Learn what Google E-A-T is, and why it matters for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website. E-A-T is an important Google website quality principle that website owners, businesses, and marketing departments should understand.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
What are Google's Quality Rater's Guidelines?
The Quality Raters Guidelines provide instructions to Google's "Quality Raters" on how to evaluate the quality of websites.
Using the Google Quality Raters Guidelines as a guide, Google "quality raters" (who are actual people, not an AI) perform Google searches and evaluate if the websites that are displayed in the results are helpful and relevant to people. The Quality Raters Guidelines are used in this process as a reference and guide.
In the Quality Raters Guidelines, Google search quality raters are directed to pay attention to:
- The expertise of the creator/author of the main content.
- The authoritativeness of the creator/author of the main content, the main content itself, and the website.
- The trustworthiness of the creator/author of the main content, the main content itself, and the website.
The point of the Quality Raters program is to gain insight on the interpretation of website quality by humans in order to better train the Google algorithm to recognize it. The primary goal is to improve the Google search algorithm and understand how to offer searchers an even better user experience.
Video: Lily Ray talks about the Quality Rater Guidelines and why they are relevant to SEOs
Google E-A-T SEO FAQs
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. E-A-T is a principle from Google's Search Quality Guidelines that uses these 3 criteria to evaluate the quality of web pages.
The E-A-T of pages in search results is evaluated by human 'quality raters' in order to gain insight on the interpretation of website quality by humans.
This is in order to better train the Google algorithm to recognize page quality as a human does. The primary goal is to improve the Google search algorithm and understand how to offer searchers an even better user experience.
E-A-T means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
It's a principle used to determine, in part, the page quality of a website page.
"E-A-T SEO content" is content on a website that clearly demonstrates the expertise, authority and trustworthiness of the content and content author.
Types of "E-A-T SEO Content" might include:
- Clearly communicating who the author of the content is using an author box bio.
- Highlighting the qualifications of the authors by having a dedicated page for each author that details their credentials, experience, and expertise in the subject matter.
- Citing authoritative references for statistics, data, and claims made in the content.
Essentially, in the Quality Raters Guidelines, Google is providing us with detailed information as to what they consider to be high-quality, authoritative, trustworthy content. While E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, you should consider it a big fat CLUE as to how Google's algorithm will be evaluating websites for quality in the future.....so it's important for this reason.
No, there is no “E-A-T ranking factor” nor is there an "E-A-T score" that can be measured. Rather, E-A-T is a principle or concept, not a direct ranking factor. However, the principles of E-A-T represent very real page quality signals which may be evaluated by Google for ranking purposes.
There is no quantifiable E-A-T score in the sense that it can be directly measured and improved. Google’s Gary Illyes indicated in his 2019 Q&A with Marie Haynes that Google does not have an internal E-A-T score.
However, if there was an "E-A-T score", it would come from judging the page quality of a web page and its author - based on their Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. So by focusing on strengthening those signals, it follows that your E-A-T score would improve.
The concept of E-A-T was first published in Google's 2014 Search Quality Guidelines, and it has continued to grow in importance since then.
How to Improve Google E-A-T SEO
Remember that the main goal of the E-A-T principle is website quality. Use these best practices to improve the Google E-A-T SEO on your website:
Expertise is all about who is behind the content. It's important to demonstrate the expertise of the authors of your website content, even if you are the only author.
Ways to demonstrate and signal expertise on your website include:
- Have content written by subject matter experts on your website.
- Publish content that aims to be useful and helpful to people.
- Include an author's bio box on articles.
- Publish SEO-friendly author profile pages for each author that details their experience and qualifications.
- Include clear sources and credits and link to them
The best way to improve the authority of a website is earn backlinks from other reputable websites. The best way to earn backlinks is to produce content to which others want to link.
Content that effectively answers a question that users are searching for, or provides useful information that others will link to can do well to attract links.
Review and Update Content Regularly
Include content updates in your SEO content strategy to keep existing content up to date and accurate. Update statistics, best practices, and check for broken links at least every 2 years, especially on articles that rank well.
Some content, like the type where the upcoming year is mentioned, needs to be updated yearly. (Articles with titles like "Rank Higher on Google Maps Local 3-Pack in 2022", for example)
In the Quality Raters Guidelines, Google says "Understanding who is responsible for a website is a critical part of assessing E-A-T for most types of websites. High quality pages should have clear information about the website so that users feel comfortable trusting the site. "
To be clear about who is responsible for your website, address the following:
1. Tell People How to Reach You
Make sure contact information is clear, and that there is an easy way for people to get in touch. Include a Contact page with methods to get in touch such as a form, phone number and email address. We also recommend including contact information in the footer.
2. Tell People Who You Are
Include a compelling About Us page on your website. Include 'trust elements' such as badges for memberships in professional organizations or other affiliations.
Always, show some faces of the people behind the company. Highlight their experience and qualifications. People do business with people, so we always recommend highlighting the people behind a business, even if it is just the leadership team.
3. Pay Attention to Your Online Reputation
Ask your clients to review your company online on your Google Business Profile, Facebook profile, business listing sites (such as Clutch.co and Expertise.com), and so on. Respond professionally to reviews on your Google Business Profile in a timely manner.
Third party reviews speak to the reputation and trustworthiness of your company. As a bonus, Google Business Profile reviews can help your company rank higher in the Google Local 3-Pack for local search queries.
4. Avoid the Following
These things can negatively affect the perceived trustworthiness of your website.
- Spammy excessive ad placements
- Out of date content - Review and update content regularly to ensure accuracy.
- Missing contact information
- Exaggerated or shocking titles (clickbait)
- Unsatisfying short content that doesn't adequately answer the question asked