Understanding Google’s E-A-T Algorithm Updates: How it Affects Your SEO

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What is Google E-A-T?

Google’s E-A-T concept was first introduced in the release of the Search Quality Guidelines in 2014. Google claims the purpose of this update is to provide better results for users by factoring in a site’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). Essentially Google wants to know what your website knows about the subject matter when you publish content on that topic so they can rank your website higher than others who don’t have as much knowledge or authority. In this blog post we’ll be discussing how Google EAT affects your SEO and why it might be important for you to take notice now!

To reiterate – E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and the concept of rating websites is nothing new for top-level SEOs. The concept was first published in Google’s 2014 Search Quality Guidelines, and it has gained more and more importance over the years. E-A-T was mentioned 131 times in the 168-page guidelines for 2020.

E-A-T guidelines are established by having humans review pages and report on their quality to Google. Actual humans, not machines.

It is no simple task, but this work allows Google to continue its dominance of the search engine game. Google controlled 88% of all queries in October, most likely due to their E-A-T algorithm updates. Though this work does not necessarily affect rankings directly, the data helps improve their algorithms which aid rank manipulation.

So lets take a look at each of the Google E-A-T topics in a bit more detail:

Expertise: This element focuses on the context of your content, assessing whether or not it provides an expert perspective. The criteria for scoring high in this category is unclear, but Google prefers to give preference to content written by experts and those with highly informed opinions on the topic discussed.

Authoritativeness: This element focuses on the authority of the website’s content and domain. This ranking is determined by external signals, such as qualitative links from other relevant websites and mentions on forums and social media sites.

Trustworthiness: This element is similar to expertise but focuses on the trustworthiness of the content in relation to the trustworthiness of the domain.

Let’s move onto some tips that can improve your E-A-T and increase your search rankings and revenue. 

Establishing a strong E-A-T on your website is not achievable by simple SEO practices. You need to follow the guidelines across each page and build out the strongest content possible to satisfy Google’s E-A-T demands.

Google outlines many ways to improve your E-A-T. Here are a few of the highlights from those guidelines: 

Content and quality questions 

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Expertise questions 

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?

Presentation and production questions 

  • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

Comparative questions 

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

Using these questions as a guide, you can provide higher quality content that Google will appreciate. You can use Google’s E-A-T guidelines to improve your SEO efforts. By following the questions Google outlines, you will increase the quality of your content and provide Google with what it needs to rank well in search results.

Have you found yourself stuck in marketing hell? You know, when your website just isn’t cutting it. If this sounds all too familiar, fear not! Our web development team has the knowledge and expertise to create game-changing websites for businesses around the world. Let’s talk about your website today!

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