E-A-T: What Is It and Why Is It So Important For SEO?
Posted By Beth Rimmels
For SEO, staying up to date with Google’s recommendations is the name of the game, and while the EAT guidelines aren’t new, they’re taking on increased importance. In regards to SEO, EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It was first referenced in leaked documents from Google in 2008. Then in 2015, it was mentioned in the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, a 160-page document that provides guidance for creating quality web content. Its most recent update was July 2018, shortly before the so-called medic update the week of August 1, 2018.
Your Money or Your Life (YMYL)
While good quality content is important for good Google rankings, it’s especially important in categories dubbed “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL). Such websites frequently involve personal identification that could be used for identity theft, like bank account numbers, monetary transactions, health or medical advice, advice for major life decisions like purchasing a home or car, major expenses like a home renovation or give advice on legal, financial, etc. matters. Those websites should have a heightened level of trustworthiness because a mistake with any of those can have dire health or financial impact. The 2018 update nicknamed “medic” by Barry Schwartz got its name because it seems to have primarily affected those websites.
How does EAT Affect SEO?
The essence of EAT is creating high-quality content. The Google algorithm wants to reward accurate, useful information, not just content from name brands or popular sites. There are numerous variables to take into consideration with the Google algorithm coupled with user experience. It is a balancing act between the two. On one hand, you’ll need content containing elements that will help gain visibility in the search engine. Implementations on the backend, such as schema markup, are vital as well. On the other hand, it’s crucial to create the content for a great user experience. After all, your conversions are coming from users themselves, not Google.
The E in EAT: Expertise
Expertise means the content demonstrates accurate, comprehensive information on the given topic. No category is considered too frivolous to demonstrate expert information. A good example of expertise is a blog that is well-written, accurate, informative, and shows deep insight.
The A in EAT: Authoritativeness
Authoritativeness means that the person isn’t just knowledgeable about a topic but is also an expert with demonstrated history or credentials on the subject. So a good researcher could write an article that is accurate and informative, but in terms of EAT, the content is better if the medical information is written by a doctor, especially if their bio shows that they are board-certified in the topic or have been practicing for many years, etc. A good example would including the author’s bio, job title, relevant experience, credentials, etc. Reputation also factors into authority. Good reviews are always valuable. Responding appropriately to correct issues in bad reviews is also important. Similarly, recommendations and links to your website from trusted authorities, awards, news articles quoting you or mentioning you in a positive fashion, etc. all demonstrate a positive reputation and authority.
The T in EAT: Trustworthiness
Find Out How Your Site Ranks
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