The first thing to know about E-A-T is the meaning of the acronym. E stands for expertise, A stands for authoritativeness, and T stands for trustworthiness. E-A-T is from Google’s guidelines on Search Quality, which was made to help assess the quality of Google search results.
The Importance of EAT
E-A-T is used for all searches performed on Google. For instance, if you are searching for a subjective thing like beautiful cats, then E-A-T might not be that important. You could see a cat that you don’t find attractive, and it doesn’t change anything.
However, if you are searching for something as specific as aspirin dosage for a pregnant woman, then, without a doubt, E-A-T is very important. If Google starts to show content written by an author with zero knowledge of the topic and is also published on a website that is not trustworthy and lacks authority. In that case, there’s every possibility that the content will be misleading and inaccurate.
This kind of information that the searcher needs is not one that is just a little inconvenient when it is wrong. It could lead to a potentially life-threatening situation if they get false information on websites without expertise, authority, and trustworthiness from Google.
A question that involves improving your credit score also must be answered from authoritative websites. Getting tips and advice on topics like this from websites without authority can be misleading and would do more harm than good.
Topics that require expertise and authoritativeness like this are referred to as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics by Google.
Some topics can potentially impact the future happiness, financial stability, health, and safety of other people.
Similarly, there are also websites and web pages designed around these “Your Money or Your Life” topics. If you have a website like this, then you need to demonstrate E-A-T.
Is It a Ranking Factor?
The answer to this is not a straightforward “yes,” but it is in a sense. If your website runs in a medical niche or financial niche then it will not rank if it does not have the authority and trust.
Google tackles this E-A-T by these:
- The search engineers tweak the algorithm to improve the quality of the search result.
- Quality raters look at the search results with the implementation of the proposed change, they send their feedback to Google.
- Google decides based on the feedback if the proposed tweak impacts on the search result and if it’s positive or negative. The changes are implemented if the product has a positive impact.
Google and Google engineers use this process to understand the signals and that they are in line with EAT, and they make the necessary changes to their algorithm. This algorithm change will ensure that the websites and content that meet up to E-A-T standards are shown first in Google search results for topics where they are essential, such as the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ topics.
How to Improve Your E-A-T
Improving E-A-T means that you have it in place in the first instance. Some of the major tips for improving E-A-T are:
- Build more high-quality links
- Make sure your content is up to date
- Check your facts well
- Get more reviews
- Hire experts to write your content for you
- Have a contact page
- Open a Wikipedia page
- Get more mentions
E-A-T is something you should continue to work on because of its importance to SEO. This is even more important for you if your page or website is centered around YMYL topics.