What is Google E-A-T, and how can it help you create content that ranks?
The internet is a crowded place. With each day that passes, more websites are built, and more content is published. There are over seven million blog posts published every day to put it in context. Unfortunately, though, not all of them have valuable information for users.
This is where Google E-A-T comes in.
What is Google E-A-T?
To ensure that users get the best experience, Google introduced E-A-T in their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Google designed these to ensure the content published online is of high quality. E-A-T is an acronym that stands for:
- Expertise: refers to the expertise of the creator of the main content.
- Authoritativeness: refers to the authoritativeness of the main content creator, the content, and the website the content is published on.
- Trustworthiness: Refers to the trustworthiness of the main content creator, the content itself, and the website it’s published on.
The purpose of these standards is to help improve the quality of content published on the web. In addition, it helps ensure that content is accurate and helpful to users.
Is E-A-T a Ranking Factor?
A frequently asked question about Google E-A-T is whether it contributes as a ranking factor.
The simple answer is no.
However, it goes deeper than that. Search engines like Google know that people can make life-changing decisions based on the content they find online. Therefore, the primary purpose of the E-A-T guidelines is to ensure the information search engines serve users is truthful, accurate, and helpful.
However, there is a ripple effect that comes from publishing E-A-T-worthy content. One such effect is that it positively impacts your SEO, albeit indirectly. Here are a few ways in which E.A.T can do that:
Helps Fight Disinformation
Disinformation is a caveat that comes with free speech. In one of Google’s publications highlighting how they fight it, E-A-T is mentioned a lot. This just shows the important role it plays in ensuring that the information search engines serve users is accurate. Of course, this implies that content that meets the E-A-T standards stands a better chance of ranking.
Helps Improve Content Quality
Content quality plays a massive role in boosting your SEO for many reasons. Some include:
- Increases the chances of your content being shared, thereby driving more traffic
- Helps you get organic backlinks
- Improves engagement metrics like click-through rates (CTR), dwell time, page views, and more
Filler content that provides no value doesn’t cut it anymore. With many options available, people won’t waste any time on a website whose content isn’t helpful. Instead, they’ll quickly click away and find a better resource. Unfortunately, this results in high bounce rates, which indicate to search engines that your content doesn’t meet search intent.
Ensures Your Content Provides a Positive Experience
Search engines are putting more emphasis on user experience (UX). Because of this, it must play a significant role in all your content creation and SEO efforts.
That’s another area in which Google E-A-T comes into play.
Applying Google’s recommendations for creating E-A-T content ensures publishers create content that offers a positive experience for readers.
7 Ways to Create Content that Meets Google E-A-T Standards
Now that you know what Google E-A-T is and why it’s important, let’s quickly dive into some elements to help you create content that meets Google’s E-A-T standards.
1. Know Your Target Audience and What They’re Looking For
One of the first ways to ensure that you’re creating E-A-T content is to know what your users are looking for when they input a search query.
- Are they looking for information?
- Do they want to buy a product now?
- Are they checking out different products they want to buy soon?
- Are they looking for a particular website/web page?
The reason behind a search query is called search intent (or user intent).
Understanding search intent is pretty easy. A couple of ways to do it include:
- Use Google: Google your keyword and check the type of content that appears in the top results. This is what Google deems the most relevant answers for that search term.
- Use a Keyword research tool: Keyword research tools like Semrush show search intent as part of the keyword metrics.
- Check keyword modifiers: Using a keyword research tool, check the keyword modifiers used the most in other related keywords or variations of your keyword.
Once you’ve figured out what your audience is looking for, create content that answers their questions to the full.
2. Create Data-rich Content
Another way to ensure that your content meets E-A-T requirements is to leverage data as much as possible. By citing facts and data from reputable sources, you show that your content is accurate. It also helps you showcase your expertise, make your content authoritative, and earns your readers’ trust. Therefore data is the perfect ingredient for creating E-A-T content.
Besides citing other resources, you can also conduct your own research. This has the advantage of establishing you as an authority and expert in your field. It also helps you build backlinks to your site, which brings us to the next point.
3. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews on Third-party Platforms
Reviews are not just a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing or social proof. They’re also a great way to build your website’s E-A-T, especially with Google’s reviews update.
4. Build Relevant Backlinks to Your Content
Backlinks have been an important ranking factor since the inception of the internet. They’re also an essential element in creating E-A-T content. The main reason is that backlinks are a vote of confidence that your content is valuable and helpful. The more backlinks you build to a piece of content, the more authoritative it becomes.
Note, however, that not all backlinks are created equal. You must build backlinks from high-authority sites relevant to your topic. Building backlinks from irrelevant backlinks will only signal to search engines that you’re simply building backlinks to game the system.
Reviews signal that users can trust you and that you’re an expert in your field. When your customers leave reviews (negative and positive), take time to respond to them. Doing so indicates that you’re reputable and committed to customer success.
5. Include Author Bylines to Gain Trust
One way to encourage trust in your content is by giving authors bylines.
Readers and search engines alike want to know who’s responsible for creating a piece of content and whether they’re a reputable source or not. To improve the author’s trustworthiness, you can also include links to their social media profiles or website.
On the same note, try and involve subject matter experts as much as possible in your content creation process. This will ensure that your content is accurate and helpful. You can also leverage their credentials to boost your trust signals.
6. Improve Security By Moving to HTTPS
If you haven’t yet, invest in your website’s security by moving from the less secure HTTP protocol to the more secure HTTPS protocol. Doing this is another excellent way of proving that your site is trustworthy.
To move to HTTPS, you must invest in a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity. More importantly, it provides an encrypted connection protecting your visitors from malicious actors. Some great places for getting free or affordable SSL certificates include:
Ensuring that your website is secure is an important way of improving your E-A-T score.
7. Make Your Contact Details Easy to Find
Another easy way to boost the trustworthiness of your website is openly displaying your contact details.
Particularly if you’re a location-based business, elements like your address and phone numbers signal to search engines and users that you are an entity users can trust.
An added advantage of openly displaying your physical address is that it can also help boost your local SEO.
Google E-A-T: The Blueprint for Content that Ranks and Converts
Understanding Google’s search quality rater guidelines are essential to helping you create effective content. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your content is competitive in search.
Examples of such guidelines are the E-A-T standards.
By following the tips above, you’ll be able to create content that ranks well. But more importantly, your content will offer users a positive experience, resulting in better conversion rates.
For better chances of rambling your E-A-T content, consider using a powerful SEO toolkit like AIOSEO. AIOSEO is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy for non-techy people to optimize all three aspects of their sites — on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. If you haven’t downloaded this powerful plugin yet, go ahead and do so here.