What Is the E A T Principle in SEO?
Explained simply, E A T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google invented the acronym in 2014 when it first published information about it in its Search Quality Rater Guidelines in order to help webmasters determine what the search engine giant looks for in a quality web page. Simple, right?!
Yes, the concept of E A T is easy enough to understand, but putting E A T into action requires loads of digital marketing prowess and a reasonable budget (simple enough too!). The reality of those three usually yummy letters sees SEO specialists, web designers and developers, content development teams, and digital marketing agencies scrambling to fulfill E A T criteria, address each ranking factor, initiate broad core updates, and all the many determiners that contribute to site quality. Adhering to Google's Quality Rater Guidelines is imperative to achieve E A T.
Creating high quality content is one of the chief elements needed to meet Google E A T criteria as outlined by the Quality Rater Guidelines. When your content exhibits expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, it contributes to your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), which is crucial for improved search rankings. But SEO articles and E A website copy also benefit your customers, helping you to engage them, leading them through the funnel toward your ultimate goals: increased leads, sales, and brand loyalty. In the following text, we’ll explore E A T in greater detail so you can create high quality content and ensure that your SEO efforts pay off.
What Is EAT and Why Does Google Care?
Again, the E A T principle stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. One way to think about Google and its preoccupations with web algorithm updates and page content is that the search engine wants to create optimum user experiences for internet searchers. When someone gets on Google and searches for anything from vintage crock pots to financial services based in Berlin, it wants to deliver the best search results it can, supplying users with the information they’re searching for.
Google E A T criteria explains what the search engine looks for in quality websites. EAT-friendly websites will rank higher in search results than sites that don’t measure up to the Quality Rater Guidelines. Google cares about supplying queries with relevant, useful links because it wants people to keep using its services. Maybe it likes the power it wields over the SEO industry too, but that’s just wild speculation.
Kidding aside, E A T-friendly websites matter. Maybe it’s not critically important for a company selling Fortnite t-shirts to show expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in its field, but what about websites that discuss patient care or the dosing of medications? So, sites that offer financial advice or legal advice, for example, are YMYL sites. We all care about accuracy and honesty when we’re accessing important information on the internet or shopping online. Google is building a better internet for us with its E A T principles, broad core updates and search algorithm advances.
The fact is, websites that embrace and embody E A T stand to improve their standing with the search engines and earn more web traffic, which translates into more leads and more sales. Effectively, Google E A T is a roadmap for website and digital marketing success. While it might not be a breeze to build authoritative sites or measure up quickly to Google’s algorithms and each E A T principle, it’s what businesses and organizations need to do if they want to market effectively online. It's an E A T or die digital world in Google's eyes.
Is Google EAT Only Relevant for YMYL?
YMYL websites stands for: Your Money or Your Life. YMYL sites are websites that sell products or services or--and this is important-- “information that can impact..happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users, according to Search Engine Journal. These are higher-stakes websites that Google holds to the highest standards. So E A T, in other words, must underpin these sites if they’re going to succeed with Google.
If you’re a non-YMYL website, yes, E A T is still important. Whether or not you measure up will affect your searching rankings. However, if Google’s algorithm determines that you are a YMYL site, it adds more weight to its ranking system. Things like accuracy and expertise will be scrutinized more carefully. Consequently, it may be more difficult for YMYL websites to meet these high standards and measure up in terms of E A T, but it’s the only way to improve page rankings.
How Does Content Expertise Affect Your E A T Ranking Factor?
When it comes to E A T, expertise is relative; that is, it’s going to look different depending on the website and its specialty or the site owner. If you’re Mayo Clinic, your expertise is in medicine. If you’re Vogue, your expertise is in fashion. Google’s algorithms are designed to determine where your expertise lies depending on what you do or sell. Then, it ranks your E A T expertise accordingly by its myriad of determining E A T factors that come from things like your written content.
E A T content helps you demonstrate your expertise and how you operate high authority websites to Google as well as to prospective clients, customers, and site visitors. Google's public liaison has stated (and it's published in the Quality Rater Guidelines) that it does value everyday expertise. So, a website creator that’s established other ranking factors like trustworthiness and has built up a strong following, for instance, may easily measure up in terms of expertise even if they don’t have formal credentials as one may find on Wikipedia pages. Google recognizes accurate information as posted in Wikipedia articles or other sites that are relevant from an E A T perspective.
On the other hand, those Your Money or Your Life sites will be more thoroughly scrutinized for E A T guidelines. Formal expertise like author credentials could play a role in that scrutiny along with many other ranking factors. Among the Google algorithm quality raters, author's E A T factors heavily. Your content helps you showcase your formal expertise, especially if it’s registering shares, likes, interactions, downloads, etc…Remember, too, that low quality content can impact your rank with Google search results negatively. Adhering to E A T criteria and Google Quality Rater Guidelines is a must.
How Important Is E A T for Your Web Pages?
Since E A T is a way for Google to evaluate web pages, it’s of paramount importance. If you want Google to feature your site early in search results, your pages must demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google is determined to improve customer experience, and that’s what drives its core updates, the principles of E A T, and each ranking factor associated with it.
The fact is, E A T is important for most sites on the internet today. Improving page quality supports improved user experience and contributes to a website’s SEO and E A T. Remember this: E A T is relevant for individual pages as well as the overall website. Google’s E A T algorithm assesses both using ranking factor baselines. Google's E A T quality raters know what to look for when crawling and indexing web pages and websites, whether they're YMYL pages like medical sites or sites with only everyday expertise on display.
How Can I Improve My E A T Score?
Your business or organization can improve its E A T score and should always be looking for ways to improve or, at least, maintain it in reference to E A T quality raters. Your score isn’t set in stone. Start racking up negative reviews, lawsuits, search engine penalties, and you’ll see your E A T and page rank start to tank. To improve your E A T score in each category, you should build an E A T strategy that takes Google Quality Rater Guidelines and each ranking factor into account and that includes steps such as:
- Build high quality links (and avoid low quality links)
- Develop a strong keyword strategy for all website copy and articles written
- Invest in high quality content development based on the principles of Google E A T
- Use social media websites to share your content
- Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews (and deal with negative reviews professionally)
- Be sure your website and other pages are secure
- Share your credentials / licensing information
- Publish your contact information
- Tune into Google's core updates (and do exactly what you're intended to from an E A T perspective)
- Mind all Google's E A T quality raters
- Evaluate website's E A T page quality using Google Analytics
- Consult with SEO specialists and content development pros
Who Can Help Me with E A T Content?
Stretch Creative specialists in E A T SEO content. We feature a team of top-drawer writers and digital marketing creatives who have experience, expertise, and a flair for partnering with clients to develop ass-kicking content that eats E A T for breakfast. Producing E A T SEO-friendly content that helps clients showcase their expertise and authoritativeness is second-nature to our team.
Stretch also features subject-matter specialists who have integral knowledge about and experience writing for a myriad of industries, including digital marketing, business, e-commerce content, sales, finance, tech topics, real estate, marketplace trends, health, beauty, law, and so much more. Our writers have industry specific as well as everyday expertise. When you consult with Stretch Creative, we’ll work with you to develop a plan for improving site quality, improving search results ranking, exceeding E A T quality raters, and developing a content strategy that’s aligned with your marketing goals and SEO initiatives.
Google E A T Principle FAQs
When did Google Introduce E A T?
Google first referenced E A T in 2014, but it wasn’t formally put into action in the Search Quality Rater Guidelines until 2018. When Google released E A T, site owners already had advance notice of what was coming. Over the years, Google E A T has gained in importance, particularly as the search engine giant has released algorithm updates. Its algorithms have improved capabilities for E A T quality raters for evaluating websites as each core update has revealed. Google's ability to evaluate E A T SEO is only getting better.
What does YMYL mean?
YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life and refers to sites that affect your money or your life, which is most of them. YMYL websites can refer to a news site as well as sites offering legal advice, financial advice, medical advice, tax advice, or sites that sell you products or services. Google's E A T quality raters can tell the difference between less formal expertise featured in the content written and authoritative websites when evaluating websites for E A T.