You have probably unknowingly considered E.A.T. while reading an article online.
That moment you wondered if the source is credible and if you should believe anything that the piece is saying. If you are researching something that has a significant impact on your life, like financial advice or medical information, you have probably especially wondered about the source of the information. Thankfully, E.A.T. (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) can help you with this.
What Does E.A.T. Truly Mean?
As we said earlier, E.A.T. stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. While this is predominately used for YMYL sites, it is something that can be used to evaluate content in any industry. Let’s break down what each piece of it means.
Is the author of the article you are currently reading really an expert? Do you find any information on them when you look them up? Where did they study? Have they won awards or otherwise been identified as an expert? This information matters a lot when looking at YMYL content.
When Google determines authoritativeness, it examines the author, the content, and the website. How much of an authority the author and the site really are is brought into question. They consider if other experts mention or link to your content if it has been used in research or reviewed by other experts. The algorithm also looks at whether your content is mentioned or linked to Wikipedia and if you have your own page on Wikipedia.
Knowing that the person who wrote an article with advice about mortgage loans is an expert is important. If they are not an expert, and you follow their advice, and it ends up being horrible, your life could be severely impacted.
Trustworthiness is the final piece of the puzzle that Google evaluates. It again looks at the author, content, and website as a whole. It uses a lot of different signals to determine how trustworthy a website is, including if it has an SSL connection, online discussions about the business, and how you respond to reviews. This is a more abstract part of the evaluation, but it is an important part; why should people risk their life or money on your site?
E.A.T. and Google
Google is always looking for ways to combat misinformation and provide users with trustworthy content. One way Google is doing this is by using E.A.T. to identify and rank high-quality content that is factual and expertly written. In fact, when you are reading posts by Google about search quality, you will see E.A.T. come up frequently. E.A.T. plays a major role in how the algorithm assesses content and judges where it should be in the search rankings, though it is mainly used for content that covers things that can make an impact on the lives of the readers.
Your Money, Your Life Sites
Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) sites contain content that can literally impact your life. These pages can influence the health, financial situations, well-being, or safety of the readers’ lives. This includes:
Health and Safety
News and Current Events
Civics and Government
Groups of People
While this is a rather broad range of categories, the content on these sites can impact lives, so giving them extra scrutiny is important. There is too much misinformation out there these days, which can make it harder to find trustworthy content. Google stepped up its fight against misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that people find facts about the virus and not misinformation that can lead people to the wrong conclusions.
E.A.T. and Search Engine Rankings
While E.A.T. is an important way for Google to evaluate if a site is high-quality and trustworthy, it is not specifically a ranking factor because there is much more to it that goes into search engine rankings. However, while it is not a specific ranking factor, it is still linked to the way the algorithm ranks content. You want your customers to keep visiting your site and to share your content, which helps both E.A.T. and search engine rankings. It is an abstract topic with no real guidebook; it is a range of signals on your site that help Google notice your site and your content.
It can be a little confusing to see the distinction between the two since many of the factors that they look at when determining E.A.T. are similar to those they look at when ranking. It is best to aim for both with any piece of content to ensure you are creating quality content that will also rank well on Google.
Improve Your E.A.T.
Since E.A.T. is a rather abstract topic, there are not any guidebooks for what to do to improve it. If your site is not YMYL, you do not need to worry about E.A.T. For YMYL sites, there are some things that you can do to help improve it. There is much more to improving your E.A.T. than making changes to your About Us and Author pages. Some things you can do to strengthen E.A.T. on your site are:
Get links from high-value sites and mentions in important newspapers.
Gain mentions from trusted experts and have them review your content.
Do not make your content too sales-oriented.
Create unique and original content, like long research papers that go in-depth into something related to your industry.
Get mentioned on Wikipedia or get your own Wikipedia page.
Improve your business details, about us page, and author pages.
There are plenty of other things you can do to improve E.A.T. on your site, which can also, in turn, improve your SEO. It is all intrinsically linked, so improving one thing can help you improve others. As with most things online, it is a balancing act that can be difficult to do if you are not an industry expert. Oregon Advertising can help you improve your E.A.T. and your SEO; contact us today to get started!