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What is E-A-T in SEO, & Why it is an essential part of SEO?

E-A-T is something that always comes up in any conversation regarding SEO and for good reason. E-A-T has a lot to do with your page ranking on Google and other search engines and sadly has no relation to food. E-A-T is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These three factors are major factors search engines like Google take into account when checking the quality of a website. 

So, What Is E-A-T?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to E-A-T. One group of people think that E-A-T is a major ranking factor when it comes to SEO whilst others don’t consider it as a direct ranking factor. E-A-T is actually a concept created by Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) which is a document that Google’s human quality raters utilize to determine the quality of Google’s search results. Its sole purpose was to help website makers understand what Google wants in a web site.

The QRG is filled with content regarding Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The guidelines don’t explain how the algorithm ranks results, rather it shows what the algorithm should be doing.

The QRG clearly states “the first step of PQ rating is to understand the true purpose of the page. Websites or pages without some sort of beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, ……should receive the Lowest rating. For all the other pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important.”

What this means is that expertise (the expertise of the content writer for example), the authoritativeness (the authoritativeness of the website and the company), and the trustworthiness (the trustworthiness of the website and brand) are incredibly important to achieve a good ranking.

Importance of E-A-T

So, we saw that even Google gave significant importance to E-A-T so it is a website’s job to do the same. E-A-T is important for all queries, but it is more important for some rather than others. It depends on the website and the scenario.

If a person was looking for baby pictures, then E-A-T isn’t much of a factor whereas if it was something serious with possible real-life risks then a website with a high E-A-T rating would be undoubtedly preferred. Google aims to provide content by experts so it is accurate because its number one priority is the user.

Content on insecure websites, with random people writing, is often considered untrustworthy so Google avoids ranking them anywhere close to the top of the ratings.

Google has categorized a few webpages as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) which go over topics that can “potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial ability, or safety.” Sites that are made for YMYL should definitely pay attention to E-A-T. 

What Makes Your E-A-T High?

The QRG also has a list of characteristics with which they rank a webpage and the E-A-T is on the top of the list. The QRG also has a list for low-quality pages, and the E-A-T is on top of that list yet again. Increasing your E-A-T is imperative to your success. 

Expertise: Expertise is having a high level of knowledge or skill in a particular field. The expertise is only evaluated at the content level and Google looks for content that’s written by an expert that has the right qualifications, and education. 

For YMYL topics, for example, a health blog about dieting should be written by a certified nutritionist for the site to gain a high level of E-A-T. For non-YMYL topics, the writer should have relevant expertise.

Authoritativeness: Authority is about your influence amongst other people in your niche, and industry. Your website should have a reputation to increase its authoritativeness. Users want to get all their information from the best of the best so that is why they look to companies that have authority in their industry and google ranks them in that manner as well. 

Trustworthiness: A website ranking also heavily depends on its legitimacy and transparency. If a website is trustworthy and secure and holds a reputation of that then Google will rank them highly as Google does not want its users to be subject to fraud.

Trustworthiness is ranked on multiple things and they are incredibly important because websites that require financial transactions can be dangerous if not secure. Trust can also be evaluated on the quality of content but that too is subjective to the website. A website about healthy diets cannot tell you about a car’s engine.

How to Improve and Prove E-A-T

There are some key steps to take if you want to increase your E-A-T score. Here they are:

Get experts: This is how you will fulfill the first part of E-A-T. Getting experts will allow readers to feel satisfied with the content on your website.

Get links: Having other major pages in your niche to sponsor you and promote you by linking your page increases your E-A-T rating significantly. It is important that you build links so that your reliability isn’t in question.

Keep content updated: Having your website updated regularly will make readers believe that you are trustworthy because you are updating your website every time there is a change in your content.

Support Your Content: You need facts to back up anything. If you want to make people trust you, you will need to give them facts and the truth.

Get Reviews and Mentions: The more you get recommended around society, the more society will begin to believe you. If you have a good reputation then you have authority which again increases your E-A-T rating.

Conclusion

The more you put into your website, the better chances it has to reach the top and give back. So aim to make your website as official as you can and increase your E-A-T.

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Ali Zulfiqar

Digital Marketer (SEO Expert)

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