What Is E-E-A-T?

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Blog, Digital Marketing, SEO

What Is E-E-A-T?

Does your website’s content provide helpful, relevant information?

If it does, you’re probably familiar with the acronym E-A-T, which has been used by Google to evaluate if their search ranking systems are providing high-quality, reliable information to users since 2014.

But have you heard of E-E-A-T?

That’s right. Google added another E.

If you want to drive your brand to the top of search engine rankings, then buckle up; Google E-E-A-T holds the keys to SEO success. 

You might be wondering what kind of impact E-E-A-T will have on your digital marketing and SEO strategy. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive into everything you need to know about E-E-A-T and how to apply it to your business’s website.

E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

The acronym E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

It’s not just a catchy phrase but a guiding principle in Google’s quest to deliver high-quality, reliable content to its users. 

Originally appearing in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines in 2014, E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) gained prominence, especially after the August 2018 Google Medic update. This update prioritized search engine results that demonstrated expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

E-E-A-T, or Double “E-A-T”, is now part of the updated search rater guidelines released in December of 2022 to prioritize experience.

Why Is E-E-A-T Important?

Let’s say you’re a regular person who’s searching for how to correctly fill out your taxes.

You would want the search engine results to contain content from experts who have extensive experience in the field of accounting. Even better, you’d want the content to come from authorities in their respective field of accounting so you can really trust their advice.

As you can see, experience, expertise, and authoritativeness are all fundamental factors in building trust with searchers. But how do you highlight these factors on your webpage, and what kind of impact will they have on your SERP rankings?

The Impact on Rankings

It is important to note that E-E-A-T isn’t a direct ranking factor in Google’s algorithm – this isn’t an algorithm update. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize it, as it is an essential component of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines–the handbook that Quality Raters use to evaluate the quality of search results. Quality Raters are Google employees who are tasked with evaluating content creators and search engine results, who use E-E-A-T as a framework.

The Four Pillars of E-E-A-T

Now that you understand the basics, let’s dive into the four pillars of E-E-A-T and understand how to apply each one.

1. Experience

Do you ever think about why you like to ask your friends for restaurant recommendations? That’s because you might have similar tastes, and they have real-life experience with the restaurant, so you trust their opinion more than a 5-star rating.

High-quality content demonstrates the creator’s first-hand experience with the subject matter. This helps prove that suggestions are tested and insights are authentic.

How To Apply It: In the world of e-commerce, types of content like case studies, product reviews, or testimonials will clearly demonstrate a unique experience with your product or service that a Google searcher can trust.

If you’re selling shoes, showcase a great product review that is clearly about a customer’s unique experience with your shoes. If you’re selling a service, write a case study about how your service helped grow someone’s business.

2. Expertise

The next thing Quality Raters look for is whether content creators have topical expertise. Do authors have the knowledge, qualifications, and credentials required to give reliable information about their particular topic?

When you look at the high level of E-E, expertise, and experience have a lot of overlap, but they’re not the same thing.

Consider the topic of investing in the stock market.

Some people want financial advice from accredited professionals. They might read articles from the Financial Times or Bloomberg on the state of the stock market, which features articles from experts in the field of finance.

While some people might want real-life examples of strategies that worked for people like them, viewing forums like r/Lifehacks or r/wallstreetbets on Reddit or videos from financial influencers on YouTube. These searchers are looking for personal experience versus expertise.

How To Apply It: In e-commerce, you can demonstrate expertise by first identifying your niche and then creating in-depth pieces of content that showcase your knowledge of the subject. To build trust in the eyes of the Quality Raters, collaborate with subject matter experts who are certified in the topic that you are covering.

Let’s say your website sells pet medicine. Have a licensed veterinarian write a guest blog post, providing medical advice on the best ways you can help your dog fight allergies. This will both demonstrate expertise in your field and provide helpful content that resonates with your target audience, improving your search ranking in the process.

3. Authoritativeness

Authoritativeness is a measure of your reputation among other experts and influencers in your particular niche. Think of it as an expanded form of expertise-how does your website rank among the experts in your industry?

Quality Raters are instructed to review the authoritativeness of the creator, the content, and the website as a whole based on Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.

How do you measure authority? Your Domain Authority score plays a big role here. Let’s say you’re looking for medical advice:

While some people might type their symptoms into Google, many will turn to websites like WebMD, which has a high domain authority of 94.

WebMD is authoritative in the field of medical advice because:

  1. It is a well-known, respected publication for medical advice
  2. The authors—WebMD Editorial Contributors—are wellness professionals
  3. They ask doctors and other medical professionals to check all of their content for accuracy
  4. Many backlinks from authoritative sources lead to WebMD – meaning experts trust WebMD enough to use them as a source for their content.

How To Apply It: To increase your domain authority you must first create high-quality content that demonstrates experience and expertise in your niche. Then, you need to build up a network of support for your authority. You can do this by actively seeking collaborations, guest posts, or mentions from authoritative sites within your industry that will backlink to your webpage. In the e-commerce landscape, a backlink from authoritative sources like Wirecutter or Nerdwallet will greatly improve your authoritativeness in the eyes of Quality Raters.

4. Trustworthiness

The T stands for Trustworthiness in E-E-A-T. 

Trust is the most important metric when it comes to your quality rating. Experience, expertise, and authoritativeness all lead to building trust with your target audience. 

If consumers don’t trust your content, they won’t come back to your website. This is why Quality Raters want to prioritize websites that are trustworthy in search queries.

How To Apply It: First, you want to be transparent. Be clear about who wrote your content, cite trustworthy sources with high domain authorities, and make sure to edit all your content for factual accuracy. Provide easy-to-find author bios and contact information on your website so consumers can easily reach out with any questions about your content.

User experience plays a big role in trustworthiness. Don’t hide your content behind a wall of ads, as this will drive users away from your website. Have a Terms and Conditions page that is easy to understand and reference. Provide easy-to-find contact information on your website so consumers can easily reach out with any questions about your content, products, or services.

Lastly, you want to make sure your website is secure. In the Search Quality Rater Guidelines, Google refers to “a shopping checkout page that has an insecure connection” as untrustworthy. Secure your website by using HTTPS, and make sure to let your consumers know that all transactions are secure and encrypted in your online store. This will not only improve your customer’s user experience but increase your ranking on SERPs.

YMYL Content and the E-E-A-T Imperative

“Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages are the heavyweights of the digital world, dealing with topics that impact users’ health, finances, and well-being. Think medical advice, legal guidance, or financial planning. For these pages, E-E-A-T is not just a suggestion; it’s a strict requirement.

If your business’s niche is a YMYL topic, you’ll want to invest heavily in high E-E-A-T content. Content quality is essential here because misinformation on topics like medical advice, financial advice, or legal advice can cause harm to the following:

  • The person viewing the content
  • Others affected by the person who viewed the content
  • Groups of people affected by the actions of those who viewed the content.

How do you know if your business deals with a YMYL Topic?

Here are a few examples:

  • Clear YMYL Topics: Evacuation routes for a tornado, news about ongoing violence, and information about purchasing prescription drugs.
  • Might Be YMYL Topics: Weather forecasts, news about a car accident, information about how often to replace a toothbrush.
  • Definitely Not YMYL Topics: Who won the Oscars, news about a local high school soccer game, a music video.

If you’re writing about who won the Oscars, low-quality content isn’t going to hurt the readers. But when it comes to a “your money or your life” topic like the law, users depend on you for accurate information that can significantly affect their lives. 

Building trust is not just an option; it’s a mandate.

Why Choose eAccountable?

In the constantly evolving world of search engine optimization, being able to successfully navigate the intricacies of E-E-A-T with your content marketing is essential. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone.

With over 20 years of combined experience, the eAccountable SEO team has seen it all and knows how to navigate businesses through their SEO pain points to proven on-page optimization success. We’ve driven over $100,000 in year-over-year revenue for our clients through SEO efforts alone. Let us be your partner in navigating E-E-A-T so your business can increase your search rankings and drive more revenue. Interested in learning more? Drop us a line here for a free consultation with our SEO team.