To better attract customers to your website, you need to have Google EAT. These are Google’s expectations for a website to rank highly on the search engine results page. The acronym EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
The elements of EAT are very crucial to Google. In fact, Google EAT is mentioned 186 times in the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. The reason for Google implementing EAT is good for us all. There are a lot of websites out there and not all of them are useful. Google is trying to give us the best results and get us the answers to our questions as quickly as possible. They do not want us wasting our time on garbage websites. We should appreciate that.
You see, Google wants to display websites and blog posts that have a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. This is because, to Google, it means the website has high-quality, relevant information from a trusted source, that internet searchers are looking for. Google then moves websites that have these traits higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). There are other SEO factors included, but EAT will help.
Another term to be aware of is YMYL. The acronym YMYL stands for “Your Money, Your Life.” Basically, these websites and pages impact your well-being. Google expects a certain level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness for YMYL sites.
YMYL topics may have medical, legal or financial advice. Some of these sites offer advice on major life issues or decisions regarding your future. Examples of other YMYL sites include news sites and blogs having information about safety measures. Google does not want to highly rank a page giving health advice from a plumber. That is not their area of expertise. They will rank a site giving medical advice from a doctor who has credentials to back up their expertise.
Google EAT means having Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google assesses these factors when reviewing your website. Google rewards high-quality web content that has EAT by offering higher rankings on SERPs (search engine results pages).
EAT is a top factor Google’s algorithm used to determine the page quality on a website. Let’s dive in and explore the details of what exactly is meant by expertise, authority, and trust.
What is Expertise?
Expertise is a special skill or knowledge you have obtained from experience, study, or training. Psychology Today further defines expertise as:
- An expert’s ability to carry out actions;
- The experience and time spent in the domain of a subject;
- Addressing difficult problems, expanding knowledge along the way; and
- The use of official titles (diplomas, PhDs, or professional certificates).
In other words, you need the skill, knowledge, and ability to show you know what you’re talking about. An expert is often someone who has engulfed their life in a particular subject. Usually, the person has the experience and education to qualify themselves as a specialist on the topic.
What does expertise mean to Google?
Google wants to make sure the organization behind a website has the right credentials. It also checks to make sure that the author of the content has the authority to back up their claims.
For example, a doctor must have the proper credentials before he or she offers medical advice. A doctor is an expert in healthcare, and that is his expertise.
I love the way MOZ explains what an expert is. An expert is more than just a knowledgeable person. They are able to use their knowledge to engage the reader and present information in a way that the reader understands. They have the ability to create great content that the audience wants and loves.
Google does recognize and value “everyday expertise.” These are some of the features of someone who has everyday expertise:
- The person is able to offer comprehensive, relevant, accurate, helpful, and current knowledge on a topic.
- The person can demonstrate that he or she has professional knowledge and experience on the topic.
- This person can use their life experience rather than education and formal training to be an official expert.
- The person may be able to share tips, detailed reviews, and real-life experience on the topic.
- The person is able to provide expert knowledge by fact-checking, researching, and presenting information on the topic.
Google states that the standard for expertise depends on the topic of the page. For example, you can be an everyday expert on motherhood. However, you would probably not be an expert in content marketing unless you happen to be an expert in both fields.
There’s a difference between a formal and an everyday expert. A formal expert has extensive experience and education in a very specific field, like accounting or law. An everyday expert is typically self-taught, like a photographer or freelance writer.
What is your expertise goal?
Your overall goal should be to become the go-to source for information in your area of expertise. You want other websites to want to link to yours because you are the expert!
What is authority?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, authority is the power to influence or command thought, behavior, or opinion.
What does authority mean to Google?
For Google, authoritativeness means you can show your expertise in your content. It also means others use you as their reference to an expert. For example, authoritative websites are ones that have a mountain of authority and expertise on a topic.
Authority is based on the creator of the content, the quality of the content, and the overall website itself.
So, how is the quality of your website rated by Google?
Google uses metrics, such as the ratings from Yelp and the Better Business Bureau, to determine and rate quality. Basically, Google wants to know what kind of ratings others are giving your website.
Google also expects the content on your website to be relevant to the topic at hand. One example of irrelevance, which would affect the authoritativeness of a website, is a recipe showing up on a tax website. The high-quality content may be well received by the audience, but cooking information is not related to taxes.
Authority is more than just having the expertise you need to talk about the subject at hand. It means you are the person who other sites reference or link to because they want your expertise.
Your expertise goal should be to become the go-to person for the information in your area of expertise. Once you have reached this goal, you have demonstrated your authority on the subject.
To have high-quality content, the content must be accurate according to the facts on the topic. It should be supported by information from expert sources.
No discussion about authority would be complete without mentioning SEO (search engine optimization). Links from authoritative sites are a huge factor when hoping to achieve SEO success. SEO is a crucial element when trying to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages. One example of a way you can use SEO is by using the right keywords in your content.
The Search Engine Journal sums it up nicely:
Expertise is basically having certain knowledge or skills. Authoritativeness is the result of others (inside and outside of your industry) recognizing your expertise.
That recognition may come in the form of links, mentions, shares, reviews, or any other type of citation. Authoritativeness is your online reputation. The best way to build authoritativeness online is to create that useful, high-quality content.
Does your content creator have authority over the content he or she produces on your website?
What is your authoritativeness goal?
Your goal should be to share your expertise online and to have others link to your website because of your expertise. This will label you as an authority.
What is Trustworthiness?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, trustworthiness is the ability to be relied on as truthful and honest. Also, trustworthiness means something or someone is reliable and safe.
An example would be your mother. She is trustworthy to you, because you know her well and trust her completely. You trust her because you know anything she says to you is true and reliable.
What does trustworthiness mean to Google?
Trustworthiness consists of the credibility of the author and the quality of the content. It also depends on the site itself as an honest, relevant, and accurate source of information.
Websites need to have validation information like an About Us page or a secure checkout page if the website handles transactions. Trust can be measured by the quality of the information presented and by the websites that reference your site or blog. Do those websites have a great amount of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness?
Can your readers trust your content?
What is your trustworthiness goal?
Your goal should be to establish yourself and your blog or website as a trustworthy source of information.
Google measures your SERP (search engine’s results page) position by how well you represent E-A-T. However, it also looks at your reputation. How well are you received by your audience?
Have you won any prestigious awards, or have you received any recommendations from known experts? Have you earned the approval of a professional society related to the topic you are hoping to cover?
Your reputation is determined by the opinion and reviews of the experience of real users. However, the engagement on your website is also a deciding factor.
Start by doing all you can to positively influence the opinions and reviews of others. Then, consider adding more engagement to your website.
When certain reviewers of your website make their determination of quality, they influence Google’s search algorithm. This indirectly affects Google’s search engine results. These are real people, not bots, so it’s in your best interest to put quality content on your website.
Both Google EAT and YMYL standards are important when creating your website’s content. This is especially true if you are trying to rank high on Google’s search engine results page.
If you want readers to find your website or blog, you should want to rank high on the SERP. Remember, a key ranking factor is the level of Google EAT you have on your website.
Nurture your blog and/or website by building your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Incorporate these elements as part of your content strategy, so you can rank high on Google’s search results page (SERP).
If you are trying to rank high with a YMYL page or website, make sure you have high standards. Implementing YMYL standards and Google EAT will increase the traffic you gain on your page and/or website.
If you can add Google EAT to your website, you will find success with your online presence.
Do you need to set up a blog or website, or do you have other marketing needs? We’re here to help, so please contact us today.
Jay Bilunas is a graphic designer and marketing consultant. He loves helping small businesses succeed with great marketing and design. He also teaches and tries to help up and coming designers.