What is Google EAT, and why is it so important to SEO?

computer open to the google search bar

It can be hard to know how to make your website stand out from the competition and rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

According to Google, up to 50% of all clicks go to the first three search results on any given page. And, with over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google, that’s a lot of traffic you could be missing out on if your website isn’t ranking as high as it could be.

One way to help improve your SEO is by focusing on factors that Google considers when determining a site’s rank. One of these factors is known as EAT, and that’s the one we will be focusing on in this article.

What is Google E-A-T?

EAT is an SEO term that stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness and is one of the major ranking factors Google raters (the actual humans who evaluate websites) look for. Google has always used these three criteria to assess the quality of a website’s content and determine its rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Recently, Google also added an extra E into the equation, creating EEAT, sometimes called double EAT. This extra E stands for Experience and is focused on the overall user experience, particularly mobile-friendliness.

So why is Google EAT so important for SEO?

Google takes into account the Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness, and Experience of a website or page to determine how valuable it is to readers. What this means is that if your content isn’t up to par, you won’t rank as high in search results.

In other words, the better your EAT score (or EEAT score), the higher up your website will appear in SERPs and the more traffic it is likely to receive. What’s more, having a good EEAT score may also help build trust and credibility with potential customers or clients.

Is E-A-T a ranking factor?

While Google says EAT isn’t actually a ranking factor, the quality raters’ guidelines focus heavily on EAT. What this means is that while it might not directly influence a website’s position in the SERPs, having a good EEAT score will definitely have an indirect effect on your ranking.

What do the Quality Raters’ Guidelines (QRG) say about E-A-T?

The QRG, or Quality Raters’ Guidelines, is a 176-page document that Google provides to raters as a guide for assessing the quality of websites.

In the QRG, Google specifically states that raters should assess whether the content is of value to readers. What this means is that websites need to have good content in order to rank well on Google.

Additionally, the QRG provides details about how to assess a website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, as well as its overall user experience. What this means is that Google looks at more than just the content on a website when it comes to ranking but also takes into account how trustworthy and authoritative the website is.

E-A-T is extremely important for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites

If you have a YMYL website, that is a website that deals with medical, financial, or legal advice, it is especially important to focus on EAT. Since your content could be potentially harmful, Google will be looking for proof that your content is trustworthy and authoritative before it ranks you in the SERPs.

Additionally, if you are competing against a website that has more online reviews or is better recognized as an authority than yours, you may have trouble standing out in the SERPs.

Did you know that Google has a list of characteristics of high-quality pages?

Google has made it easy by providing the Quality Raters’ Guidelines document to the public, as well as creating an additional list of characteristics of high-quality pages.

Google determines that a webpage is high-quality if it:

  1. Has a high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
  2. Has a satisfying amount of quality Main Content, including a descriptive or helpful title.
  3. Provides satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page includes financial transactions or is primarily for shopping, then it should provide appropriate customer service information.
  4. It should have a positive website reputation and a positive reputation of the creator of the main content if that individual differs from the website creator.

Author E-A-T Is Important

As characteristic number 4 states, the EAT of the author is important for a large number of websites (although not all websites). Having a strong author EAT score, especially if your website qualifies as a YMYL site, can help your website move up in the SERPs and give you an edge over competitors.

Characteristics of a Low-Quality Page

Google also provides a list of characteristics of low-quality pages.

These include having content that is not trustworthy or authoritative, not having a positive website reputation and/or the author’s reputation being negative, having no customer service information, a lack of main content, or content that is shallow in nature.

How does the Google algorithm measure E-A-T?

There are several steps to the ranking process. First of all, google wants to make sure it understands your query. Then it looks at the relevance of your query to the content on your website. After that, Google looks at the quality and authority of your website, and finally, it assesses whether or not you have expert information.

There are several content questions you can ask yourself to ensure you are satisfying the EAT guidelines.

  • Does your content provide accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information?
  • Do you have proof that the content is trustworthy and authoritative?
  • Are there customer reviews or ratings of the website or its services/products?
  • Is your website properly cited by other websites and publications?
  • Are there any experts in the topic who are associated with your content?

And recently, Google has added even more questions to consider when it comes to EAT.

6 Ways to Improve Google E-A-T SEO

Keep Content Fresh

Google wants to make sure that your content is up-to-date and relevant. Keeping your content fresh will make it more likely to show up in the SERPs.

Showcase Your Authors

Long gone are the days of anonymous website authors. Google wants to ensure that the content it ranks is created by an expert, so make sure to showcase your authors and their credentials.

Content Should Be Topical

Your content should be relevant to the topic of your website. No matter how great a chance you have of ranking for a particular keyword, if it is not relevant to the content of your overall website, it doesn’t need to be there. This also means you should also stay up-to-date on trends in your industry and create content around those trends in order to stay relevant.

Create a Trustworthy Website Design

Your website should look professional and be easy to navigate. Poorly designed websites make for a poor user experience. Make sure to include an About page, contact information, privacy policy, and customer service information when appropriate.

Create a Strong Brand Identity

Your brand identity goes hand in hand with your web design. Having cohesive brand colors, fonts a logos throughout your website creates a professional look and feel that visitors will recognize and trust.

Get Mentions On Other Authoritative Sites

Finally, having your website mentioned on other websites with higher domain authority gives a boost to your overall Google EAT score. Try reaching out to reputable sites for guest blogging opportunities or answer HARO queries.

Final Thoughts

Google EAT is an important factor when it comes to SEO and can make a huge difference in your website’s ranking. By satisfying the key pillars of Google EAT, you can improve your chances of achieving higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs), and ultimately by understanding what Google EAT is all about – you can take strides toward improving your online presence!