Improve your Google ranking with E-A-T
No, E-A-T has nothing to do with food or gastronomy. It stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust. These three words indicate the direction Google will evolve in when it comes to ranking search results. Join RAAK for a look at the mechanics behind it and how you can put them to work for better rankings.
One reason why expertise, authority and trust are crucial for determining the ranking of pages in the search results is illustrated by this peculiar search result from a few years ago.
In this example, Google displayed a result from an unreliable source with a wrong answer from someone without scientific expertise.
Google wants to really help its users
Vague conspiracy theories that go against the scientific consensus. Far-fetched claims about the almost magical effects of certain nutritional supplements. Articles that promise to make you filthy rich without even having to do anything…
Google's algorithm helps to prevent this kind of untrustworthy information from being displayed and distributed. For example, a satirical website which claims that oak processionary caterpillars were plotted to distribute 5G, contains information of no scientifical value (even though it can make for some hilarious reading). Even if this kind of content can easily get more likes on Facebook than the ‘boring reality’, it stands little to no chance on Google.
Search results evaluated
Since long, Google has been using so-called search quality raters, real people who evaluate the quality of the search results. These search quality raters do not affect the search results directly, as they can’t help pages up or down the ranking ladder this way. However, the insights they gather about the quality of the search results are included in Google’s algorithm.
Especially for the so-called YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages — pages that Google believes may affect the happiness, health, financial stability or safety of users — it’s important to show expertise and authority. This applies specifically to, for instance, pages that focus on medical services and online credits.
Reputation is everything
The guidelines for search quality raters takes a few important parameters into account: the person or organisation that runs the website, the reputation of the person/organisation and whether they are easy to contact and communicate with. When external sources show that the person behind the content of the website has expertise, the website will be conceived as more reliable. Needless to say, this will have an impact on your ranking.
A quote from the search quality rater guidelines:
Websites or pages without some sort of beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, or pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the Lowest rating. For all other pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important. Please consider:
- The expertise of the creator of the Main content.
- The authoritativeness of the creator of the Main content, the Main content itself, and the website.
- The trustworthiness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website.
Prove your expertise
The above guidelines state that medical advice should be given by someone with medical expertise, backed with scientific information according to the scientific consensus. The same goes for financial, household or your hobby-related (like photography or knitting) information: it will score better if the person who writes it is a reliable expert in this specific field.
To determine that expertise, search quality raters look for indicators that demonstrate the author's knowledge on the subject. So be sure to always provide enough background information on the author in question, like a short biography, a link to a social media profile or if it’s an academic, a link to the a resumé or a list of publications.
Mention awards and reviews
Have your company won an award? By all means mention it on your website. External factors also play an important role when it comes to trustworthiness and credibility. Search quality raters search the web for reviews. If numerous negative reviews come up, it raises suspicion. And make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, because raters are accessing your website on a mobile device when determining their rating.
And what about the content?
What makes raters label your content as qualitatively sound? Google itself describes it this way:
Very high quality MC is original, accurate, comprehensive, well communicated, professionally presented, and should reflect expert consensus as appropriate.
Also mind the length of your pages, as this will also affect their rating. For instance, an article on a complex medical theme with just one paragraph will not score well. Add structure, paragraphs, clear subtitles and mention sources wherever it’s necessary. Search quality raters will appreciate your efforts. Interested in extra quick wins for SEO? Check out this article.
Gather facts and expertise. Display your expertise on your website. Have articles be written by experts on specific themes in your organisation and not just by your marketing communication department. Writing a blog post? Do it with care and accuracy: explore your sources and make sure your information is correct. Google, and especially your visitors, will appreciate you for it.