We’re sure you will have heard the term E-E-A-T floating around the SEO blogs since its announcement in December 2022.
E-E-A-T (formally E-A-T) is a Google Search Quality Guideline which has been put in place to ensure content is reliable and trustworthy. The guidelines are an important factor in making sure your content is up-to-date and that it performs well during Search Quality Evaluations. Google has advised that they are adding an extra ‘E’ – standing for ‘Experience’ – to ensure people writing content have first-hand experience in their subject matter.
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about E-E-A-T. We’ll cover what it is, how to optimise your content, if you can use AI to help, and how a trusted SEO agency like Boyd Digital can help you keep on top of it.
What Is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
It is a concept published in Google’s Search Quality Guidelines to encourage people to create content that embodies these key characteristics.
The guidelines explain that to make strong content, you should have the following:
E – Experience. The content creator should have the necessary first-hand or life experience to write about the topic at hand. Many pages become more trustworthy when written by someone with a wealth of personal experience on the topic.
E – Expertise. The content creator should clearly demonstrate a degree of expertise relating to the article they’re writing. So, for example, if someone is looking for information on SEO optimisation, the search engine page results (SEPRs) would display a professional SEO agency such as Boyd Digital. This is because as an SEO agency, we would be expected to display the relevant expertise to cover this topic and give the searcher reliable information on SEO.
A – Authoritative. The content should have authority. Consider the extent to which the website is known as a ‘go-to’ source for its topic/field. For example, a government website would be the most authoritative source for getting information on a new passport application, whilst a local DIY shop might be the most authoritative source for dealing with a recurring problem with your kitchen cupboards.
T – Trustworthiness. The content should be trustworthy. This is the most important factor, as if a page isn’t trustworthy, Google won’t want to recommend it to searchers. You can make a page seem like it’s coming from a place of experience and expertise, but without taking time to truly learn the topic, or by perpetuating a scam, Google may penalise you.
A combination of all of these factors will ensure that the content is safely within Google’s guidelines, leading to a higher potential for better page rankings.
To demonstrate why E-E-A-T matters, let’s use Boyd Digital as an example.
Boyd Digital is able to write about SEO because we’re experts in our field – therefore, we’re demonstrating first-hand experience in our subject. We have:
- Experience – we do this every day for a wide range of clients.
- Expertise – 20 plus years in the industry.
- Authority – we have testimonials from happy clients.
- Trustworthiness– we are a dedicated SEO company.
From a search perspective, if you were to search ‘SEO Tips’ and got two results, one from Boyd Digital and one from a site that usually posts about shoes, you will choose the site that has the most experience and expertise on the topic (Boyd) because you trust it more to give you relevant, factual information.
You would be unlikely to trust a site that tells you how to clean your shoes to tell you how to optimise your website, as they have no demonstrated experience in that area.
Why Is E-E-A-T So Important?
E-E-A-T guidelines aren’t algorithmic like some ranking devices. However, they’re still important as they feature as points in Google’s search quality evaluations, in which thousands of reviewers manually review webpages and submit feedback about their quality.
E-E-A-T, therefore, serves as an important factor for Google in determining whether a website provides expert, reliable content that should be recommended to searchers. If your site falls short of the guidelines, it may drop in the rankings.
As Google’s Search Quality Guidelines tell us:
“Very high E-E-A-T is a distinguishing factor for Highest quality pages. A website or content creator who is the uniquely authoritative, go-to source for a topic has very high E-E-A-T. A content creator with a wealth of experience may be considered to have very high E-E-A-T for topics where experience is the primary factor in trust. A very high level of expertise can justify a very high E-E-A-T assessment. Very high E-E-A-T websites and content creators are the most trusted sources on the internet for a particular topic.” (Chapter 8.3)
If you want your content to rank well on Google, you will need to ensure that it meets all of the specifications outlined by E-E-A-T to meet search intent.
How Do You Optimise Content For E-E-A-T?
The key to optimise E-E-A-T content is ensuring that the content is relevant to search intent and that you’re showcasing a strong level of expertise and experience in the subject.
Some things you can do to help improve your E-E-A-T optimisation include:
- Demonstrate expert knowledge and experience in your field/topic.
- Ensure all information shared is truthful. You won’t rank well for trustworthiness if you’re fabricating content to extend your word count! Remember to keep it factual and relevant.
- Include references and citations to any external sources. Make sure any quoted sources are reliable and reputable.
- Include information about the website and author, such as “about us” pages and author bios. People like to know where they are getting their information from.
- Use high-quality images, infographics and videos.
- Be transparent about any adverts or sponsored content you are being paid to promote.
It’s also important to remember to keep other ranking factors in mind. It is not enough to have trustworthy content if people struggle to navigate your site. Keep your site user-friendly and ensure that it’s mobile responsive.
How does Chat GPT AI affect E-E-A-T?
Chat GPT AI has been taking the content world by storm over the last few months. It allows you to input a question and conversationally responds to you, reporting back with a body of detailed information.
Many have speculated that Chatbots may be the next frontier when it comes to writing content. However, the main issue with using AI for E-E-A-T is that it draws experience from other sources.
This can lead to higher amounts of plagiarism and little variation in content, and it can also not give you specific information about most brands.
As E-E-A-T prioritises content that demonstrates strong first-hand experience and expertise in a specific area, you might find that chatbot AI cannot give you the specific knowledge you need and instead presents a more generalised overview of a multitude of topics. It may also give the same response to several people, leading to no variation in content and no specific expertise being demonstrated.
This raises the risk of things such as page cannibalisation, which is when too many pages on the website are targeting the same keywords too strongly. This can result in the site’s organic reach being hurt and a reduction in page ranking.
How Boyd Digital Can Help You With E-E-A-T Content
As an SEO Agency, Boyd Digital can help you with your E-E-A-T content optimisation and more. As an organisation that embodies experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness, we understand what it takes to create great content.
We have worked with companies from a spectrum of different backgrounds and industries, providing them with high-quality, high-ranking content developed especially to meet their target demographics’ search intent.
Our range of intelligent keyword research abilities and detailed site audits help identify ways to improve your content in addition to ways we can optimise it to increase your traffic and your ranking.
We know what Google looks for when ranking pages, and with our range of expert services, we can help you with everything from providing excellent content that meets Google Guidelines to optimising your page speed and usability.
It can be difficult to ensure every bit of content you post is perfectly in line with Google Guidelines, so trusting Boyd Digital to handle the tricky parts is a great way to ensure your content remains relevant and your site is optimised whilst avoiding common errors like page cannibalisation.
Don’t settle for anything less than outstanding content. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your website reach peak performance.