Understanding E-E-A-T is crucial for content creators. While it is not a direct ranking factor, it is a crucial factor for blog posts to rank higher on search engines.
In this article, we'll break down exactly what E-E-A-T is and the best ways for content creators and website owners to focus on these signals:
- Experience: Writing from first-hand experience and original content
- Expertise: High-quality content from industry experts.
- Authority: Being a high quality authoritative source.
- Trust: Building trust, improving the user experience, credibility of a website and website quality
Improving E-E-A-T for search engines takes more than high quality blog posts. By providing accurate information from subject matter experts or user-generated content and avoiding AI-generated content or even removing low-quality content, improving user experience, you can improve your website quality and be seen as an authoritative source to the search algorithm.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is a framework used by Google to assess the quality of content on websites. The concept is part of Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which are used by Quality Raters to evaluate the success of Google's algorithm updates.
The "Experience" component was added to the original E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in a December 2022 Google update. This addition emphasizes the importance of user experience in the evaluation of a website's quality.
For example, when looking for reviews of a tax preparation software, searchers may value first-hand experiences from people who have actually used different tools above expert opinions or shady affiliate sites. That’s why you’ll often see people looking for “tax software reddit” to find opinions from real people.
What is E-A-T and why does it matter?
While E-E-A-T or E-A-T is not a direct Google ranking factor, it is a critical part of SEO. Google aims to serve web pages with higher E-E-A-T signals. Beyond search engines, high E-E-A-T will improve user trust and will lead to more conversions and user experience on a site.
This includes more than just content marketing and writing high-quality content. Google’s algorithms will look for HTTPS, your core web vitals, if your site works on mobile phones, if it has a healthy backlink profile and if the authors on your website have the necessary experience by connecting the entities and knowledge graph from the information it has collected on the internet.
E-E-A-T is important to help improve the quality and credibility of the website you build, which can lead to higher rankings in Google search results. And especially if you focus on writing helpful blog posts for humans, and not search engines.
How do you demonstrate E-E-A-T?
To demonstrate E-E-A-T in your content, consider the following strategies:
Showcase the first-hand, real-world experience of content creators about the specific topic. This can be done by sharing stories from personal experience, case studies, or examples that indicate content creators have directly engaged with the specific field they are discussing.
This helps to prove that the content is based on tried and tested insights in a particular field. As a content marketing platform we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t for our customers. So here are our best tips to demonstrate Experience in E-E-A-T: (See what I did there?)
- Personal anecdotes: Your blog isn’t Wikipedia, you can have an opinion or back up your article with some personality! On Twitter, I keep seeing SEO experts talk about E-E-A-T and asking how to improve it. The best way is to write original, human-written content that you won’t be ashamed of sharing on social media or to your real life friends.
- Case studies: We know our tools and our marketing strategies work for our clients, because we’ve helped marketing teams get a 367% in organic traffic and our methods help brands get a 60% increase in SEO and readability scores.
- Detailed steps: For example, when you’re writing about SEO tips, make sure to explain how and why you’ve come to this conclusion or why this SEO tip is part of the best practices.
- Highlight lessons learned: If you’re writing about ChatGPT prompts for SEO, you could show what has worked or how your process has changed after discovering these prompts. It will also showcase your other factors like expertise, authority and trust.
- Discuss industry changes: Are you really a subject matter expert? If so, you probably know things in your industry that others might not. Talk about how your industry is changing, what you’re doing that’s new or different and how your industry peers have been impacted.
- Mention partners: Talk about your clients or collaborations in your field and about their experience. Like how we’ve been many of our content creators being impacted by the Helpful Content Update and other Google algorithm changes, so that’s why we wrote this article to help serve our customers better.
Demonstrating expertise is not just about showcasing your knowledge, but also about how you apply that knowledge in real-world situations to provide value to your audience.
Expertise involves showcasing your deep knowledge and skills in your specifictopic. Here are some tips to demonstrate expertise in E-E-A-T:
- Define your niche: Define your specific area of expertise or interest within a larger field. Like how we’re a content marketing platform, and not just a marketing platform. It doesn’t make sense for us to write about how to create a business plan, but it make sense for us to write about social media content pillars or create a content marketing calendar template. But we won’t review BBQ’s just to rank for SEO like Forbes does.
- Showcase your knowledge: Write high-quality content, publish original content, and up-to-date case studies that provide valuable insights and information to your target audience.
- Engage with your audience: Content marketing goes beyond blog posts, share your articles on LinkedIn and create a sense of community, do Q&A sessions, webinars or host dedicated forums.
Website authority is establishing your credibility and influencei n your specific field. In the eyes of search engines this is usually determined by the backlinks to your website and if they are from other authoritative sources. You can improve your authoritativeness by building more links, but also using these SEO strategies:
- Show official affiliations: If you have any relationships with official organizations or recognized experts in your field, make sure to highlight them. This can significantly boost your perceived authority. Like our G2 or Capterra reviews.
- Brand mentions: Google’s algorithms doesn’t only use links, but also can understand when your entity or brand name is mentioned on other websites. For example, being listed in a list of top SEO agency tools helps Google understand you’re probably software for SEO agencies. Simple right?
- Guest posts: Get guest posts or interviews on popular blogs and websites in your niche. This helps associate your brand with trusted sites.
- Author bios: Having a team page, an about us page or bios for guest writers with legitimate credentials and social links. This will help Google understand your website involves real people and not robots.
- Publish original research: Writers looking for statistics or authoritative sources to their own content will search for websites that back up their own words. So if you publish original research and other sites link to you, you’ll be seen as a source of authority and trust.
Trust is the most important factor of Google’s E-E-A-T. Quality Raters must take the creator, content, and website into account. It’s about being honest with your content, being factually correct, citing your sources, not masking content for Google or using black-hat techniques to rank higher.
But this also includes other trust signals than the content on your blog posts alone:
- HTTPS: Insecure connections without an SSL certificate are really bad for the security of your products. If you have an online store this could allow hackers to see the passwords or credit card details from users. A huge no-no in the field of security.
- Customer reviews: For your Google My Business Page or on other review sites will tell Google how customers relate to your products or website. Citations and being listed in directories is important for improving your authority and trust.
- Social media links: Are you a real business with real customers? If so, you probably have social media accounts and it’s important to link to them on your web site to show the relationship.
- Refreshing content: By keeping your content fresh and updated, search engines will understand that you’re not an AI content farm spamming the web. But that you’re a real website that cares about how real people interact with your business.
- Good user experience: Having a non-spammy design, with not a huge amount of ads will showcase to search engine like Google that your content is not only there to receive ad money, improving your trust score.
While not directly influencing rankings, optimizing for E-E-A-T signals can improve the perception of your content in Google's eyes.
To demonstrate E-E-A-T, focus on showcasing real-world experience through personal stories and case studies, establishing niche expertise by publishing valuable insights, highlighting official affiliations and external validation to boost authority, and building user trust through ethical practices like good website security, quality content, and transparent business details.
Improving E-E-A-T is an ongoing process, but should be a priority for any content creator looking to boost credibility. By providing content that is honest, accurate, and helpful - created by experts with real-world experience - you can improve impressions of your site and strengthen user experience. While challenging, optimizing for E-E-A-T is essential for producing content that resonates with target audiences and earns the trust of search engines.
Now is the time to shift towards a customer-first, content marketing mindset - before your competitors do. Want to learn more about content marketing?
- How to Create an Effective Blog Content Strategy in 7 Steps
- Read our Content Marketing Guide for Beginners
To discuss how content marketing can transform your marketing performance, request a demo or start your free StoryChief trial (a content marketer’s secret weapon!). Our team would be happy to give you a walkthrough.
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