What Is E-E-A-T?

To determine if your website and content offers users phenomenal value, you have to consider the E-E-A-T principle.

But…what is E-E-A-T, exactly?

The acronym E-E-A-T (also written as EEAT at times) stands for:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

According to Google , it’s “used in how we evaluate if our search ranking systems are providing helpful, relevant information.” And these four elements of a website are what customers and search engines want.

The History of E-E-A-T

An August 2019 blog post in Google Search Central talked about how Google’s raters assess content.

A “rater” is a person who lets Google know if its algorithms are providing the right results, especially when it comes to the algorithm’s updates.

And those raters assess content using E-E-A-T. Or, at the the time, just E-A-T.

Originally, the acronym was E-A-T for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. In late-2022, Google added the other “E” for experience.

What Is E-E-A-T? The Four Concepts

According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, the elements of E-E-A-T are important for page quality (PQ) ranking. Let’s go through each of them.

Experience

This element takes into consideration how much experience the content creator has with the topic. This feeds into trustworthiness because a creator with a lot of firsthand, personal experience is more likely to create reliable content about the topic.

For example, a user would want to read a review written by a person who’s used the product instead of someone who hasn’t.

Here’s another example — I wrote this review of a restaurant I actually went to, and I talk about the specific drinks and food I had, as well as my firsthand experience with customer service.

This is a more “experienced” article than a reviewer who takes their information from other reviews rather than talking about their own experience.

We’ll get a bit more into the experience element as we talk about the other three.

An example of a review blog post to showcase experience.

Expertise

Users and search engines want content from creators who have the knowledge or skills necessary for the topic.

This sounds similar to the “experience” element, but it’s a bit different.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a video about how to mount a TV. A newbie to the home theater industry may have mounted a TV before, so they would fulfill the experience qualification.

However, you’d probably want to watch a video by someone who’s mounted hundreds of TVs over a long career rather than a less-experienced person.

That’s where expertise factors in.

Expertise can also be reflected in the niche you have the most experience in. For example, a chef who’s cooked all sorts of cuisines in their career may have experience, but if they specialize in classic French cuisine, then that’s where their expertise lies.

Similarly, expertise is shown through firsthand tips that non-experts won’t have.

For example, someone who loves fitness can review one type of electrolyte tablet to show their experience with it. But an athlete with expertise may have tried 20 different electrolyte tablets and can write more in-depth articles on the topic.

Authoritativeness

This element considers if the content creator or website is a sought-after source in the niche. In other words, it looks at their reputation in the industry, particularly among experts and influencers on the same topic.

WebMD is a good example of a website that puts out authoritative content because most of its articles are written or reviewed by a medical professional.

A WebMD article to showcase what is E-E-A-T in terms of authority.

One way that content creators with experience or expertise can gain authority is by having other websites or authorities in the niche promote your content.

When a website adds a backlink to your content, this tells users and search engines two important things:

  1. Your content is trustworthy.
  2. Your content focuses on what the headline says it’s about.

Plus, the more reputable the linking site is, the better that backlink will be for your SEO. You can also showcase your expertise and build authority by contributing to other highly regarded sites in your niche.

We have an article with lots of tips for building backlinks .

Trustworthiness

Google says that the most important aspect of E-E-A-T is the last letter: “T” for trustworthiness.

This element considers how accurate, honest, reliable and safe a page is. Different types of pages require different types of trust. For example:

  • Informational pages should have accurate information.
  • An online store needs secure payment systems.
  • Product reviews should be helpful to users who are researching options; they shouldn’t push for a conversion.

The reason why trust is such an important element is because even if a website fulfills the E-E-A guidelines, if it doesn’t fulfill the “T,” the overall E-E-A-T score will be low.

How to Increase Trustworthiness

  • Use HTTPS for a secure domain.
  • Make sure that pages have quick load times.
  • Design website navigation to be user-friendly.
  • Put a physical address in the footer.
  • Make the contact and “terms and conditions” pages easy to find.
  • Create accurate content.
  • Ensure the content flows well.
  • Cite all sources and link to other E-E-A-T content.
  • Update your content regularly.

Is E-E-A-T Important?

Yes! Here are the benefits of considering E-E-A-T for your website:

  • Better behavior metrics (CTR, time on page, etc.)
  • Featured snippets on Google
  • Grow your backlink profile
  • Higher SERP rankings
  • More social shares

Here’s an example of a featured snippet:

An example of a Google snippet.

Having content and a website that ranks highly in terms of E-E-A-T can also mean ranking highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs). And it could even create a strong enough site to withstand any upcoming Google algorithm changes — because odds are that Google won’t change these principles.

What Is E-E-A-T and YMYL?

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages have to do with the following issues:

  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Safety

Basically, these topics can have a great effect on a person’s finances, health or well-being. They’re considered high-stakes topics, which is why E-E-A-T is even more important for these pages. Misinformation could cause harm to the user, those in contact with the user or even entire groups.

There are some YMYL topics that Google feels should be left to experts. For example, let’s take the topic of filling out tax forms.

A freelancer who has done their own taxes for 10 years may have experience, but they’re not a tax expert. They could create a funny social media video with the top 5 frustrations of doing your own taxes as a freelancer. But if they wanted to post real advice about how to fill out tax forms, they’d need to partner with an actual tax expert to create the content.

E-E-A-T Best Practices

You don’t need to completely overhaul your website to follow E-E-A-T. But as you audit your content and create new pieces, keep these tips in mind.

Add About Us Info

Users often look at a website’s “About Us” page or the content creator’s bio to determine if the information is reliable.

This is the basic question they’re asking: Does this seem to be a trustworthy source for the information provided?

By having an About Us page on the website that introduces your company and the team, as well as individual pages for team members and content creators, you show off credentials and communicate that you care about transparency.

Here’s a good example from Nerd Fitness — the “About Team Nerd Fitness” section talks about how much fitness experience its team members have. This can improve the reader’s trust in Nerd Fitness articles because so much of the content is created by people who are actually living the lifestyle and have been for years.

Create Quality Content

High-quality content is helpful, original and written for human readers, not search engines.

It’s smart to regularly audit and update your content to be more aligned with E-E-A-T. Also, regularly create new content to address the current needs of your audience.

Include First-Person Content

When creating content about something you have firsthand experience with, talk about it! Add your opinions, include unique photos you took, etc.

If possible, show yourself engaging with the niche, too. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you can post videos from real training sessions.

Back-Up Your Work With Resources

If you’re creating content about something that you’re not an expert in, you can back it up with lots of research and information from credible sources (like in the taxes example above).

You may also want to collaborate with subject matter experts to get quotes or insight for your article, or you can have them write a guest post for your site.

Take Advantage of User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is content about your brand that others create. This type of brand loyalty from your audience signals to others that your brand can be trusted.

UGC can take a lot of forms, like blog posts, product reviews, social media posts and video testimonials.

Here are 9 ways to encourage UGC for your brand.

Maintain a Positive Brand Reputation

Your company’s reputation can impact the trustworthiness of your site and content. Online reputation management should be part of your E-E-A-T and SEO strategy.

Use monitoring tools so you’re alerted to negative press and reviews right away. Then, make sure to respond professionally ASAP.

Of course, you also want to respond to good reviews. In general, interacting with your audience in a way that’s positive, professional and friendly will help your brand reputation.

Also, news articles, references and reviews are all good ways to determine how credible outsiders think a website or creator is. Even the comment section on a blog post can provide information about how relevant readers find the content to be.

What Is E-E-A-T? Final Thoughts

You may have noticed that there’s a lot of crossover between the four E-E-A-T concepts. That’s a good thing for content creators. As you improve one aspect, another may naturally improve along with it.

Remember, trustworthiness is the most important E-E-A-T aspect. While the other three need attention too, without trust, your website will struggle.

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