Staying ahead of the curve in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) often requires understanding how search engines like Google determine which content is best for users.
Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) are key ranking factors on Google to ensure that the responses people receive in their searches are reliable. Learning how Google raters assess and rank content will help improve yours.
Why E-E-A-T is important
Suppose you’re searching for pictures of cute rabbits. E-E-A-T may not be so critical because the topic is subjective.
If you search for the right exercises for diabetes management, however, E-E-A-T plays an essential role. Google will not show content from an untrustworthy writer on an unreliable website. The topic involves health and must be accurate because misleading content can be fatal.
Similarly, financial topics are also critical. If someone wants to know the importance of keeping a high credit score, then Google must show content from a reliable expert.
Such topics are known as “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) subjects. They can affect your future financial stability, happiness, or health, and the information must be reliable.
Here is a breakdown of each of the E-E-A-T factors to demonstrate their importance:
People will trust content from someone with first-hand experience. If you show that in your content, Google will rank it highly. For instance, a product review looks genuine if it came from someone who has used the product before.
Experience is critical for almost every field. If someone searches for content about climbing Mount Everest, Google wants to ensure that it recommends a page written by someone who has done it. The first-hand experience makes the content more believable.
Google considers the knowledge or skills the content creator illustrates about a particular subject. The content itself must demonstrate the required knowledge. When a subject matter expert creates content, it will rank highly.
Your education, qualifications, and formal expertise are critical if you write about YMYL topics. For instance, a certified nutritionist will more accurately write about healthy eating habits than someone who has only read several posts online. YMYL topics include medicine, finance, and legal advice.
Someone may not have the required training but still write reliable content on a YMYL topic. For instance, a terminal disease patient may write about living with the disease better than a qualified doctor.
Google considers the overall reputation of a website when ranking. It includes what other experts and industry influencers say about your content. You can demonstrate authority in a particular field if others visit your website for information.
Frequent visitors to your website show that they are satisfied with the content you provide. Google wants to ensure that the articles it brings at the top of the search results satisfy the users by meeting their query intent. The content must also answer the users' questions.
Encourage visitors to leave reviews on your website. Positive reviews can help to stamp your authority.
The extent to which a website shows accuracy, honesty, and reliability will determine its trustworthiness. Your website should indicate who is responsible for the published content. You can consider including your contact information.
People can always refer to your contact information whenever they need help. For instance, if you run an online store, someone may want to know the status of an order. Responding to people on time will help build trust.
How to ensure your website observes E-E-A-T guidelines
As a website owner, you want your content to reach your target audience. Thus, you must follow the Google search rater guidelines.
- Attach faces to your content. List their qualifications and credentials. Having someone take responsibility is a good sign to Google and your customers that the company is reliable, especially for medical and financial content.
- Ensure you post detailed content. The content should be in-depth and from an expert in that field. You can hire field-specific experts to write the content. Remember to counter-check the facts to ensure all information is factual. If you cite some sources in your content, ensure they are legit.
- Promote your content on other authority websites. Getting featured on other websites in your industry shows that other experts trust you. It is an ideal way to show your authority in the field.
- Get reviews: Online reviews help you demonstrate authority and trust. Customers can leave reviews on your website, social accounts, and other reliable review sites in your industry. For instance, Tripadvisor is a reliable review site for restaurants and travel.
- Update your content regularly: Keeping your content up-to-date helps you avoid misleading people with outdated content. Check for developments in your industry. It doesn't matter whether your site is YMYL-based or not.
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