Despite what it may seem, Google E-A-T is not the new Postmates. E-A-T has less to do with food, and more to do with quality content consumption.
Like most things in marketing, written content plays a significant role in your traffic strategy, as it helps visitors stay on your website longer. And since it takes just 7 seconds for customers to decide whether or not they like and trust your brand, offering quality content that builds trust and credibility is simply a no-brainer.
Keep reading to learn more about Google E-A-T, why it matters, and how it can benefit your overall traffic goals.
See Related: 13 Ways To Increase Organic Traffic To Your Website
Google E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It's a principle found in Google's algorithm under their Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines (which is a 168-page document used by human quality raters to assess the quality of Google search results).
In short, E-A-T helps Google Search Quality Evaluators determine whether the content created is valuable to readers. So let's break down this search algorithm a little bit more.
Search quality raters like to determine that the creator of the main content is an expert in their field. But expertise can be broken down into two types: "formal expertise" and "everyday expertise."
A health-related query, for example, would require formal expertise from someone with medical training in order to accrue the necessary credentials in Google's eyes. That's also to say that someone who blogs about health-related theories without medical training won't be able to outrank real experts on the subject.
On the other hand, everyday expertise comes from one's relevant life experience. For example, take a look at this Reddit discussion forum below.
Obviously, "ManuBennet" does not have a medical degree. But they do have expertise from their personal connection to cancer.
This is just one example of how Google may reward different kinds of expertise depending on the intention behind your web pages.
Authoritativeness refers to your overall reputation within your chosen field. For example, authoritative sites, like WebMD, are typically trusted sources for medical advice and information.
Google's Quality Raters Guidelines will typically look to outside sources to determine the reputation of either you or your web page. This is where link building comes in really handy.
85% of SEOs and marketers believe that link building has a big impact on brand authority and brand building.
And the guidelines Google set out for E-A-T standards only reinforce this as a fact. That's why it's especially important to have relevant links that link back to your web page.
From a search engine perspective, such authority can even help boost your search rankings, especially if the competition doesn't have the type of reputation you've accrued within your chosen field.
Trustworthiness comes from the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of not only the web pages in question but of the website owners themselves.
Quality Raters Guidelines assess a website's trustworthiness based on the page quality of the website as well as any customer reviews that are left. For example, positive customer reviews on your Google Business profile signal to the Google algorithm that you're a tried and true brand.
On the other hand, too many negative reviews can signal to search engines - and to customers - that you're not a site to trust.
88% of consumers worldwide make the effort to consult reviews when discovering a local business.
So you're not just looking to appease search engines with your trustworthiness. You also want to encourage customers to view you as a trustworthy business too!
And that's not even getting into the importance of responding to reviews. But more on that later.
Google E-A-T was first mentioned in their Search Quality Raters Guidelines in 2014. But in December 2022, Google updated the term to E-E-A-T to highlight another important factor they're looking for in quality content.
Remember the Reddit discussion forum we mentioned above? That was a prime example of a user demonstrating their real-world experience on the subject of cancer.
When E-A-T turned into E-E-A-T, Google was trying to convey this very point: firsthand experience matters.
Whether it's the fact that you leave a review of a product you actually purchased or that you share personal images and videos to demonstrate your firsthand experience with the topic at hand, Google sees this as yet another positive signal for your website's E-A-T practices.
Bonus: 8 Key Benefits Of Customer Journey Mapping
While E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, it still does plenty to impact your content strategy and rank. So when creating content, it's important to have E-E-A-T at the forefront of your mind.
After all, demonstrating your experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are all positive signals you'll want to convey to your readers or customers. So as you think of E-A-T, consider them the guidelines for creating high-quality pages that every person, customer, and search engine will respond to positively.
E-A-T obviously has plenty to do with SEO. But it does more to help you create the best content marketing material possible.
According to Google's guidelines, all great content should:
All of those go hand in hand with SEO. And when you're able to positively demonstrate your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, it's yet another way to boost your credibility overall.
By now, it should be clear why E-A-T matters so much to Google and to customers alike. So how can you improve E-A-T through your online content? Here's how.
Creating content is all good and fun. But if it's not comprehensive and relevant to your customers, then your content will become outdated quickly.
42% of SEMRush survey respondents said that updating existing content boosted their content marketing value.
Plus, when you update content, you're able to scope out the changing competition as well. In the world of SEO, things change quickly. So make sure your content can keep up!
With regular content comes regular authors. And those authors should be made accessible to the readers consuming their content!
You can do this by adding an author bio at the bottom of each blog post. Or, you can link to the author's LinkedIn profile to further demonstrate their credibility and expert status.
The estimated global number of blogs is over 572 million.
It's understandable that readers get weary of where they're getting their information. So address their concerns by naming the author, showcasing their credentials, and giving consumers a reliable source they know they can trust.
Citing your sources is important for many reasons. 1) It's always important to give credit where credit is due, and 2) it helps you build trust with your readers as you demonstrate not only your vast knowledge base but your humility and willingness to collaborate.
81% of consumers must be able to trust that a brand will do what is right.
The conscious consumer is concerned with how their purchase or loyalty will make a lasting positive social, economic, and environmental impact. So meet the conscious consumer where they’re at and convey to them that you're on the same page.
Promoting online reviews is always a great business strategy. And luckily, the same values that customer reviews provide also fall in line with Google E-A-T.
But what's more important than receiving reviews is responding to them.
97% of shoppers who read reviews online also read responses from businesses.
So take this as an opportunity to thank customers for taking the time to leave a review. And give onlookers a sense of your brand identity at the same time!
If all of this sounds overwhelming, don't worry. Because at Up Inc., SEO is what we know best.
As an SEO company with 35+ years of experience, we've helped e-commerce businesses increase organic traffic and revenue while adhering to E-A-T guidelines and standards.
From 2020-2021, we managed to 35x one luxury beauty company's organic visitor growth, resulting in 605 unique organic sales in 10 months and ranking them for 6,500 keywords in Google's Top 100 results.
As a business owner, you have plenty to deal with already. So if you'd like us to bring our expertise to the table, we're more than equipped and ready to meet and exceed your SEO goals.
Solidifying your brand is important for a number of reasons. But when it comes to Google E-A-T, building a strong brand identity helps to position you as a trustworthy source of information.
46% of shoppers say they would pay more for a brand name they trust.
And that just goes to show the power of trust and how much consumers value that prized relationship. With a strong brand identity, you're able to showcase to customers exactly who you are.
So give them every reason to trust you while being unabashedly yourself!
If you want people to visit your website, you need to make sure they can easily navigate it. And you want to make sure that your website looks safe, respectable, and trustworthy too.
It takes just 7 seconds for customers to decide whether they like and trust your brand or not.
So give your website a fighting chance by making sure that it accurately represents your brand and makes a good first impression.
Earning backlinks from other trusted sites is a no-brainer for your SEO strategy. So when you start to build links, choose high-authority websites that are willing to give you a shoutout.
Besides, in Google's search algorithm, backlinks are one of the top #2 ranking factors.
So as you go about improving your E-A-T practices, know that link-building will be well worth the investment.
At Up Inc., we're appreciative of E-A-T as each principle helps us to better our own SEO strategies. We hope you similarly take this as an opportunity to create better content, increase your authority, and encourage consumers to view you as a trusted source!
Keep Reading: A Step-By-Step Guide To Developing A Content Marketing Strategy
Up Inc. eCommerce Agency is a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2021, Up Inc. specializes in eCommerce, generating growth for brands by focusing on visibility, customer loyalty, and digital revenue. For more SEO tips and industry insights, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.