In the age of ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard, Google Search is constantly fighting a battle against low-quality content.
Content creators are gaming the system, so Google is constantly improving and evolving how it assesses websites and ranks content.
Which is where Google E-E-A-T comes in.
With an army of Quality Raters and extensive guidelines, these core signals help Google assess your content and determine if it’s useful for searches.
But what is E-E-A-T, and how does it affect your rankings? In this guide, we’ll show you what E-E-A-T is, why it’s essential for SEO and visibility, and how to ensure your website gets a good score.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T is an acronym that stands for:
It is an essential component of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG). Each component helps Google raters determine whether search engine results are high-quality, relevant, and valuable.
Even though Google E-E-A-T is not a ranking signal, it should still be high on your list of priorities if you’re trying to build a high-authority website that meets Google’s definitions of quality and delivers valuable and relevant content to your target audience, that can help convert them.
Side note: Google updates its Search Quality Rater Guidelines once a year (on average), so this is an evolving topic you’ll need to stay updated on.
The Core Elements of E-E-A-T
So, what does each letter of E-E-A-T encompass? Let’s take a look at each of the core elements.
This was added to the acronym in 2022 (before that, it was Goole EAT), showing that Google is increasing its focus on the experience of content creators, expert contributors and businesses in general.
In order to combat the rise of generic, AI-generated content, Google wants to focus on websites that have writers with genuine, first-hand experience with what they’re writing about and can provide unique, personal touch that AI cannot.
Pages created by experienced individuals tend to have more accurate, insightful content and help users accomplish their search objectives. Think about when you want to invest in a new product or service – you’re much more likely to a trust first-hand experience than sponsored content.
Next up, Google raters look at whether the person writing the content is an expert in the field. Have they won awards? Published content on high-authority sites? Written books? Got certifications?
For example, if a rater lands on an investment website, they might check to see if the owner has any financial certifications or whether it was written by a marketer looking for links. Google cawl bots can verify this information by fiding a biography of the blog article authors, backed by the link to their social media where their credentials and resume are displayed.
Is your website an authority on the topic? Your domain authority plays a huge role in this, and the authority consists of how many backlinks you have, the quality of the backlinks, your content quality, SEO performance, and root domains.
The more your website gets used as a reference online, the higher your domain authority. This is why getting high-quality backlinks and powerful digital PR is essential.
Last but not least, Google suggests that trust is the most crucial component of E-E-A-T. No matter how well your website scores on authority, expertise, and experience, you’ll get a low overall E-E-A-T if your website is classed as untrustworthy.
Google raters look for the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of the website and its content, including whether the author of blogs is published on each page.
What are E-E-A-T Signals?
Your website’s E-E-A-T signals refer to the factors used to determine whether your content reaches the quality metrics set out in E-E-A-T. Raters will assess your website’s experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness using E-E-A-T signals.
For example, if you have a lot of quality backlinks, this is a positive signal related to authoritativeness. On the other hand, if your website is full of broken links or inaccurate information, you’ll have a negative signal related to expertise and trustworthiness.
Why is E-E-A-T So Important?
If E-E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor and the Google quality rater guidelines don’t determine a page’s rankings, why is it important?
Your E-E-A-T ratings will determine your website’s value, and Google’s quality raters use these guidelines to judge your pages. Although it doesn’t directly impact your ranking, it will impact how Google views your website, which will indirectly affect your website’s place in searches.
Think of it this way – if a Google quality rater gives your website a bad review, why would Google ever rank it in searches?
How Do Google Quality Raters Determine E-E-A-T?
Google has an army of Quality Raters across the globe. They are highly trained to use the Google quality rater guidelines to perform random checks on websites to ensure those showing up in searches are useful and relevant to users. This feedback helps Google implement changes to make the search more useful.
Google’s quality rater guidelines is a 160-page PDF that has been around for a few years now. It documents what makes a high and low-quality page and outlines instructions on how to give a quality score.
There are dozens of examples in the guidelines showing what Google considers to be a low, medium, and high-quality search result page, but let’s just focus on three key components here:
- Mobile vs. Desktop
- Page Quality
- Needs Met (NM)
Mobile vs. Desktop
Back in 2028, Google moved to mobile-first indexing, which means mobile pages take priority over desktop pages. Still, around a quarter of the most popular websites are still not totally mobile responsive.
If your website still isn’t mobile responsive, it could significantly hurt your Google E-E-A-T rating and should be a top priority.
Page Quality (PQ)
This refers to how well your website pages meet their goals. So, if you have a link that claims to show “the top 10 apps for marketing automation”, and that’s what the page shows, you’ll get a decent score for PQ.
If your links deceive users in any way, you’ll not only get a low E-E-A-T score, but you run the risk of getting blacklisted by Google.
Needs Met (NM)
“Needs met” is another important factor in the Google rater guidelines. The primary goal of these guidelines is to ensure user needs are met when using the platform, so raters look for pages with quality content that meet the user’s needs. This takes into account both the query and page quality.
How To Improve Your E-E-A-T Signals
Now that you’ve had a crash course in Google’s E-E-A-T policy let’s look at actionable steps to improve your E-E-A-T signals.
1. How to Build Expertise
Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand knowledge and deep expertise? To do this, focus on creating in-depth, quality articles that showcase facts, case studies, and authority sources. Here are a few more tips to build your expertise:
- Showcase any certifications or qualifications on your website.
- Regularly post content on a limited number of topics.
- Find guest post opportunities on high-authority websites.
- Provide additional value through books, guides, and additional content.
- Create a quality About Page to introduce your team and back story.
Next, show users you have first-hand experience in the topics you’re writing about. This could include:
- Showing you’ve used a product first-hand.
- Writing reviews about products or services.
- Using your industry experience to reliably advise on a topic.
Although expertise and experience are closely related, they are both important components to focus on when building a high-quality website that ranks well with Google.
3. How to Build Authoritativeness
The most effective way to build authoritativeness is with high-quality backlinks from established publications. Getting these links is extremely difficult, which is why it’s seen as an important factor when ranking the value of your website.
If you’re struggling to get PR opportunities and high-authority backlinks for your website, Linkifi can help. We hand-source journalist inquiries and pitch on your behalf, securing backlinks from some of the most well-known publications on Google.
4. How to Grow Trustworthiness
Finally, grow trust in your website through security, engagement, and support. Trustworthiness is at the heart of the E-E-A-T construct, so this component is essential. Here are a few key tips to implement right away:
- Ensure your website is secure with an SSL certificate.
- Improve your linking structure and site navigation.
- Add a chat box for users to get in touch with questions.
- Display related content on blogs to encourage users to stay.
- Add long-form blog posts with added value.
- Include a policies page and cookie opt-in.
If your website receives a high number of negative comments, Google will consider it low-quality, which will directly impact your rankings in SERPs, so this is a component you need to get right.
One of the best ways to boost trustworthiness is to monitor and leverage user-generated content. Not only is UGC 42% more effective than brand-created content, but it significantly boosts brand trust.
Build Your E-E-A-T Score With Linkifi
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Google’s extensive quality guidelines, but if you focus on creating a valuable, trustworthy, and high-quality website, you’ll ensure a good Google E-E-A-T ranking if raters ever land on your pages.
Hopefully, we’ve answered the question, what is E-E-A-T? and you’ve got plenty of tips to get started boosting your score in this article, but we can help you take your efforts to the next level.
Linkifi is here to get you high-profile PR opportunities and quality backlinks that boost your domain authority. We provide a done-for-you process so you can see the benefits while you focus on other important areas of your business. Get started with our PR experts today.