Google’s latest update to their algorithm, E-A-T, is an acronym for the three factors used to determine whether to serve your page as a relevant organic search result:
When employees at Google manually review websites, they use a certain set of guidelines called the Search Quality Rating Guidelines to figure out which web pages are the best pages to serve as standards of quality to which other pages can be compared. E-A-T is part of these guidelines.
Your page demonstrates expertise through content that is both thoughtful and useful to readers. Websites in this category might belong to lawyers, accountants, doctors, or universities. Expertise is not as powerful for websites delivering humor or gossip stories. Credentials play a huge factor in this category. Websites where the creator has won awards in the field will receive top priority, though credentials could also be a degree in the field, or a doctor writing about his or her specialty.
Authority is about showing you are a source of information for the public. The algorithm takes a look at both the main content and the ratings of the page and its content creator. This can include sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. A higher rating earns a more favorable score in the algorithm.
A trustworthy page shows readers they can trust the information displayed on the page, the company, and the creator of the content. Sites should make the audience feel safe and show them their information is safe and secure. Secure checkout, SSL certificates and citations all play a part in the level of trust Google puts in a website. Accurate information is another big piece of the puzzle. If a page lists a piece of information on one page and then contradicts it elsewhere on the site, the page is not considered as trustworthy as when all information on the site matches perfectly.
So how can you improve the content on your page to fit with the E-A-T standards?
You need to cover your bases in all three categories, not just one. The algorithm can recognize when seemingly expert content comes from an untrustworthy source. They will not receive credit for the expertise if the trustworthy piece is not there too. One of the top ways to show you are a trustworthy site is an SSL certificate. Google deems sites with an SSL certificate more trustworthy than those without one. If you don’t already have one, now is the time. Increasing your online reputation will provide another boost.
High-quality content, combined with a lot of engagement from readers, will bring a page a favorable score. Check business reviews on websites like Yelp, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau.
It appears that Google does not punish websites that are new or just starting out. A lack of information does not necessarily work against an online reputation, but it also doesn’t provide any traction. Businesses can do a simple google search for their site, looking for what kinds of information pop up. Make sure the hours of operation and contact information matches all listings and business descriptions. If there is no online reputation, consider building one for SEO purposes.
At the end of the day, E-A-T seems to be mostly common sense. While these three factors seem to play a huge part in SEO, there are no clearly defined rules about the algorithm. It can fluctuate from site to site, making it somewhat of a mystery. Creating a page keeping these factors in mind, will boost your SEO ranking and propel it toward the top of the search engine results.
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