SEO Factor Google EAT

Definition and general

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Since 2018, it has been mentioned in the Quality Rater Guidelines as an evaluation criterion for websites. The introduction as part of the Core Update at Google was also called the E-A-T update. For many webmasters, this update was a big challenge, because it changed a lot in the field of e-commerce and online marketing.

Even if they are clearly formulated in the Google guidelines - the effects are not always completely comprehensible in practice. Therefore, we want to give you an overview of what the SEO factor is and how it is defined.

What exactly is E-A-T?

Expertise - Authority - Trust = Expertise, authority and trustworthiness

Google uses this term to describe three core elements for the evaluation of websites by quality raters. The quality raters manually evaluate the quality of the search results by examining the top results listed. The basis for the evaluation of the quality raters is a manual created by Google - the Google Quality Rater Guidelines, which you can download in the latest version of here you can call up.

Since 2018, the E-A-T factor has been used by Google to rank individual authors. The introduction took place through an ensprechendes core update. Basically, the following points are considered:

  • Who wrote the main content of a page?
  • What references does this person have in relation to the content?

 

This information has a special significance for ranking when it comes to areas that affect your life and health - i.e. the your-money-your-life (abbreviated YMYL) area.

After the first experiences, improvements and further core updates were made so that websites with high indications of competence, authority and trustworthiness could be recognized. Google cannot verify whether the content is correct. Take a new study in the medical field - how would Google know if the content of the new study published online is accurate? However, one can assess whether the author or the company publishing the information is trustworthy and reliable.

E-A-T is a concept for complex filters, which looks at different signals in more detail. Google does not make any exact statements here.

What exactly is YMYL?

YMYL stands for Your Money, Your Life. Translated, it means: "Your money, your life". Google generally defines herewith pages whose content can have an impact on personal areas of life. These can be, for example, the following topics:

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Luck
  • Health
  • Groups of people
  • Jobs
  • School and study
  • Security
  • Finances and financial stability
  • Law and civil society
  • Important messages (e.g. Corona)

For operators of websites in these areas, E-A-T has a particularly great influence, as page quality is weighted very heavily here. E-A-T is therefore the basis for good rankings.

It should be noted that, in principle, any online store or interface where something can be paid for (e.g. also magazine subscriptions, etc.) is also integrated with Finance.

What is good and quality content?

The experience showed that the quality of a website is done by evaluating the following 5 skin points:

  • How high is the quality of the main content?
  • How well is the search intent being tracked?
  • What is the reputation of the main content?
  • E-A-T of the page
  • What expertise is available?

Broadly speaking, Google specifies the following in its E-A-T rating guidelines:

Health:
In the health field, information should be created by individuals or organizations with medical expertise and should be edited, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis.

News:
High-level news articles should be created with journalistic professionalism. They should help users understand events better - likewise, objectivity plays a major role.

Science:
Information pages on scientific topics should be created by individuals or organizations with appropriate information and represent a scientific consensus on issues. Likewise, framework conditions that are common in scientific work should be taken into account.

Finances:
Financial advice, legal advice, tax advice, etc. should come from trusted sources and be regularly maintained and updated.

Advisor:
Advice on topics such as home remodeling or advice on parenting issues should come from experts or experienced sources

What is expertise and how is it determined?

Expertise involves assessing the author's knowledge of a topic being covered. In principle, it is possible to prevail over large providers through specialized knowledge.

When considering expertise, the subject area is also considered - if you are writing about a hobby, then expertise is considered less than in the case of a medical subject - here the statement of a person with an academic title (Dr., Prof, etc.) is more likely to be considered trustworthy than from a "noname". The more influence in the YMYL area, the more closely the information is considered - likewise, the consequences are correspondingly more extensive if errors are made here.

When you create content, you should consider the following points:

  • Does your content relate to a section of Your-money-your-life?
  • Are you an expert on this topic?
  • How can Google assess your qualifications?
  • Are there any references or a brand which is a leader in this field?
  • If someone applies the information you provide - what consequences might they face (e.g., legal, tax, health, financial, etc.)?
  • Are there external competencies that validate your information (e.g. seals, QM measures, certificates, etc.)?

If you publish posts in the YMYL section, they should try to be transparent about who or why your posts are valuable and trustworthy. Here are some tips to help you do this:

  • If you are unknown - have your content checked
  • Is there an editorial process that can be followed?
  • Inform about the author and his qualification on the topic

What is Authority and how is it determined?

Authority is not an official quantity. At Google, they speak of Pagerank, which in principle has the same consequence.

The PageRank-Algorithm is a method to evaluate and weight a set of linked documents, for example the World Wide Web, based on their structure.

This is linked to the TrustRank. The TrustRank-Algorithm is a method for evaluating the quality of web pages.

 

You should pay attention to the following points:

  • Collect backlinks - the more people recommend you or recognize you as a specialist, the better
  • Try to find niches in topics as well - especially if there are many competitors. Try to open up new perspectives so that you can tap into an additional target group

It is easier to become a specialist for one topic than for a complete belly store.

What is trustworthiness and how is it determined?

The factor "Trustworthiness"means trustworthiness. This complements the evaluation model of Google. Every webmaster should ask himself the question: How credible and reliable is my provided information?

Google's main concern here is the fundamental security of the site. Especially in times of pandemics, terrorism, environmental disasters, etc., Google is aware of its responsibility as a knowledge and news medium. Therefore, trustworthiness becomes more and more an important factor and Google actively fights false or misleading information on the Internet. This is also visible through the Core Update in June 2021, in which, according to Google, SPAM information is very much in focus.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How independent is my information?
  • Can users trust the information and are there facts for this that can be established neutrally?
  • What reputation is there about me as an author? What do others say about my content (this also includes the collected usage data of a page).
  • Can users rely on my information and can it be substantiated at any time?
  • What can I do to improve my reputation?

What can I do to improve my Trust / E-A-T score?

There is no direct E-A-T optimization. But there are many ways you can improve your website and your offer so that your E-A-T score can improve:

  • Try to get new backlinks from trusted sites
  • Provide reliable sources
  • Support your information with statements from experts or recognized specialists
  • Try to improve your qualification
  • Try to create fact-based, objective and thoroughly researched content
  • Avoid promotional language and affliate links in the YMYL section.
  • Make your editorial guidelines transparent so that an outsider can understand who and how the information is arrived at
  • Also inform about how your activity is financed
  • Focus on one topic and report on it as extensively as possible
  • Create comprehensive, high-quality and credible content - refrain from artificial optimizations
  • Link to the authors' profiles so that expert status can be checked
  • Build your brand! Your name can be a brand too!
  • Make your website trustworthy! Also use existing seals, certificates, etc. (e.g. from TÜV, Trusted Shops, etc.)
  • Pay attention to your Google my Business profile too!
  • Also watch and monitor your reputation on the Internet!

Summary

If your content is relevant, if you are an honest author, if you take into account the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines - then in principle nothing stands in the way of successful content marketing and an improvement of your visibility in your desired search engine. E-A-T is an advantage here. Always try to meet the E-A-T criteria - because if you don't, you won't succeed - the
Ranking algorithm is getting better and better!

Whoever shies away from the effort today will get the receipt in the long run, because the next Google Core update is sure to come!

More topics around SEO: