Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google’s E-A-T score seems to play an important role in determining the quality of your website, although it is still unclear whether or not E-A-T is a direct ranking factor according to Google’s algorithm. Here’s what you need to know about E-A-T, and how you can improve your site’s score.
This is a measure of the quality of the information on your site. A website should ideally provide helpful, informative content that is up to date. Expertise can not only refer to specialised professional knowledge, but also to informal yet still helpful knowledge known as “everyday expertise”.
Some information such as legal, financial and medical advice should come from a licenced professional with industry experience. However in some cases personal experience can be extremely valuable to the reader, for example product reviews, testimonials, or personal experiences with the company.
To ensure your site is providing a high level of expertise, make sure to constantly review content, and remove or update any outdated information. Consider the type of expertise that will serve the purpose of the page, and be most useful to the audience.
The PageRank algorithm measures a site’s level of authority. Essentially, your site’s online reputation is determined through recognition of your expertise. Backlinks, social shares, and positive reviews all contribute to your website’s authority.
Working to build a positive brand reputation can help to build authority, particularly in your industry niche. Encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews on your page, and create enticing content that encourages them to share and link to your site from other webpages. It’s an added bonus if you can get other high authority sites in your industry to link to your content.
Trustworthiness is perhaps the most elusive part of E-A-T to understand and quantify. If people feel as though they can trust the information on your website, they will be more likely to continue engaging with the site which could even lead to greater conversion. Building trust is particularly important for “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) services, for example ecommerce, financial services, or legal advice.
To prove that your website contains trustworthy information, always include links to credible sources, and show the author's credentials, awards, and testimonials where applicable. An easy way to do this is by providing a comprehensive and visible byline that contains information such as the author's full name, credentials, job title, contact or social media information, and a professional summary. Having a byline allows the reader to see for themselves that the information comes from a trustworthy expert.
How EAT Affects Rankings
According to Google’s Search Quality Elevator Guidelines, sites with a good E-A-T score and trustworthy YMYL sites would be marked as high quality. Because Google values high quality, useful and informative sites, this can also improve your SEO score. When sites have good E-A-T scores it is highly likely that they will be useful for the audience, who will then be more likely to spend time reading the site. This can have positive impacts on Google’s ranking for audience engagement, as well as generate more leads and conversions on your site.
In summary, although we can not confirm whether E-A-T is a direct ranking factor for Google, ensuring your site’s Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness can have several benefits, including improved conversions and rankings.