The Google E-A-T Guidelines: What Your Website Needs To Rank Higher?

The Google E-A-T Guidelines: What Your Website Needs To Rank Higher?


Taras  |  

16 Oct, 2019

After the latest Google algorithm update, many of the websites that were formerly occupying the top spots in the SERPs now rank lower because of their modest EAT scores. How to make your website EATable for the search engine?

What Is E-A-T?

This acronym stands for:

  • Expertise;
  • Authoritativeness;
  • Trustworthiness.

This system is especially important for websites that can be described with another Google's acronym: YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) – meaning, you can lose one or the other if the information is inaccurate.

These are transactional websites, sites with medical or legal content, news platforms, and "other websites that may affect the happiness, well-being, and health of their users".

So, even if your content doesn't include any of the topics above, there's no guarantee Google won't add your website or online store into this "other websites" list. Moreover, no one knows for sure which sites are affected by the EAT ranking and to what extent in each individual case.

So, What Definitely Makes Your Site More EATable?

1. YMYL and Expertise

You have to be an expert in your field. One of the best ways of achieving that – continuously deliver great content. It has to be structured, answer any related questions, and show your knowledge of the subject. Your visitors have to see your expertise clearly.

You should definitely post everything that proves your knowledge, like certificates, diplomas, your clients' logos, proof of your education, any awards, credentials, etc., on your website. Google's assessors are trained to pay attention to them.

Google makes it clear that sites on the following subjects have to feature accredited experts:

  • Medicine;
  • Financial advice;
  • Any type of advice/consultations on the subjects that may affect a person's well-being, happiness, finances, or health.

To sum it up, when talking about EAT, the advantages are as follows: high level of expertise are only required for some types of content, for other pages of the same website assessors will use a less strict set of requirements if the material doesn’t have to be written by an expert. Your goal is to figure out which pages will have to meet higher standards. 

What works best for Expertise:

  1. The website's pages contain information about various specific aspects within one topic. There is the "core content" and a lot of "supporting content" on one subject with adequately placed internal links;
  2. No pages stuffed with the keywords, offering little to none useful info;
  3. The title and meta tags match the content. No sensational stop-words in the title, no misleading techniques;
  4. Tables and infographics, easily recognizable by the search engine as such (numbers and diagram elements are easy to read, captions are present). Images and captions go well with the topic.

2. YMYL and Authoritativeness

You can have all kinds of knowledge in your field and still not be an authority.

For example, an SEO specialist can be an expert. Still, without taking part in any conferences, having a blog, writing and publishing books, and having tangible, practical experience – his or her opinion will not be authoritative.

Therefore, if you're already recognized as an expert, make sure to gain some authority in your area of expertise. This will require some work on your side.

Leverage your social status: post reviews, quote opinions from your peers, as well as any positive feedback concerning your works.

What works best for Authoritativeness:

  1. For educational content – there has to be an author's full name after each article. Embed links so that every author's name leads to a list of his or her publication, position, photos, brief info. For guest authors – links to their website, a company that already has a certain authority. The search engine likes it when signatures under articles clearly show who is responsible for the information.
  2. Translated articles from websites that have high authority already, of course, mentioning the source and the author. The use of infographics and other supporting content from trustworthy sites – also with all the credits.
  3. The "About us" page, containing information about all the website's authors, as well as the owner (and the more links, like social media profiles – the higher your authority). Besides, this is the page where you can back up your credentials with diplomas, certificates, awards, your license, education (and/or people you've taught), etc. Don't just scan them – describe them!
  4. Social media links, making the clients go back and forth between all of your social media accounts.

3. YMYL and Trustworthiness

It's crucial to build the reputation of being trustworthy, for both you and your website. Simply not posting unreliable, inaccurate content should be a great start.

Create a rating system. Let visitors express their opinions about your content.

Include data from other professionals in your articles and keep your information up to date. Explain different ways in which the content from your website has improved the lives of individuals, customers, companies. Use the actual names of the people or businesses you've helped so that people can verify your claims.

What works best for Trustworthiness

  1. One of the ways to build your reputation is to positively interact with people who leave their comments about your band/niche, encourage clients to post frequently about your website, brand, or product on social media.
  2. Reply to every comment on your blog (if you still don't have a blog, get one – at least for the SEO purposes), don't ignore comments under your videos or posts on social media.
  3. Respond to every review respectably: within your website (again, if you don't have this function yet, get it) and on any external review platforms, which may help you control UX properly.
  4. If you have gotten a series of negative comments or reviews on external resources, both organic (there were objective problems, but you have already fixed them) and fake (cyber attack) – take a professional ORM and SERM course of action, to reduce the harm the attack could cause to your reputation and brand, as well as your EAT score and rankings.

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