When it comes to SEO, you are what you E-E-A-T.
No, there isn’t food involved. But understanding E-E-A-T and how Google uses it in their rankings is crucial for the success of your organic SEO strategy. Ever since its introduction to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines in 2014, E-E-A-T has been on everybody’s mind.
E-E-A-T can be the difference between a piece of content buried on page ten of the search results and a quality piece that brings in customers, drives traffic to your website, and builds up your audience.
So what is it?
And how does it impact your business?
Let’s break down the acronym first.
E-E-A-T is used by Google’s team of rating experts who evaluate ranking pages.
E-E-A-T is one of the main pillars of their evaluation process. It ensures that pages are tailored to a human audience. Not a search engine. These evaluators make sure Google’s algorithm is working as intended.
Sites that do well on the E-E-A-T scale end up performing well in search rankings.
Every Core Update that Google rolls out brings us closer to an internet focused on the user experience instead of keyword-stuffed pages trying to trick a search engine.
Google wants users to find what they’re looking for. To be able to rely on the results. That’s why E-E-A-T is so important.
E-E-A-T took a front seat in the SEO marketing community in August 2018. Google had just released their newest update. One that would be known as the “Medic Update.” It was a step towards promoting websites that worked hard to provide expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to their audience.
Fast forward to today, and Google continues to roll out updates, including the Google Helpful Content Update, focused on giving searchers results that fulfill their intent.
The May 2022 update negatively impacted generalist sites that covered a wide variety of topics. News and media publishers were some of the biggest losers. Sites that weren’t accurate or helpful fell in Google’s rankings.
How do you avoid this fate? It’s simple.
You have to E-E-A-T.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’ve seen your organic SEO results drop with a recent Google update, you need to partner with an agency that has experience bringing companies back to the top. At VELOX, we’ve had over a decade of experience with Google Core Updates. A lot of work goes into building trust and credibility on a search engine, and VELOX can help you get there.
When it comes to search marketing services, nobody does it better. From search engine optimization to reputation management, VELOX can do it all. Contact us today to see how you can better position your business to succeed with the latest Google updates.
At the end of the day, Google is trying to make the internet a better place for everyone. That means E-E-A-T can affect anything. From financial and health websites to fashion and gossip ones, Google wants every searcher to find reliable and trustworthy information.
Specifically, YMYL sites are one of the main focuses of Google’s Evaluator Guidelines.
Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) topics revolve around content that can impact people’s health, financial well-being, safety, or the welfare of society. If poor advice can adversely affect someone, Google wants to ensure the website is high on the E-E-A-T scale.
YMYL pages can include:
Some of the biggest losers in the 2018 Medic Update were YMYL sites. Google emphasized informational sites and focused on keeping the best scorers on the E-E-A-T scale high in their rankings.
Sites that score well with E-E-A-T deliver what they promise. If it’s a financial website, they provide accurate industry news and advice that can be trusted. If it’s a digital fashion brand, you know you’re getting styles from a team of experts who know their clothes.
When you search for something on the internet, you expect to get high-quality results. Google wants to deliver them to you.
“Why should I care about E-E-A-T?”
SEO managers, marketing experts, and business owners have a lot to gain by ensuring their websites and content live up to Google E-E-A-T standards. More importantly, they have a lot to lose by ignoring them.
Let’s look at each aspect of the acronym and see how you can ensure your content meets the criteria.
If you want a new snowboard, do you ask a skier what you should get? When you need a book recommendation, you don’t visit a movie review website.
When you’re searching with intent, you want an expert answer.
As far as your website is concerned, there are a few ways you can prove your expertise.
First, make sure you understand your audience’s intent. Search intent is one of the most important parts of every Google search. If you sell women’s dresses or hiking boots, your audience probably has transactional or commercial intent. They want to buy. If you offer SaaS solutions, your blog might center around informational content for searchers who want to learn more about your area of expertise.
Then, you can match your keywords and topics to your audience. This shows that you know your buyers’ tendencies and their stage of the buyer’s journey.
Finally, create a website and content that’s ten times better than anything else. This is considered 10x content. There are a few things you want to do when creating this 10x content.
First, check out top ranking pages for the keywords you are targeting. See what this content is lacking. Do they feature infographics on their pages? Are there videos or images at the top of the post? Do they give practical advice? Any of these spots are opportunities for you to add something to your site that competitors don’t have.
By distilling complex information into easy-to-understand content, you prove your expertise.
When you prove your expertise and provide 10x content, you boost your brand perception. Your audience will think highly of you. You are proving that you care about your customers and will provide them with the information they need. In return, they will trust you, your brand, and your products more, which can boost sales and generate more organic marketing through social media shares.
Experience with the content subject is paramount to catering to real people and by extension, Google. In a Search Central Blog post from December 2022, Google introduced the second E in their E-E-A-T rankings.
Ultimately, experience is the history that a content creator has with the topic they are covering. The author of a blog post detailing a skincare routine should have used this routine themselves. A review of a firearm should come from someone who has shot the gun.
It’s simple and makes sense, but there’s an important reason Google took the time to add it to their search guidelines.
When you ask for a movie recommendation, you aren’t going to listen to someone who hasn’t seen the movie. How would they know? And that’s where experience comes into play. Your content has to show first-hand experience to prove that you know what you’re talking about.
It can be writing content from a first-person perspective that details the history with a product, or it can be content that comes from a team of writers who have spent time learning the ins and outs of your industry.
Experience is hard to fake. Your readers and Google will see right through it, so produce content that you have experience with, or take the time to partner with someone who does.
When Google is evaluating your E-E-A-T score, the raters don’t just look at the content itself. They want the website and author to have authority over the subject.
A high authority is like the difference between a food critic who spent 20 years as a chef and now puts out a newsletter read by thousands of people and one who just started reviewing meals last week.
You’re going to want to read reviews by the first critic. His authority is unquestionable.
What does that look like with SEO?
For starters, your content should focus on the topics readers and customers expect. When a searcher reaches the blog front of your beauty and skincare store, they don’t want to read about the latest updates in fashion. They expect articles on how to care for their skin or build a nighttime beauty routine.
If you provide this high-quality content, not only can it decrease the bounce rate on your most important pages and increase clickthrough rate, but readers will be ready to purchase your products already linked in your content.
Backlinks are another great way to build authority.
Backlinks are like a third party confirming the authority of a specific webpage. If different websites, content creators, and social media posts are linking back to your article, Google knows that you have a certain amount of authority in your niche.
It’s like your friends telling you how our star food critic’s reviews are always right. You read a magazine article about him. There are a few different posts about his review on Facebook. The news even covers a story about a restaurant doubling its business after his glowing evaluation.
He has authority, and you’re going to rely on his opinion.
Building a healthy backlink profile can be a lot of work. It can be done, but it might take a while. If you partner with an agency like VELOX, who has a team of content creators and relationships with blogs across the internet, building your authority has never been easier. We offer link building services that not only increase brand awareness, but improve your page authority. You can become the go-to site for your industry.
The final part of Google E-E-A-T is trustworthiness. Google understands that searchers have important questions to be answered. They need results that they can trust. That’s why Google pushes trustworthiness so much in their evaluations.
When you visit a YMYL site, you’re potentially going to receive advice or knowledge that can impact your life. A trustworthy source can give you confidence and help you make the right decision.
Building trust isn’t just a one-time thing. You must continually work at it.
There are lots of ways you can increase your trustworthiness, including:
When you’re looking to build the trust of your website, always put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they expect? What will boost their confidence? What will make an A+ experience? With E-E-A-T—and trustworthiness especially—you should aim to build a website that real people will love, not just the search engine.
In the past, tricking Google’s search engine crawlers was possible. Thin content, duplicate content, cloaking, keyword stuffing, and auto-generated content were all used to boost SEO rankings. While underserving your audience and basically tricking Google, these tactics still worked.
With each update that Google rolls out, we are getting closer and closer to results dedicated to delivering high-quality and trustworthy content to searchers.
Google’s evaluators pour through results to confirm that the algorithm is doing its job. The goal is to have search results that line up with E-E-A-T scores.
“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.” This quote from a Google Search Central blog post in August 2019 should be the basis of every piece you create.
Whether it’s a blog post, pillar page, infographic, or product page, focusing on E-E-A-T first can help your organic SEO results more than anything.
Once your organic SEO starts taking off, you can really get your money’s worth from your marketing budget. Instead of paying more and more for PPC and other ads, your loyal readers are sharing your work for you. Free of charge.
People are more inclined to share and link to content that they find trustworthy.
Expert content can drop your bounce rate, increase time spent on a page, and promote more click-throughs.
When people believe in your authority, they’ll want to follow your CTA and travel along their buyer’s journey. They’re one step closer to buying from you, and you’re one step closer to increasing your revenue, all thanks to pages that meet Google E-E-A-T.
If your content meets the E-E-A-T standards of a very high-quality page (see the Google evaluator guidelines 5.4), there’s a good chance that it will also meet the SEO requirements for ranking highly. Just by following E-E-A-T, you’re going to create pages and websites that have the potential to take some of the top spots on Google.
Now that we’ve answered the question of “What is Google E-E-A-T?” it’s time to look to the future.
Google is always updating their algorithm. Sites that try to game the system are left in the dust, while sites built on a solid foundation continue to succeed after every major core update.
You’re putting in tons of time to build a website that lasts. You don’t want to pivot every time you see an article about a new core update. That’s why you should follow the principles of E-E-A-T.
Google’s December 2022 Helpful Content Update, which was completed on January 12, 2023, and the September 2022 Core Update, which was fully completed on October 3, 2022, are both steps on Google’s journey towards people-first content. In a recent Google Search Central blog post, they describe it as aiming “…to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”
Creating people-first content should be your goal whenever you publish something new on the internet. Impressing your customers or readers is the first step to building up a page that search engines love. You want them to leave with a sense of satisfaction. They should be better informed. They should be happy they visited your site.
Google’s ultimate goal is to give people the results they’re looking for. That’s why E-E-A-T is so important and why you need to spend time building up your expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness. Then, and only then, should you start looking at the technical aspects of SEO.
It can be a lot at times. With new updates always coming out, so many technical aspects of SEO to consider, and your business on top of it all, it might feel impossible to keep up. That’s why an award-winning SEO agency like VELOX Media can help.
As a Google Premier Partner, VELOX has over 10 years of experience in SEO, search marketing, and web development. We work with B2C and B2B companies across a wide variety of industries. When it comes to E-E-A-T, Google search rankings, and everything about growing your business online, there’s nobody better. With VELOX, not only can you see an increase in traffic to your website through organic and paid methods, but you get a partner who can help you keep up with all the new developments in the SEO world.