters so that Google will recommend your content to users.
Finally, if you can create a website for your brand based on the three fundamental pillars we discussed here namely Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, you will surely reach and remain at the top spot of Google rankings.