Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Author: Tony Waldegrave
E-A-T in SEO, relates to those elements, on and off your website that are analysed by Google’s algorithm to measure the level of experience-expertise, authority and trust associated with your website and it’s pages.
What we know about E-A-T factors comes largely from the set of guidelines that Google provides to it’s network of search quality evaluators. These raters are engaged by Google to personally review websites and to provide feedback relative to their rankings and level of E-A-T for the purpose of assisting Google to improve search results. Google has made these guidelines publicly available since 2013 and they are regularly updated and can be read here.
While the feedback from the raters does not directly impact a website’s rankings, it is used to improve Google’s algorithm and its ability to accurately measure levels of quality and E-A-T.
There have been 3 significant core algorithm updates during 2018 (April, August and September) and there has been acknowledgement amongst leaders in the SEO community that these updates have been primarily focused on rewarding those websites which meet quality and E-A-T standards.
The future direction of SEO will mean much more focus and effort on improving E-A-T and content quality and much less focus on the traditional SEO activity of link building. Google’s algorithm has advanced to the point now where effort into acquiring links in an unnatural manner is now easily identified and any ranking benefit is neutralised. You may even be penalised if unnatural and manipulative link acquisition activity is excessive.
It is important to understand that there is a broad category of websites (defined within Google’s Search Quality Rating Guideline’s) known as Your Money or Your Life websites, and sites that fall into this category are required to meet an even higher level of quality and E-A-T standards than non YMYL websites.
Google defines YMYL websites, as those sites that could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users. This includes websites providing;
The following is a list of elements too focus on to improve your E-A-T. If your website falls into the YMYL category, then it will be even more important to pay close attention to these.
Some red flags to watch out for:
Overall, your focus should be on providing great quality content for your website visitors and in an open and trustworthy manner. Information about your business and it’s key people should be visible and transparent.
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