E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. It is a concept that Google’s Quality Raters use when testing the search results to judge whether a website and the author of a page knows what they are talking about.
Quality Raters are the workforce who manually check Google search results in order to see if their algorithms are doing what Google hopes it is doing. While E-A-T is mentioned repeatedly in the Quality Rates Guide, there is no consensus as to whether it is actually a ranking factor.
All that can be said for certain is that if you don’t demonstrate Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, then the pages you write may be marked as low quality. This won’t directly affect your ranking (as Quality Raters don’t manually change rankings) but does mean you are susceptible to losing ranking when there is an algorithm update.
One simple way to check your E-A-T is to Google your name along with your area of expertise (eg “Albert Einstein” Physics) and see how many high quality and relevant sites mention you, and how many news articles mention you. In both cases, more is better!
On top of that, you should make sure your website makes it clear who is responsible for the content, and that ads and other functionality don’t make the site hard to use.
E-A-T is especially important for YMYL sites (Your Money or Your Life), which mainly include medical, legal, and financial-based websites. However, the actual definition of YMYL sites in the Quality Raters Guide is any site that gives any important advice or sells anything (as they handle credit card details), meaning that most websites come under the YMYL definition.
7 Things To Know About E-A-T
- It’s not enough to be an Expert on a subject according to Google, you also have to be listened to by your niche AND trusted.
- Quality Inbound links are one of the best ways to improve your E-A-T.
- There are thousands of Quality Raters employed by Google, and they can’t be expected to know about every subject. E-A-T is a method that lets them assess how good a site is on a topic without knowing about it.
- E-A-T has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until Google’s “Medic Update” in 2018 that it really came to the fore, when Google de-ranked medical experts whose expertise was questionable.
- Trustworthiness also encompasses technical security. Having a site with a security certificate (https://) is a big step in the right direction.
- If you allow Guest Posts, make sure they are experts on their subject matter. “Content Writer” as a job title doesn’t imply any expertise on any subject (other than Content Marketing).
- According to the Quality Raters Guide, a slightly negative reputation can really damage your E-A-T. Be nice!