What is Google EAT and what’s happening to make it EEAT?
Google EEAT, formally known as Google EAT, is an acronym that stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. Google uses these factors to determine a content’s page quality score.
On today’s episode of the SEO Tips & Tricks Podcast, Tim Jennings breaks down what Google EEAT is and gives you some tips on how you can improve your EEAT score.
What to Listen For
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Search Engine Optimization Tips and Tricks podcast. My name is Tim Jennings and I have been helping Soulheart’s clients with their SEO efforts for over eight years now.
Today I want to talk about an acronym that you probably have heard thrown around, explain what it is, why it matters, and what’s the latest with it. That acronym is EAT. You may have heard it as Google EAT.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. It’s a part of Google’s algorithm and it’s used in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. To put it plain and simple, you need to understand EAT if you want to have a chance at ranking your content. Google uses it to determine the quality of your content and whether or not it’s worthy to be ranking for a search query.
Let’s break down the classics of EAT before we go into the latest happenings.
As I mentioned earlier, E stands for Expertise. Google’s algorithm is instructed to note and decide the level of expertise the creator of the content has. To be an expert you must be “very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.” However, having this knowledge alone isn’t going to open the floodgates to your website.
You need to know how to communicate your knowledge in a way that is engaging with a user. So in other words, you need to not only possess the information but also have an understanding of what your audience wants and how to best give them that information. To do this you will want to start with keyword research to find the queries that your audience is searching for and then also try to understand the intent behind the terms you find. Once you know those two things you’re able to create content that your audience will find valuable.
When you’re creating your content for those keywords that you discovered while doing your research, you should be figuring out where in the purchasing cycle the user is. If they’re looking for just information on a subject matter, then your content trying to land a sale probably isn’t going to rank very well and if it does, it’s not likely to convert many users. Likewise, if your only producing informative content for a keyword that searchers are using to make a purchase, you’re content will suffer.
But here’s one other thing that you need to keep in mind when creating new content: don’t just regurgitate what’s already in the search results. If you’re an expert on the subject, your content should have some unique insights that all the other content that’s already been produced doesn’t cover.
Next in the EAT acronym is Authoritativeness. Being an expert is fantastic but there’s more to the equation. When other experts start linking and citing your content, you become an authority.
Obtaining links from other authoritative sites are incredibly important for ranking your content. In fact, many will argue it is the most important factor. So securing these links are necessary. But Authoritativeness goes well beyond securing links so I’ll briefly cover some other areas that you can improve your Authoritativeness score:
Having other websites also simply mention you in their content can also demonstrates your Authoritativeness. Content that is widely shared on social media, having a Wikipedia page, building a brand that gets searched for, and having a high trust score with Magestic’s trust flow tools all help with gauging and building your Authoritativeness too.
And the final factor in the classic EAT acronym is Trust. While Expertise and Authoritativeness boost your rankings, having a lack of perception of trustworthiness can plummet your rankings. If you have a high level of negative sentiment around you or your brand then you can pretty much guarantee that your content will suffer in the search results pages.
You should not only be making your customers happy but also address any negative issues that may arise. Google has mentioned several times that having too many negative reviews can demonstrate a low level of quality.
Here are some ways that you can improve your trustworthiness score:
- Create a contact page that gives a user a clear path to easily contact the website’s owner
- Adding a physical address if you have a brick-and-mortar office
- Ensuring your website is secure and using https instead of http
- Create bios for your authors that include any degrees, certifications, or other demonstrations of skill/knowledge
- If you are selling a product or accepting any transactions then you should have a refund and returns policy as well as include any specifications about the product or service
That is a general overview of the classic EAT acronym that Google uses to determine if your content is worthy of ranking and ranking well. However, Google has recently expanded on its EAT acronym to include another E at the beginning. Still pronounced EAT, it is now E-E-A-T.
But what does the second E stand for in EEAT? Experience! It is not enough to demonstrate your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. You should now include your experience in your content.
Here is what Google’s search quality rater guidelines have to say about Experience: “Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?”
Now that we know what Google says, there are some great ways that you can demonstrate your experience:
- You can create in-depth bio pages for your authors showing what credentials they have, the amount of experience they have, and providing examples of their experience in those bios
- Create case studies and link to those case studies in your content that demonstrate your experience on the subject matter
- You can create how-to guides and videos showing you using the product or service first-hand
- You can mention any relevant results you’ve seen or talk about what happened when you did or didn’t take a certain action
- And anything else that would set you apart or demonstrate your level of experience on the subject matter
So there you have it, a brief but hopefully clear explanation of what Google’s EEAT acronym is and why it is important. I do think it is important to mention a couple other things before ending today’s episode. The first is that EEAT is NOT a ranking factor but it is used by Google’s algorithms to determine the quality of the content and what content should be ranking where when it is looking at their ranking factors. So if your site and another site have similar ranking factors, EEAT can be used to give you the boost needed to outrank your competition. Also, when considering EEAT, there seems to be a renewed emphasis on TRUSTWORTHINESS because as Google mentions “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E-E-A-T) are all important considerations in PQ (Page Quality) rating. The most important member at the center of the E-E-A-T family is Trust.” That tells us that we should be investing a lot of time and effort into ensuring that our websites are deemed trustworthy in the eyes of Google’s search engine.
As always, if you have any questions or need someone to help you experience organic growth through search engine optimization, Soulheart is here. Feel free to email me at email@example.com or reach out on Soulheart.co
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